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Paul Pierce: “I want to retire a Celtic”

Jan 30, 2013, 12:53 PM EDT

Miami Heat v Boston Celtics Getty Images

Since Rajon Rondo went down with an ACL injury, I had not been alone in calling for the Celtics to start making big changes — it’s time to transition to the next phase of the Celtics.

But saying that and actually doing something like trading Paul Pierce is something else entirely.

He is a 14-year Celtic, a champion and finals MVP, a 10-time All-Star wearing the green. He is the most iconic Celtic player since the Bird era ended. He is beloved. Trading him is hard just for the sentimental reasons.

And he doesn’t want to go, he told the Boston Herald (via Celticsblog).

“You know, I want to retire as a Celtic,” said Pierce. “That’s been my longtime goal. But it’s not in my control. The organization, they make their decisions, but it’s something I desire.”

GM Danny Ainge has talked more than once about wanting to break up this Celtics era earlier rather than later. But can he really just trade Paul Pierce?

Pierce has one season on his contract, one that can be bought out for $5 million. He’s still a valuable scorer who can create his own shot and will step into more of a point-forward role with Rondo out.

He has a lot of trade value. But can the Celtics really pull that trigger?

  1. loungefly74 - Jan 30, 2013 at 1:13 PM

    …would hate to see PP leave the C’s organization (and I’m a Laker’s fan saying this!). the guy has done so much. his name will be in the rafters (not KGs though…thoughts on that?) of course, i think PP will have to accept a fair salary to make it easy for Ainge to keep him.

    • scalfor3 - Jan 31, 2013 at 1:50 AM

      KG will go to the rafters as well and deservedly. His infectious leadership, intensity and passion for the game instantly transformed the culture of this team. Not to mention that he’s played some really good basketball here as well.

    • dko83 - Jan 31, 2013 at 4:48 AM

      I think you’re right. They don’t retire his jersey however, they don’t win the champ. w/o him; it’s a little weird. MN should definitely retire his jersey though…

      • loungefly74 - Jan 31, 2013 at 7:34 AM

        good call. he is still the T-Wolves greatest player. KG’s name will be hanging in Minny. that is a lot to be proud of.

  2. GT - Jan 30, 2013 at 1:14 PM

    Don’t do it Danny, but if you must, better get some blockbuster value in return for losing it’s “soul” player.

  3. hojo20 - Jan 30, 2013 at 1:15 PM

    I guess PP doesn’t want to make it to the 2nd round of the playoffs anymore.

    • gepsep - Jan 30, 2013 at 2:07 PM

      C’s are the 8th seed. Heat are 1st. So you, probably a heat fan, think that the C’s will beat the Heat?

      • hojo20 - Jan 30, 2013 at 6:37 PM

        I’m a Celts fan, just being realistic.

  4. cosanostra71 - Jan 30, 2013 at 2:05 PM

    It’s easier for me to say because I’m not a Celtics fan, but I think you have to do it unless you want to be stuck in mediocrity. They aren’t getting any younger and a player like Pierce could be pretty valuable to a contender. They could get some solid pieces back for him. We’ll see what happens.

  5. hodaghunter - Jan 30, 2013 at 2:27 PM

    I don’t know what games you have all been watching but Paul hasn’t been able to create his own shots this year. Maybe he’s a step slow now or maybe he’s lacking the motivation but he’s getting all of his shots coming off of screens and keeping a quick release.

  6. fanofevilempire - Jan 30, 2013 at 2:47 PM

    Celtics, Pierce and KG are all done.
    Doc and Danny are fooling themselves.

  7. bonner504 - Jan 30, 2013 at 2:48 PM

    Not a Celtics fan but, Paul Pierce needs to go asap, he looks like he doesn’t take care of himself these days and looks very slow and clumsy, he nearly falls down every time he tries to make a quick move with the ball, he and KG’s day has came and went long ago and the celtics will NEVER make it to the finals again if they had a healthy Rondo with this roster, face it Celtic fans its over!!!!

    • bougin89 - Jan 30, 2013 at 3:54 PM

      I’m not a Celtic fan but if I recall correctly they were 1 quarter away from the NBA Finals. As in Game 7 East Finals, 4th quarter.

      • bougin89 - Jan 30, 2013 at 3:55 PM

        CORRECTION: I meant to add in that was last year, 2012.

    • andyhr17 - Jan 30, 2013 at 5:28 PM

      Clearly your not a Celtics fan because your statement is full of holes

      1: Pierce has never been in great athletic shape. His moves are slow and deliberate but quite effective

      2: Done long ago? Define “long ago”. They’ve been to 2 finals appearances and to the ECF in 5 years.

      3:It’s over? You act like they are now required to fold as a franchise and are not allowed to change pieces to be competitive in the near future again.

      I’ll just assume you’re a Heat fan and don’t understand how basketball works and don’t understand that the NBA has been around for longer than LeBron has been on Miami.

      • jimeejohnson - Jan 30, 2013 at 9:07 PM


      • loungefly74 - Jan 31, 2013 at 7:51 AM


        true on every account.

        we have to take into consideration that this person may be from Florida. they are the worst fans. EXTREMELY fair weather…(Marlins…even the Heat, etc…)

  8. bknowledge - Jan 30, 2013 at 5:54 PM

    No need for Celtics to trade of the greatest Celtics ever…word up to “the Truth”…

    He becomes a free agent after next year/his contract expires for the free agent bonanza of 2014…

    KG on the other hand…

    I would love to see KG on a contender for his last few years, and I think he would be a great fit on Golden State. I know he has a no trade clause but this deal would give him a good shot at another title and put the Celtics back in the mix in less than two years:

    KG/Jeff Green/Barbosa for Andris Biedrins/Richard Jefferson and Golden State’s first round pick this year…

    Biedrins and Jefferson expire the end of next year- same as Pierce, and Celtics should have enough cap space to sign possibly two max players…

    There’s a lot of talent on Golden State already…they could definitely limit KG’s minutes…and I think he makes them a legitimate title contender…

    • andyhr17 - Jan 30, 2013 at 9:31 PM

      I don’t think GM’s are using ESPN’s Trade Machine to determine their trades.

      Cavs can get LeBron James for Luke Walton, Boobie Gibson, and C,J. Miles. Pull the trigger, Cavs!! The trade works!!

      • bknowledge - Jan 31, 2013 at 1:30 AM

        How is that a reasonable comparison to the trade I recommended?

        Your trade is a joke…Miami gets nothing in that deal…

        If the Celtics make the trade I recommend, at the end of next season, Paul Pierce, Biedrins, Jefferson will all come off their books…that’s 37 million dollars in expiring contracts…that’s the asset the Celtics acquire in the trade I recommend…

        Since you want to deride my comment, I challenge you to come up with a better trade for KG. Its not so easy. I think you’d have to assume KG will only accept a trade to a contender (KG has no trade clause)…so, you really can’t get a lottery pick for him, and the list of contenders that could use KG isn’t very long…my sense from running a bunch of scenarios is that the only realistic trade partners are Golden State and San Antonio…
        Maybe you can do better? If not, maybe you can be a little more polite?

  9. jcmeyer10 - Jan 30, 2013 at 5:54 PM

    As a Celtics fan, I want you to reitre a Celtic too. I think it’s too early to call this season totally lost and Paul Pierce deserves a chance to show he can be the man again.

  10. ph53knowsall - Jan 30, 2013 at 6:13 PM

    No, they are lakers fans. It’s the height of humor for lakers fans to tell Celtics fans its “all over.”


  11. jimeejohnson - Jan 30, 2013 at 9:13 PM

    “What a drag, it is, gettin’ old.”

    Pierce is over the hill. Still, he can still compete in this league. He is playing too many minutes, but he’s a good guy to have at the end of the game. He doesn’t make them all, just like Reggie Miller didn’t. But just like Reggie Miller, Pierce has made some very clutch baskets, but unlike Reggie Miller, Pierce still can.

  12. doublezero74 - Jan 30, 2013 at 10:47 PM

    Yeah the trade machine make the world go around. I hate these half cocked trade suggestions that aren’t based in the real world, you know, the one we live in? KG/green and barbosa for beidrins and Jefferson???????????? That’s just plain dumb

    • bknowledge - Jan 31, 2013 at 1:06 AM

      I understand that the young male of your species “strokes” its “ego” by insulting people, but as you’ve called me stupid, I call you out…
      I challenge you to present a better trade for KG…
      remember…KG has a no clause trade in his contract…Celtics aren’t going to be able to trade him to a lottery boud team…
      if you can’t come up with a better trade, everyone on here will know that you are stupider than someone you think is an idiot (a fact of which I am already profoundly aware)…

      this comment applies to you to “andyhr17″‘…

      • bknowledge - Jan 31, 2013 at 1:10 AM


      • andyhr17 - Jan 31, 2013 at 7:14 AM

        I don’t know what a good trade would be, that’s why I’m NOT proposing ridiculous ones.

        But if I were going to play your game…. The Celtics can get Kevin Durant for KG and Courtney Lee!!! The ESPN trade machine says it works!!!

  13. bknowledge - Jan 30, 2013 at 11:30 PM

    3 years from now, the Celtics will be on the hook for about 50 million in salary owed to Jeff Green/Garnett/Rondo/Courtney Lee/Jason Terry/Brandon Bass…

    That leaves no money to sign anyone else…do Celtics fans want that to be your team?

    The trade I recommend is about the real world/finances…a world where the Celtics will be irrelevant for at least the next five years if they do nothing…or they make a trade now to get rid of their worst contract (Jeff Green almost 10 million/year for 3 more years after this) and they have a chance to be done rebuilding within a year and a half…

    This trade KG/Green for Biedrins/Jefferson:

    saves the Celtics 30 million dollars…
    if Celts include Courtney Lee instead of Barbosa…say by:
    The Celtics will save 40 million…
    Know what the Celtics will do with the money they save?
    Sign a young superstar to play with Rondo…(hopefully)…

    In no universe is RJ/Biedrins anywhere as good as KG….but if you believe the Celtics are toast without Rondo, and I do, then the time to rebuild is now…and they way to rebuild is to trade your older assets/get rid of bad young contracts/create financial flexibilty…and aquire whatever assets you can…Golden State gives the Celtics a first round pick in the trades I am suggesting…

  14. bknowledge - Jan 30, 2013 at 11:45 PM

    I am not a homer for either Celts of Golden State by the way…I live in New York and watched for over a decade how poor salary contract management can destroy a team…

    also, there is no real reason to trade Pierce now…
    Next year he will be on an expiring deal and that will make him more valuable as trade bait…
    although personally I would never trade Pierce…I don’t follow Celtics all that close…but it seems like he never quit on his team or demanded a trade…I think he deserves to be a Celtic as long as he wants to wear the jersey…

    However…if the Clippers resign Chris Paul this summer…Bledsoe probably becomes available…and Pierce is from L.A….and the Clippers could use a sharp shooting wing….

  15. ghelton03 - Jan 31, 2013 at 1:43 AM

    Forget about it meat. Done wiih you.

  16. paulhargis53 - Jan 31, 2013 at 8:37 AM

    Take it from loungefly, his fanbase has a collective doctorate in being horrible, delusional fans.

  17. bostonianpride - Jan 31, 2013 at 8:49 AM

    The Celtics are not trading Jeff Green and anyone who thinks they are is just dumb. He just signed a 4yr/$40 mil contract before the season and is one of the key pieces to the C’s future. Besides KG/Green/Barbosa for Biedrins and Jefferson is just idiotic! How do either of those players help the Celtics now or in the future? Pierce will retire and Celtic and dont be surprised if KG retires before his contract expires as a Celitc also!

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