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Report: Celtics were closer than you think to trading Paul Pierce

Mar 8, 2013, 5:04 PM EDT

Miami Heat v Boston Celtics Getty Images

The idea of Paul Pierce in an Dallas Mavericks uniform just seems… wrong.

Yet apparently it was closer to happening than we knew.

Celtics GM Danny Ainge was listening to offers and talking about maybe blowing up Boston and restarting, but the conventional wisdom was he wouldn’t go through with it. But he almost did, reports Adrian Wojnarowski at Yahoo Sports.

Before the trade deadline passed, the Boston Celtics had one final choice to make on the franchise’s future: In a three-way deal that would’ve secured Josh Smith and surrendered Paul Pierce to Dallas, Atlanta wanted Boston’s first-round draft pick, too….

Dallas had constructed a package that included Jae Crowder, Brandan Wright and Dahntay Jones to Atlanta, with the Mavericks and Hawks exchanging positions in the 2013 NBA draft.

Nevertheless, Boston wouldn’t relent on the pick and the deal died on meeting-room grease boards in three cities.

Dallas with a season of Paul Pierce and Dirk Nowitzki together next season, working in a rotation with Vince Carter, would have been interesting but a little old in a West with the Thunder on top. But that deal would have fit with their plan of shorter term deals (Pierce has one year after this). Atlanta would have gotten some more pieces for its rebuilding effort.

But the Celtics are 13-4 since Rajon Rondo went down, standing pat has worked out. Besides, is a Rondo pairing with Josh Smith — who expects to get a max contract offer this summer — really a reboot that works in Boston? That strikes me as a team that is good, not great (unless the hope is Josh Smith could help lure Dwight Howard out of Los Angeles, and now we’re talking two new max deals the Celtics can’t afford). And Kevin Garnett may well have looked at the Rondo/Smith pairing and thought being with the Clippers didn’t look so bad.

But the Celtics are 13-4 since Rajon Rondo went down, you


It’s all speculation now, the deal never went down. Which is probably best in Boston.

  1. gwylie1 - Mar 8, 2013 at 5:11 PM

    who cares. It didn’t happen. non story

  2. pantsfreezone - Mar 8, 2013 at 5:13 PM

    No. The best thing would have been to make the move and start rebuilding. The Celtics are going anywhere in the playoffs and then the rebuild starts next season so they are looking at 5 years minimum of being in lottery hell. Just good enough to get an 8th seed, not bad enough to land a lottery pick.

    • pantsfreezone - Mar 8, 2013 at 5:14 PM

      *not going anywhere

    • Kansachusetts - Mar 8, 2013 at 11:39 PM

      Make the move and start rebuilding?!!! With Josh Smith? He’s not Celtic material.

    • scalfor3 - Mar 9, 2013 at 12:37 AM

      trading for josh smith would have ensured that they got stuck in that middle class rut for years. a rondo, josh smith and jeff green core would be between the 3-6 seed every year and would never seriously threaten miami.

  3. 13arod - Mar 8, 2013 at 5:24 PM

    Why did boston almost trade him they have one of the best records in the eastern confrence

    • mikep363839 - Mar 9, 2013 at 1:57 PM

      The record doesn’t matter every team in the east is thinking about what it would take to beat Miami.

  4. cosanostra71 - Mar 8, 2013 at 5:47 PM

    They’re 33-27, 7th in the East…

    • jjordannba - Mar 8, 2013 at 6:27 PM

      Yes, that was quite a foolish statement by 13arod, and though they are indeed 7th in the East as of today, they are one of the hottest teams in the East right now, and are 1.5 games out of the 4th seed After being the 8th seed for much of the season.

  5. lakerluver - Mar 8, 2013 at 5:49 PM

    ^ Because they realize they’re not winning a title.

    • andyhr17 - Mar 8, 2013 at 11:04 PM

      Neither are 28 other teams. I guess nobody should try, right?

      • drewzducks - Mar 9, 2013 at 1:34 AM

        Certainly not the Flakers.

  6. ph53knowsall - Mar 8, 2013 at 6:05 PM

    lakerslurper, nice to see you prove me right from my comments during the summer. You disappear when the lakers are at their worst, and now they might make the 8 seed, youre back with your ignorance. Why didn’t you just stay away? Nobody missed you or your idiocy.
    Its funny that bozosforall disappeared at the same time too. Thanks for proving that point too.

    You are such a typical frontrunner. Couldn’t take the heat and left when they are bad, back when they show improvement.
    Is it any wonder why you’re so detested on here?
    Why don’t you just leave now, you’re gone when the season’s over anyway.

    Get lost dummy, it’ll be easier on you to leave now.

  7. tjstyles - Mar 8, 2013 at 6:51 PM

    Wow, Atlanta is completely delusional about the value of Josh Smith. If I were Atlanta and Dallas offered me Brandan Wright for Smith straight up, I would jump on that. Smith was amazing in 2009-10, but has been pretty much average every other year, and is in the last season of his deal. Wright is playing incredibly good basketball, and having Bird Rights to him would be quite a nice thing. On top of that, Crowder started out the season hot, but has not been able to sustain that, but is still on a cheap rookie deal for 3 more seasons. Why the Hawks think they should also be able to move up in the draft by swapping picks with the Mavs AND also get an additional first round pick from the Celtics is beyond me.

    Good for Boston turning this deal down. Getting one season of Smith for Pierce and a first round pick is not the best way to start rebuilding. They should have asked for the Hawks’ pick for netting them young talent for a guy who has already voiced his intention to bolt from Atlanta. If I were Boston, and I really decided I was going to trade Pierce, I would have just taken Dallas’ pieces for Pierce and cut the Hawks out entirely. Wright, Crowder, Jones and the right to swap picks is significantly more value than Josh Smith.

  8. loungefly74 - Mar 8, 2013 at 9:23 PM

    maybe it would have been a foolish trade by the other teams (hawks & mavs)…but i respect PP too much. I want him, as a fan of the NBA, to finish with the C’s. there is something about a player sticking around and finishing there. PP deserves that. by the way, i’m a die-hard Laker fan…

  9. ron05342 - Mar 8, 2013 at 9:27 PM

    Kurt, the Clippers were never going to deal their young stars for creaky ol’ Kevin Garnett…they may have made some dumb moves in the past, but these are most certainly not your dad’s Clippers anymore.

    • Kurt Helin - Mar 9, 2013 at 11:32 AM

      Vinny Del Negro was the one pushing that deal, not the front office.

  10. thetooloftools - Mar 9, 2013 at 1:23 AM

    Boston needs some Geritol.

  11. wwttww - Mar 9, 2013 at 3:56 AM

    Tjstyles should run a team….that would be fun to watch.

  12. mikep363839 - Mar 9, 2013 at 1:52 PM

    As a die hard Celtics fan that grew up in Dallas I would just like to thank god this didn’t happen.

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