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Now what for Celtics? Maybe Garnett stays and Pierce is traded

Jun 24, 2013, 8:24 AM EDT

Boston Celtics' Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce talk over a play in the fourth quarter against the New York Knicks in Game 5 of their NBA Eastern Conference basketball playoff series in New York Reuters

Doc Rivers is going to be coaching the Los Angeles Clippers next season.

Which is strange to imagine, but it’s a reality. So where does that leave Boston — are Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett going to be back next season? Boston is starting its rebuilding process, but how much are they going to do the first year?

In the case of Pierce, the Celtics have until June 30 to make a decision — keep him for one more season at $15 million or buy him out for $5 million. But there is a growing third option: Trade him.

More and more it appears that is the option the Celtics want to take. Adrian Wojnarowski breaks it down t Yahoo Sports.

The Celtics have to make a decision before June 30 if they want to buy out the remaining $15 million on Paul Pierce’s contract for $5 million, but Boston is finding that scenario less and less likely, sources told Yahoo! Sports. There’s been enough trade interest from contending teams who still see the 35-year-old Pierce as a plausible third offensive option, sources said.

We told you the rumor of one deal: Cleveland offered two second round picks. That’s not going to get it done, that’s a lowball offer. But it shows there is interest and for Boston the idea of getting something back for Pierce rather than pay $5 million and get nothing certainly has appeal.

But Celtics GM Danny Ainge isn’t going to send Pierce just anywhere — Pierce would likely have some input where he lands. This is a Celtics legend and he deserves some consideration in the matter. Second, the quality of offers coming back certainly plays a role, also.

Kevin Garnett is not going to Los Angeles as part of the Doc Rivers move, the league said they will veto it (maybe a deal with a third team can be worked out, but that is a long shot).

If Rivers and Pierce are gone and Boston is rebuilding then you would think Garnett would hang up his sneakers. But don’t bet on it, Wojnarowski said.

Garnett has two years, $24.4 million left on his Celtics deal, but there’s a growing belief that he’ll play one more season before retiring and joining his old coach, Flip Saunders, with a ceremonial role in Minnesota ownership, league sources told Y! Sports.

We will see, he could change his mind. Or, a trade offer could come in that Garnett and the Celtics like enough to take (KG has a no trade clause so he would have to sign off on any deal).

But it appears he wants to play one more season, even if the Celtics wouldn’t be a real threat in the East.

  1. andyhr17 - Jun 24, 2013 at 8:32 AM

    Due to salary cap limitations and no quick fix options just bring back the same team for for a final year together and then let everyone walk. Let Pierce and Garnett retire as Celtics. They are far more valuable to the Celtics than they are to any other team as far as the trade value they would get in return for them. The team would probably be good enough for the 8th seed in the East and a first round exit. This seems a lot more tempting to watch than trying to find a way to get Josh Smith or Paul Millsap.

    • scalfor3 - Jun 24, 2013 at 5:17 PM

      As much as I love KG and Pierce, I’d rather they trade them for picks, stink this year (especially if Rondo takes his time coming back from that knee injury) and try to get into the Andrew Wiggins lottery.

  2. thekingdave - Jun 24, 2013 at 8:48 AM

    If the alternative is throwing 5 mil down the drain and receive nothing, I think they would accept the Cavs offer for Pierce…

  3. 1historian - Jun 24, 2013 at 9:30 AM

    Pierce and this year’s 1st rounder for next year’s 1st rounder and this year’s 1st rounder.

  4. tannethrill - Jun 24, 2013 at 9:31 AM

    It’s obvious both will get traded. I believe some time will pass and both will end up with the Clippers.

    I’m unsure on how they handle Rondo. I think I would trade him for the right assests. I’d be concerned about his injury history and what I would get minus the rest of the team he’s succeeded with.

  5. brutl - Jun 24, 2013 at 9:59 AM

    A player’s loyalty to his team is of utmost importance.
    A team’s loyalty to it’s players.. eh, not so much.
    Corporate American ideals at their finest

  6. kvanhorn87 - Jun 24, 2013 at 10:15 AM

    Historian you are hopeless. Seriously. He warrants a #1 pick? You are looking for a team who could afford to add 15 mill. If you get anything at all and can save 5 mill that is a bonus. This article still says the Cavs offer is a lowball. If they are the only team making any offer, Celts have to accept it or keep him for 15 million. No way they cut him and pay 5 mill. Very limited # of trade partners who have cap space. Beggars can’t be choosers.

  7. klownboy - Jun 24, 2013 at 10:58 AM

    It’s going to be a long hard year in Beantown. Good for the Clips though…

  8. spursareold - Jun 24, 2013 at 12:27 PM

    Two second rounders and $5M off your books is a steal. If they aren’t going to keep him, they MUST take this deal. This is better than the excellent deal that the Spurs made with GS to eat next year’s salary for Richard Jefferson. They had to send OUT a late first rounder for that to happen, and Cleveland is GIVING Boston picks to eat their salary!!!

  9. giantssb42champs - Jun 24, 2013 at 12:40 PM

    Isn’t Ainge’s old pal Kevin McHale around to give him a sweetheart trade? Like a first rounder for a bag of balls?

    • andyhr17 - Jun 24, 2013 at 1:04 PM

      Now c’mon. It wasn’t for a bag of balls. It was a bag of balls and Theo Ratliff’s expiring contract.

    • bougin89 - Jun 24, 2013 at 2:10 PM

      The Twolves/Celtics trade wasn’t nearly as bad as people think, especially because the TWolves wanted a younger player to rebuild around. The Twolves received a player that put up this stat line his first year in Minny:

      21.3 ppg, 11.2 rpg, 1.4 apg, .9 spg, 1.5 bpg while shooting 50% from the field

      This player was 22 year old Al Jefferson, one of the best up and coming big men in the league. Too bad he tore his ACL the following season.

  10. blakegriffin32 - Jun 24, 2013 at 12:49 PM

    No, you must not take this deal because then you trade Paul pierce to a crap team for him to play his last games. The celtics should honor pierce and allow him to go where he wishes.

    • kinggw - Jun 24, 2013 at 1:24 PM

      The C’s dont owe Pierce anything. If he wants to ensure that he never plays for another team, he needs to retire.

  11. kvanhorn87 - Jun 24, 2013 at 12:57 PM

    The Cavs are a crap team? They are up and coming and have another #1 overall pick. Add Pierce with those young guys and they will finish with a better record than the Celts

    • andyhr17 - Jun 24, 2013 at 1:05 PM

      They finished with one of the worst records and are drafting #1 overall. Until they win some games, they are a crap team.

      • moseskkim - Jun 24, 2013 at 1:27 PM

        They are a young team and with little veteran leadership so hey couldn’t overcome their injury issues. Varejao was hurt most of the season, irving was banged up often, waiters was hurt. U saw Thompson improve greatly and zeller looks like a keeper. Add in PP and irving, waiters, PP, Thompson, varejao are starting with zeller, #1 overall pick, Ellington, miles, gee u got a solid team. Irving is a superstar in the making and cavs are dying for a playoff run so they’ll be good next year and I’m very sure of that if they land PP.

      • andyhr17 - Jun 24, 2013 at 1:36 PM

        I don’t think many people are doubting that they are a young team filled with potential talent….but if you are one of the worst teams in the league year after year then you are a crap team.

      • patfic15 - Jun 24, 2013 at 6:11 PM

        And a point guard who can’t stay healthy.

  12. kb2408 - Jun 24, 2013 at 1:29 PM

    And some of y’all talk about the LAKERS are in bad shape! The C’s are a mess!! At least the LAKERS can still attract elite level free agents, and will do so beginning in 2014/15. I hate to be the bearer of bad news, Celtics fans, but do you remember how it was in Celtic land between the late 80’s and 2008? Yeah….welcome back to those days.

    • andyhr17 - Jun 24, 2013 at 1:47 PM

      That elite talent you acquired this past season really worked out well, didn’t it? Howard and Nash really brought that championship trophy back to LA!

      You do realize that was completely different management/ownership back then, right?

    • kinggw - Jun 24, 2013 at 1:59 PM

      And the Lakers are going to be right there with them, in fact the C’s have better younger players than Lakers do. I don’t know why some of you Lakers fans are so hard headed. The C’s have just a storied a history as the Lakers do, yet thats not going to help either franchise avoid a few years, perhaps more, of mediocrity. The Lakers will have some money in 2014, who are they going to spend it on? Furthermore, what elite level free agent have they attracted since 96’?

      Lebron isn’t coming and the rest of the free agent crop isnt that special. They may be able to attract a Bosh or Anthony if they opt out, but they wont be able to get any of the young stars in the league. They are going to have to learn how to draft well and make good economic decisions like the rest of the league.

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