Paul Pierce Trade Rumors Tracker: Recapping the Latest Buzz

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Paul Pierce Trade Rumors Tracker: Recapping the Latest Buzz
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It looks as if Boston Celtics fans already have the truth when it comes to trade speculation regarding Paul Pierce

Although he's a legend for the Celtics, Pierce might be donning a new jersey at some point this season.

 

UPDATE: Wednesday, Feb. 20, at 7:59 p.m. ET by Dan Talintyre

Alex Raskin at Hoopsworld.com reports that, contrary to previous reports, Paul Pierce will not be traded in a deal to the Brooklyn Nets in 2013.

By now many NBA fans are mulling over Adrian Wojnarowski’s report on Yahoo! Sports that the Boston Celtics are entertaining a deal that would send Paul Pierce to the Brookyn Nets in exchange for Kris Humphries, MarShon Brooks and a first-round pick.

The Celtics are reportedly also interested in Mirza Teletovic and another first-round pick, which would be a steep price for the Nets to pay. However, a person with knowledge of the Nets’ thinking told HOOPSWORLD, “I wouldn’t read much into it.”

That should come as some relief to the throngs of Celtics fans who nearly stormed Danny Ainge’s office upon hearing the report. Most NBA fans don’t hold Humphries or Brooks in high regard, but the trade did make sense on one level:

The Celtics have more money invested in Jeff Green than Paul Pierce at this point, and Green doesn’t get the opportunities on offense because Pierce is still around. For the Celtics to move forward (they’re not winning a title this year) they’ll need to give Green a chance to be a real factor on offense, not just defense. Furthermore, if the Celtics hope to trade Kevin Garnett, who has a no-trade clause, they’ll need to move Pierce first. Garnett has too much loyalty to Pierce to leave his friend behind.

---End of update---


UPDATE: Wednesday, Feb. 20, at 5:30 p.m. ET by Ben Chodos

The latest rumor on Paul Pierce's possible move away from Boston has him heading south to Brooklyn. Yahoo Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski reported the following on the Nets' interest in Pierce: 

The Nets' offer centered on forward Kris Humphries, guard MarShon Brooks and a first-round draft pick, but the Celtics want a more substantial package to consider moving Pierce, league sources said.

"The Celtics still highly value Pierce and it wouldn't make sense to trade him for that kind of a package if they're keeping Kevin Garnett," one league source said.

---End of update---


UPDATE: Tuesday, Feb. 19, at 10:57 p.m. ET by Dan Talintyre

Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports reports that Boston could look to deal Paul Pierce to the Atlanta Hawks in exchange for Josh Smith, or possibly even on to a third team.

If the Celtics trade Garnett before the deadline, they would move Pierce, too, sources said. For the Celtics, the chance to get Bledsoe and Jordan could be a prelude to trying to package Pierce in a possible deal to the Atlanta Hawks for Josh Smith, sources said.

The Hawks also have discussed sending Pierce onto a third team in some previous conversations around the league.

---End of update---


UPDATE: Friday, Feb. 8, at 7:58 p.m. ET by Tyler Conway

Celtics general manager Danny Ainge is doing his best to quell trade talk about his veteran stars. According to Ben Rohrbach of WEEI.com, Ainge said that Pierce and Kevin Garnett are likely to stay in Beantown:

With the Celtics on a hot streak following Rajon Rondo's knee injury, balking at trading Pierce and Garnett seems prudent right about now. It's always been the desire of Ainge and the Celtics to give this core at least one last run, and while Rondo's injury hurts their playoff chances, this recent run at least has to give the team some hope.

---End of update---

Steve Kyler of HOOPSWORLD reported that the Celtics could be entertaining the possibility of moving Pierce.

Season-ending injuries to Rajon Rondo and Jared Sullinger might have upped the ante for Ainge to make a move immediately that would ensure Boston would remain a contender for the NBA finals.

Despite turning 36 years old on Oct. 13, Pierce has been excellent this year. He's averaging 18.6 points, 4.0 assists and 6.1 rebounds a game. His per-36 numbers are actually, for the most part, at their highest levels over the last six seasons.

While his shooting percentage has gone down slightly, Pierce remains a deadly shooter. He is one of those players who won't ever be a bad player.

Pierce will of course decline, but the veteran will always be able to contribute something positive on the court.

Marc Stein of ESPN.com speculated that the Los Angeles Clippers could be a possible trade partner, with Eric Bledsoe moving to Boston.

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He then went on to write that the Clippers would be hard pressed to move Bledsoe until Chris Paul's long-term future is more known.

Despite what might be their insistence on moving the forward, Danny Ainge went on record at the end of January to assert that a Pierce trade is unlikely. Ben Rohrbach of the Green Street blog quoted Ainge as saying:

"Nothing has been talked about with Paul," said Ainge. "Nothing is close to being done. I too would like to see Paul retire as a Celtic. That would be great. We're all attached to Paul. He's been great for the city, the franchise, and he's been a true pro. Having said that, if something came up, I would talk to Paul. My job is to do what's in the best interest of our team, regardless of my personal ties or my personal feelings with the players."

That could all be posturing on the part of Ainge in order to drive up Pierce's trade value. Teams will be under the belief that Boston has no intention of trading Pierce, so it would take a lot more to turn Celtics' management around on the idea.

At this point, though, Ainge must deal with whether or not it's worth it to trade somebody like Pierce. The 14-year veteran has spent his entire career in Boston. Any trade would be heart wrenching for Celtics fans, but possibly good for the team in the long run.

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