A four-game winning streak by the Boston Celtics may have put their anticipated roster overhaul on hold, but that doesn't mean the team will stand pat between now and the Feb. 21 NBA trade deadline. If a move is made, it could very well involve two of the biggest names in recent Celtics history.
The future of Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce is sure to spark some lengthy conversations between Celtics President of Basketball Operations Danny Ainge and fellow team executives.
Given their advanced ages (Garnett: 36; Pierce: 35) and deserved places in the franchise's storied history, both players will likely have a say in any potential transactions. Still, it's far from a guarantee that either of them will finishes their career with the organization.
UPDATE: Tuesday, Feb. 5, at 1:40 p.m. ET by Dan Favale
Garnett has broken his silence regarding the recent trade rumors. Though he understands the Celtics will do what's best for the team, he reiterated his desire to remain in green (via Baxter Holmes of The Boston Globe):
Baxter Holmes @BaxterHolmes
KG on trade talk: "I bleed green, I’ll die green. That’s what it is, but it is a business."2013-2-5 18:34:40
Garnett also urged the NBA sphere not to read too much into recent conjecture (via Mark Murphy of the Boston Herald):
Mark Murphy @Murf56
KG also doesn't believe anything will happen.: "If I were ya’ll I wouldn’t read too much into it."2013-2-5 18:41:14
---End of update---
According to Shaun Powell of SportsonEarth.com, Garnett has already taken a proactive approach in controlling his future:
Shaun Powell @Powell2daPeople
Told Kevin Garnett will not waive no trade unless Pierce is dealt, and then only to LA. Lives in Malibu.2013-2-4 23:21:45
Considering both the Los Angeles Clippers' rumored interest in acquiring Garnett (according to what multiple sources told Sean Deveney of Sporting News) and the Los Angeles Lakers' need to strengthen their frontcourt depth, both squads have become potential landings spots for Garnett.
While the Clippers' reported interest has since been denied by multiple news outlets (including sources speaking with ESPN's Chris Broussard), their reported offering to the Celtics—centered around rising point guard Eric Bledsoe and veteran forward Caron Butler—gives the rumor a semblance of validity.
With point guard Rajon Rondo out for the season with a torn ACL and the rumored Pierce caveat to Garnett waiving his no-trade clause, the potential trade would bring in two players at positions of need.
Looking beyond this season, the 32-year-old Butler could shave a few years off Boston's perimeter attack, and Bledsoe would give them a massive trade chip when a healthy Rondo returns to the fold.
Assuming Pierce is used to bolster the frontcourt, the Celtics could potentially withstand the subtraction of Garnett.
If the big man is truly set on the L.A. market, the Clippers would be his only logical future employer. Considering the Lakers have been unable to effectively assimilate Pau Gasol in head coach Mike D'Antoni's offensive system, Garnett would be a curious fit to land with the Purple and Gold.
Ainge may ultimately opt to keep his current group intact for when both Rondo and rookie Jared Sullinger (injured back) return to the fold. But should he attack the trade market with an eye on the franchise's future, then it's a safe bet that Garnett and Pierce will soon be filling out change-of-address forms.