The Boston Celtics are likely to keep veterans Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce despite interest around the league. In doing so, the Celtics are making a smart decision to keep their veterans and giving themselves time to properly rebuild.
When asked if "he's comfortable saying that Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce will not be traded," according to ESPNBoston.com, Celtics GM Danny Ainge responded:
Yeah, I think that's by far the most likely thing. Sure.
At this point, trading either Pierce or Garnett for a package of players could improve the Celtics, but it doesn't improve them enough to be worth it.
While the Celtics are playing good basketball as of late, they aren't title contenders this season. They've won seven straight games to improve their record to 27-23 on the year. Even with a healthy Rajon Rondo, they don't have the pieces in place to be considered a top team in the league.
The Celtics are going to be forced to rebuild sooner rather than later, as Pierce and Garnett get older and older. The biggest asset they have to build around is Rondo, and it doesn't make much sense to bring in a package of players trying to fit them around Rondo while the star point guard is out for the season with his knee injury.
If they intend on ridding themselves of Garnett and/or Pierce, the Celtics are better suited to do it in the offseason when they can have more of a plan. The options leading up to the trade deadline are limited and could force the Celtics into a bad deal.
One of most rumored trades involving the Celtics' aging vets was sending Garnett to the Clippers for Eric Bledsoe and DeAndre Jordan. That deal could improve the Celtics in the immediate, but it doesn't give them great pieces to build around going forward.
The Celtics could look to regroup and keep their core in place for next season. They need better play off the bench and up front. If they can somehow get a young player in the post, the Celtics could make another strong playoff run next season.
Ainge and the Celtics will likely be tempted to trade Garnett or Pierce to start their future earlier, but the smartest thing to do is to hold off and get to the offseason.