According to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports, the Brooklyn Nets have made an offer for Paul Pierce of the Boston Celtics. With the 2013 NBA Trade Deadline just over 24 hours away, Boston has to act fast on this potential deal.
One can only hope that they will decline the offer altogether, as trading Pierce to Brooklyn would be nothing short of a slap in the face.
Per Wojnarowski, the proposal includes Kris Humphries, MarShon Brooks and a first-round draft choice. Boston countered by requesting Mirza Teletovic and another first-round draft pick be included.
The Celtics have also expressed interest in Nets point guard C.J. Watson in an unrelated deal.
Brooklyn declined the counter-offer and labeled such a trade as too step of a price to acquire Pierce. At 35, it's understandable that Brooklyn is hesitant to sacrifice so much of their future for a short-term acquisition.
For Boston, however, this shows just how much they value Pierce. One league source said:
The Celtics still highly value [Paul] Pierce and it wouldn't make sense to trade him for that kind of a package if they're keeping Kevin Garnett.
No, it wouldn't.
The fact of the matter is, what they'd be trading Pierce for is not nearly as bad as whom they'd trade him to. After all, the Nets aren't just some franchise who'd like to have Pierce on their team.
They're a division foe.
"You Aren't a Threat"
If the Boston Celtics were to trade Paul Pierce to the Brooklyn Nets, they'd have to play him four times per season. This comes as a result of both Boston and Brooklyn playing in the Atlantic Division.
By executing this deal, Boston would effectively say: "You're so minuscule a threat to us that we don't mind being in direct competition."
To draw a parallel, would Boston really "Donovan McNabb" a player of Pierce's stature? If so, could they really defend the morality of doing so?
Either way, there's only one question to ask—if trading Pierce within the division isn't a slap in the face, what is?
Pierce is currently in his 15th season in the NBA. He's spent every single year with the Boston Celtics and never wavered in his proven loyalty to the franchise.
To deal Pierce to a rival after all that he has done for the city of Boston and the Celtics as a franchise would be nothing short of disrespectful to his legendary legacy.
With That Being Said...
With all of this being noted, it is important to understand what this deal could lead to. That can be derived from a previous proposal in which the Boston Celtics inquired about Josh Smith, only to hear that they'd need to include Paul Pierce (via ESPN).
If that were to be the case, one would find it hard to imagine that Danny Ainge would put the 35-year-old Pierce through this circus. At his age, uncertainty as to what city he'll be playing in would be nothing short of disastrously stressful.
More importantly, what happens if Atlanta declines the Pierce for Smith transaction?
These factors sum up the feeling of Boston as a basketball city. With Pierce having established a legacy as one of the greatest players in franchise history, few would approve of seeing him depart.
If he were traded within the division, however, Ainge would learn that there is one thing more vicious than an angry Celtics fan—the chip on Pierce's shoulder.