Although the Boston Celtics are only a few days into the offseason, there are already some interesting rumors circulating around the league. It is important to know which ones should be taken seriously.
On ESPN's "First Take," Stephen A. Smith reported a potential trade that would send Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce to the Los Angeles Clippers in return for Blake Griffin, DeAndre Jordan, Eric Bledsoe and Caron Butler. Celtics head coach Doc Rivers would also travel west in the deal (via NESN).
You can view the analyst discuss the move here (he starts talking about the trade at 2:28):
Smith later defended his statements, saying that this deal and others are still being discussed:
Listen: I said what's being talked about, scenarios that are being contemplated. Can't rule anything out W/ Clips/Celts. Absolutely nothing!— Stephen A Smith (@stephenasmith) May 6, 2013
Of course, Greg Dickerson of Comcast SportsNet sounded much more reasonable after looking into this potential move:
Spoke w a celtics source about the Stephen a smith story..their one word response to it? Absurd!— greg dickerson (@gdickerson_csn) May 6, 2013
While it is always fun to play around with fake trades and hope that they happen, this one truly is "absurd" and should be forgotten about immediately.
Which player will be on the Celtics next season?
Los Angeles is interested in keeping Chris Paul around for the long haul. It would not be surprising for the club to look at an experienced, championship-winning coach like Rivers to help keep him around. Adding veteran help would also be a good way to convince the 28-year-old point guard to stay.
However, it is ridiculous to think that the Clippers would be willing to trade away three very talented players under the age of 25 (Griffin, Jordan and Bledsoe) for two aging stars at the end of their careers. Griffin by himself is more productive than Garnett and was named to his third-straight All-Star team this year.
It is certainly possible for a similar trade to happen in some capacity, although it is tough to imagine Los Angeles parting with more than one of those young players, let alone all three.
Still, the Celtics are likely to make some dramatic changes this offseason. After losing in the first round of the playoffs to the New York Knicks, it would not be surprising to see the squad attempt to get younger.
Garnett has a no-trade clause in his contract, so he will decide his own future. However, he recently stated that Pierce will play a big role in what he does this offseason (via ESPN's Chris Forsberg):
One of the big reasons I came [to Boston] was because of Paul...I want to be in positions to where I'm giving something. I demand a lot of myself, both physically and from a skill level. But I'd be lying to y'all if I said Paul didn't play into that factor. Like I said, it's too soon of a conversation for me right now.
This could lead to both leaving town because some people believe that Pierce will not be with the team next season (via Dickerson):
Talked to some close to Paul, they are certain he's played his last game as a Celtic.Their quote, all good things must come to an end— greg dickerson (@gdickerson_csn) May 4, 2013
While fans do not want to see these two popular players leave, it could end up being in the Celtics' best interest as it allows the squad to rebuild.
General manager Danny Ainge has a lot of decisions ahead of him. The only certainty is that there will need to be some improvement compared to this past season.