If the Los Angeles Clippers and Boston Celtics come to an agreement on the most recently-rumored swap of players and coach, the deal would help both teams.
Per Marc Stein and Ramona Shelburne of ESPN, the Clippers are interested in a deal that could land Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and C's head coach Glenn "Doc" Rivers in Los Angeles. According to Stein and Shelburne's report, the Clippers "believe they have the trade assets to reunite" the trio in LA, per sources close to the process.
Reportedly, the Celtics would be receiving point guard Eric Bledsoe, center DeAndre Jordan, future draft picks and the $8 million expiring contract of Caron Butler in the rumored deal.
It may appear as though the Celtics would be getting the short end of the stick, but ultimately the team would likely be getting good value for three members of the organization that represent dead-end situations.
Here is a look at how both the Clippers and Celtics could benefit from this rumored deal.
How This Deal Would Help the Celtics
The Celtics have gone as far as they can go with Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett. The organization has to turn the page, but Pierce's popularity with the franchise and KG's no-trade clause complicate matters.
If the Celtics kept Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Doc Rivers, what would the team's ceiling be for the 2013-14 season?
Rivers seems to be yearning for a fresh start in another city. That said, do the Celtics really want to retain a coach who doesn't want to be a part of their current initiative?
Ultimately, the answer is no. The Celtics know Rivers could just elect to walk away from coaching and return to broadcasting. If that happens, the team would still be searching for another coach, but they would be doing so without any compensation.
Celtics' GM Danny Ainge can't just ship Pierce off to the highest bidder without some backlash, and KG won't approve a trade under most circumstances. The best way to satisfy all three situations is to find an opportunity like this rumored deal that KG, Pierce and Rivers would sign off on.
If the C's don't move Pierce now, he and KG will play another year together, but they won't be serious contenders. They will be good enough to make the playoffs, but that is a fail for the organization at this point.
The 2014 NBA draft figures to have one of the deepest classes in years. Potential franchise-changing players like Kansas' Andrew Wiggins, Duke's Jabari Parker, Oklahoma State's Marcus Smart and Kentucky's usual assortment of blue-chippers will likely be available.
If a team is not a serious contender in the 2013-14 season, it will want to be in the lottery to have a shot at one of those players. With KG, Pierce, a healthy Rajon Rondo and Jeff Green, the C's aren't a lottery team.
Pierce is originally from Oakland, Calif., Garnett considered playing with the Lakers before he orchestrated his own trade to the C's and Rivers has already expressed interest in coaching the Clips, per another Stein and Shelburne report.
It isn't far-fetched to believe the three men would jump at the chance to team up together in L.A. with Blake Griffin and possibly Chris Paul.
Meanwhile, the Celtics would still receive an athletic, defensive-minded center in Jordan, an athletic highly-coveted point guard in Bledsoe, draft picks—albeit late first-rounders at best—and cash from Butler's deal.
All things considered, it is hard to imagine Boston getting a better offer.
How This Deal Would Help the Clippers
This is easy to see.
The Clippers want to win now. They have a young superstar in Griffin, a veteran superstar and free-agent-to-be in Paul that the team needs to appease. Landing a respected coach like Rivers would likely be enough to help Griffin develop, and possibly enough to convince Paul to re-sign.
Beyond that, adding Garnett would give the team a top-notch team defender, above-average rebounder, another offensive weapon in the post and the tough leader the team has lacked.
It would hurt to lose Jordan, but KG is an upgrade in almost every category—sans highlight-reel dunks. Pierce would give the team another clutch scorer in the half court and a player capable of lighting it up for 20-30 points on a given night.
If the Clippers are able to swing this deal, they could presumably have a starting five of Paul, a veteran 2-guard, Pierce, Griffin and Garnett. No matter who they plug into the shooting guard position, few teams would have a better starting group.
Could This Really Happen?
There are still multiple impediments to overcome for this to happen, but things have gone from a dream to a legitimate possibility very quickly.
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