After six straight seasons of making the playoffs in the Doc Rivers, "Big Three" era that included an NBA title in 2008, it finally looks like rebuilding time for the Boston Celtics.
And it might start with a trade that's already been floated around in the 2013 calendar year.
According to an ESPN report from Marc Stein and Ramona Shelburne, the Los Angeles Clippers are eying two separate deals that would shake up the framework of the NBA, and one of those deals would be bringing Kevin Garnett and Doc Rivers to Los Angeles in exchange for a package that centers around DeAndre Jordan, cash and draft picks.
The other is a sign-and-trade deal for cross-locker room rival Dwight Howard, in which Blake Griffin and Eric Bledsoe would join the Lakers next year.
Here's an excerpt from the report:
The initial talks with Boston, sources said Saturday, are focused on the Clippers satisfying Boston's compensation demands to let Rivers out of his lucrative contract and corresponding trade proposals aimed at bringing Garnett to town with Rivers.
All of these potential transactions, sources say, are part of the Clippers' intent, as reported Thursday by ESPN.com, to be "very aggressive" and "shake every tree" in an attempt to upgrade the roster to the point that Paul not only re-signs when he becomes a free agent on July 1 but that they are an unquestioned championship contender.
The two sides were linked with a potential move of the same nature back in February, when Mark Murphy of the Boston Herald reported that CP3 was pushing Garnett to waive his no-trade clause and join the Clips.
That deal never came together, but it looks to have legs this time around.
The Clippers finished fourth in the Western Conference in the 2012-13 regular season before losing in the first round of the NBA playoffs to the Memphis Grizzlies. With Chris Paul entering free agency and the head coaching position still vacant after the team fired Vinny Del Negro, via the Los Angeles Times, there's changes still to be settled this offseason.
Changes are brewing in Boston, too.
ESPN's Chris Broussard reported on Wednesday, Rivers was mulling over whether or not his future would continue in Boston far before the details of this new development emerged.
The Clippers were an automatic candidate for Rivers to move to once that rumor hit airwaves, and this one from The Boston Globe also linked Rivers, the heart and soul of his defense and the Clippers together in a potential move:
If any such West Coast move for the duo of Rivers and Garnett was to become final, the C's would also likely use their one-time amnesty provision on Paul Pierce, a move that would save over $15 million in cap space heading into free agency.
Alex Kennedy of HoopsWorld conjectured as much on Twitter:
There's a lot of moving parts and contingency plans for both sides in the scenarios mentioned above, but one thing is for certain—Boston's "Big Three" era could be coming to a close in the next few days.