Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports
Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce remain with Boston...at least for now.
It appeared that Garnett may be headed to the Clippers as part of a Doc Rivers trade, but the league nixed that idea. Marc Stein of ESPN tweeted that the NBA would block a deal that paired Rivers with a Garnett, as teams can't include players in a transaction that involves a coach.
Stein added that the NBA would see Garnett being dealt to the Clippers, even in a separate deal, as part of the Rivers trade and block that deal too. So it appears a move to send Garnett to the Clippers cannot occur, and that puts the veteran superstar in a waiting game.
Garnett, who has a no-trade clause, remains under contract with Boston at $12.4 million next season and another $12 million the following season. The superstar big man is 37 and averaged 14.8 points and 7.8 rebounds last season. To find a team willing to take on his salary without the leverage of pairing him with Rivers is not impossible, but it will be difficult.
Paul Pierce, at 35, averaged 18.6 points and 4.8 assists last season and is still seen as a valuable piece—though not for a rebuilding Celtics team. By losing Rivers, it assures that the transitioning Celtics will not bring Pierce back at his $15.3 million option.
That ends 15 consecutive years for Pierce in one uniform. Pierce could potentially join Rivers in Los Angeles as a free agent, but the league could also conceivably opt to block the move if desired.