For about a second the other day, trade talks were not about Rajon Rondo but highlighted a little bit more on the potential trade value of none other than Celtics longtime captain Paul Pierce.
Might Pierce be the best bang for the buck? Does anyone want him? Are his 2.5 years worth giving up young talent for another team?
Call me biased, but it makes sense.
As I wrote the other day, trading Rajon Rondo should be the furthest idea from a possibility. His young talent, athleticism, and pure leadership when he is being treated right is unmatched.
The whole effort of the Celtics for the past four seasons has been to let Rondo spend time with The Big Three and learn leadership. He has done that but has not been allowed to shine, knowing that his team is getting older around him and knowing that “bridge years” will be his best years. One could also assume it is pretty difficult to lead a team when you are constantly being the main conversation for a trade.
Pierce has two more years left on his contract after this year. His skills are variably where they have been in past years despite his 34 years of age. Any team looking for that final piece to fulfill the puzzle should be making offers for him.
Of course, this is not a popular opinion. Pierce is the longest tenured current Celtic. Long-time Captain of the team. Stuck with us through the good times and bad. Dealt with Antoine Walker. The man’s a saint.
But his ability to add to what he can to other teams make him the Celtics’ most valued asset, hands down. His scoring and leadership are not going to help this team get anywhere this year and he will only get older over the next two.
The easy out to this trade conversation to start building for the future to trade away Kevin Garnett or Ray Allen. However, it is painfully obvious that KG is not worth very much on the market and Ray Allen is borderline. I am sure the Celtics are seeing offer for both but nothing worth becoming a lottery team.
It’s almost inevitable, especially by writing this piece, that the Celtics don’t move Pierce and trade Rondo for who-knows-what. Unfortunately, trading Rondo may only be the second worst decision Danny Ainge has ever made (see: Perkins, Kendrick).