SB Nation Trade Scenario - Pierce to Clips!
posted at 1/29/2013 9:51 PM EST
This should be a rumor (but isn’t)
Were the Celtics to trade Pierce, wouldn’t the most suitable destination be back to his hometown of Los Angeles? Of course, but there is no way a lifelong Celtic like Pierce could don the purple-and-gold of the Lakers. We’re talking Los Angeles Clippers.
The one position at which the Clippers could use an upgrade is small forward. Caron Butler is the starter, Matt Barnes plays the most productive minutes and Grant Hill is just coming back from a knee injury.
The Clippers have a logjam on the bench that could be cleared out with a multiplayer swap, and no swap would do more to push the Clippers higher on the list of contenders while also boosting their popularity in LA than bringing a local guy home.
Of course, it is a sticky proposition. The best building-block piece the Clippers have on their bench is Eric Bledsoe, and he would have to be part of a deal for Pierce. The Clippers love Bledsoe and, remember, would not part with him in the Chris Paul deal with New Orleans.
The Celtics would want cap relief, and could get it by taking Lamar Odom’s expiring contract in the deal, clearing $8.2 million off the books. Boston would also have to take Butler (who has an $8 million player option next year) to make the deal work. The Clippers would add a draft pick.
The Celtics would be trading Pierce—one of the franchise’s greats—for, essentially, Bledsoe and a very low draft pick, which would somehow not feel right for Boston fans.
On the other side, Clippers fans wouldn’t be happy about losing Bledsoe, and the franchise knows he remains their backstop in case Chris Paul doesn’t re-sign as a free agent.
But if the Celtics are going to make a move with Pierce, sending him back home is probably the only way Danny Ainge could pull the trigger on something that would not embitter Pierce. Just a thought.