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When the Celtics take the floor tonight in Phoenix, Paul Pierce will be announced as their starting small forward, much like he has nearly every game for the past 15 seasons. However, if Fred Kerber of the New York Post is to be believed, Danny Ainge called the Nets yesterday and made them an offer for Pierce, only to be rebuffed.



As the deadline approached, I was steadfast in saying that the Celtics should test the waters for both Pierce and Kevin Garnett (as well as everyone else on the roster), trading them only if a very strong deal came along. For example, I thought that a Garnett for Eric Bledsoe and DeAndre Jordan deal was precisely the type of deal the C's should explore, as it would add two young pieces to build around. However, if Ainge really did make this offer to Brooklyn for Pierce - I'm flabbergasted.

Humphries is 28 years old, mired in the midst of a terrible season (6.0 points, 6.2 boards a game), deep in a divorce battle with one of the worst human beings on Earth, and oh yea - he makes $12 million both this year and next.

Brooks is a young bench scorer coming off a good rookie season, but he's been buried this season in the Nets rotation. Personally I'd rather have new Celtic Jordan Crawford in the rotation than Brooks at this point and time.

Mirza Teletovic is a 27 year old Bosnian forward in his first NBA season. He put up big numbers in Europe, but has yet to make an impact off the Nets bench, and as of now, he's not an asset to an NBA team (although Europeans are generally late bloomers so I wouldn't completely write him off).

The two first round picks are nice, but just how much value do two picks in the lower 20's have to a team? Not enough to part ways with Pierce, that's for sure.

So in terms of assets acquired, the deal really wouldn't have been a prudent one for the C's. But what about cap space, surely Ainge had that in mind when (reportedly) offering the deal, right? Wrong. Humphries, Brooks and Teletovic are all on the books for next season, at a combined price tag of $16.5 million dollars. More than Pierce ($15.3 million) is making himself.

Earlier in the week it was reported that the Nets had called the Celtics, offering Hump and Brooks for Pierce, only to have Ainge say 'thanks, but no thanks'. Most Celtics fans were happy to hear, considering a Pierce for Kardashian deal seemed extremely one sided. However if Kerber's source is correct, Ainge thought adding Teletovic and 2 firsts sweetened the deal enough to make the offer, which is what's really confusing me.

If you trade guys like Pierce and KG, you need to acquire significant assets for the future and/or cap space. Garnett for Bledsoe + Jordan = significant assets. Pierce for Hump, Brooks, Teletovic, and 2 firsts = an overpaid group of underachieving players, 2 decent draft picks, and no cap space at all. Certainly not enough of a haul to pull the trigger on blowing this thing up.

Of course Ainge could have viewed a Pierce deal as the only way to get KG to waive his no trade clause agree and head West, and therefore was trying to set something up in case the C's went into full fledged 're-build' mode. Whatever Ainge's motivations, at this point it doesn't really matter. The Nets declined, the deadline passed, and the Celtics as previously constructed still exist. So it's time to sit back, add a big, and see if this team can make things interesting. Thank God, because watching Pierce and Garnett make one last run is sure to be a hell of a lot more exciting than getting daily updates on Humphries divorce proceedings.

Follow Mike on twitter - Mike_Dyer13

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C's dont't want Brooks and Kardashian for The Truth

Michael Dyer 2/22/2013 05:10:00 PM Edit
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