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The trade deadline has long since passed, and the Celtics are about to embark on their 6th consecutive playoff run. You would think that the team could concentrate on that—rather than yet another round of trade rumors—but you'd be wrong.

Of course now the rumors have shifted from the trade deadline, to the summer. But the names remain the same—mainly future Hall of Famers Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett.

Yahoo! Sports NBA columnist Marc Spears talked about the potential for a Paul Pierce deal, and thinks that a certain team from Pierce's hometown with a gaping hole at the small forward position could come calling this summer.

Keep in mind, Pierce has one more year left on his deal. Pierce is still a valuable player, still a dynamic player. Keep an eye on a team like the Clippers. Not so much even for Garnett, but for Pierce, because if the Clippers stumble in the first or second round, I think that small forward position is something that they could use. They need maybe that No. 3 scorer or even that No. 2 scorer to kind of get them over the hump and be in the elite. He’s from L.A., so I don’t think Danny Ainge is going to send him to Minnesota. He’s going to send him somewhere that he would be happy with, and I’m sure Paul probably thinks he he could get an extension with a team like the Clippers.

The Clippers have survived this season with the combination of Caron Butler and Matt Barnes at the small forward position, and it's not all that difficult to see how big of an upgrade Pierce would be. The Clippers are also going to be in full "Make Chris Paul Happy" mode this off-season, and acquiring another star to help soften the burden on him would go a long way.

As for Garnett, Spears points to the two biggest hurdles in moving KG—his loyalty and the fact he may retire—as major reasons he may not be moved.

But the problem with trading Garnett is — no matter where it is, even if it was Miami — he could potentially retire. He’s not a guy who wants a change, and he’s a guy who’s big on commitment. It would have to be a place where you’d have to have some stars that could convince him, but, to me, I think Pierce is probably the more likely guy if either of the two are to get moved in the offseason.

I'm sure this is the last thing on many Celtics fans' mind as the playoff are just ten days away, but unfortunately this is what happens as an era winds down. The rumors don't die once one deadline passes, they merely go into hibernation until the next opportunity arises.

Enjoy the hell out of this playoff run, no matter how long it lasts. Because there is a very realistic chance it's the last one this team makes with its current core.

Kudos to Green Street for catching the Spears comments

Follow Mike on twitter - Mike_Dyer13

Michael Dyer 4/10/2013 01:24:00 PM Edit
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