ESPN: Trade possibilities for KG and Pierce

In the context of this recent tweet from long-time NBA writer Shaun Powell:

A recent ESPN 5-on-5 discussed some of the trade possibilities Boston could make in dealing Kevin Garnett or Paul Pierce.

These are just suggestions and only two have actually been brought up as rumor.

1. What's the best Kevin Garnett trade the Celtics can make?

Israel Gutierrez, Garnett and Fab Melo to Chicago for Joakim Noah and Marco Belinelli. No trade at all is their best bet. The Celtics are unlikely to get anything close to equal value for Garnett, who's so vital to what Boston does and fits in so well with Rajon Rondo. And if there's any indication he won't play out the final two years of his deal, that's even less leverage for the Celtics. But if -- and this is a huge if -- they can get something significant for KG, I'd do this deal.

Andrew Han, ClipperBlog: Garnett, Avery Bradley to the Clippers for Eric Bledsoe, DeAndre Jordan and Trey Thompkins. Garnett's no-trade clause limits the Celtics' options mostly to Los Angeles; he owns a home in Malibu and is godfather to Chauncey Billups' daughter. Boston gets back a coveted player/athlete and turns one of their off-ball guards into a point guard, suddenly a position of need. Add an intriguing prospect in Thompkins and an athletic center in Jordan and the Celtics get young in a hurry.

Curtis Harris, Hardwood Paroxysm: Garnett to the Nuggets for JaVale McGee. Going to Denver keeps KG on a playoff team that needs his defensive prowess in the interior. Meanwhile, Boston would get McGee, who may still blossom into a competent defensive force in his own right. And if it doesn't work, Boston can be woeful, get lottery picks and trade McGee's expiring deal in three seasons for future building blocks.

Sean Highkin, Portland Roundball Soc.: Garnett to the Thunder for Kendrick Perkins, Jeremy Lamb, Perry Jones III and Toronto's lottery-guaranteed first-rounder. Taking back Perkins' contract isn't ideal, but the Celtics load up on cheap, controllable, high-upside rookies and get a pick that could potentially be very high. From the Thunder's perspective, upgrading from Perk to KG would make it hard not to be considered title favorites.

Jack Winter, WarriorsWorld: Garnett and Melo to the Spurs for Kawhi Leonard, Tiago Splitter and Boris Diaw. Leonard is one of the league's true blue-chip prospects, a great athlete with elite defensive potential. Splitter has value, too. A small-picture view like this is against the Spurs' very fabric as an organization, but Garnett and Tim Duncan on the same front line? If there was ever a reason to swing for the fences, this might be it.


The Joakim Noah trade is pretty laughable.

Of course the Clippers blog guy would want Avery Bradley with KG for Bledsoe and Jordan. For me, having Bradley is one of the major reasons to get Bledsoe, not to include him in the deal for Bledsoe.

I really like McGee’s potential, but he would be best served playing alongside KG and learning from him instead of joining another team with no veteran legit big men to learn from.

Trading KG for Perkins and the young assets in OKC is not horrible, but it would mean Danny Ainge was wrong to trade Perkins away and GMs don’t like to make those kind of concessions.

Leonard is a very good player, but adding him to the already clogged wingman spot just doesn’t make sense. And anyone who is a longtime KG fan will want to throw up in their mouth at the idea of KG and Duncan on the same team.

5. What's the best Paul Pierce trade the Celtics can make?

Gutierrez: Pierce to Lakers for Gasol. This would essentially be a basketball crime. The two great rival franchises trading former titlists for each other? And frankly, from the Lakers' end, it wouldn't exactly fit their need. But we're talking about the best thing for Boston, and having a big like Gasol to pair with Garnett, should he stay put, would make the Celtics suddenly intriguing, even without Rondo this season.

Han: Pierce to the Jazz for Al Jefferson and a first-round pick (lower of two available). Boston moves some long-term money and pairs Garnett with another legitimate low-post big man in Jefferson, the former Celtic who was once traded for Garnett. Not only do the Celtics plan for the future with a first-round pick, this trade also gives them a stylistic advantage in the smaller East.

Harris: Paul Pierce to Jazz for Paul Millsap and Marvin Williams. The Celtics get Pierce's temporary replacement in Williams and a stud power forward in Millsap. Pierce would give the Jazz a much-needed 3-point shooter while moving Millsap clears up their logjam at power forward.

Highkin: Paul Pierce to the Clippers for Eric Bledsoe, Caron Butler and Lamar Odom. The Celtics get one of the most-sought-after backcourt prospects in the league in Bledsoe, and can either use him to make Rajon Rondo expendable or play him at shooting guard; a Rondo-Bledsoe-Bradley lineup would make for one of the toughest perimeter defense combos out there. The Clippers get out of Butler's contract and go all-in on a title run in the next two years.

Winter: Pierce and Jason Terry to the Warriors for Harrison Barnes, Jarrett Jack, Richard Jefferson and Festus Ezeli. Barnes has quietly had a good rookie season for the Warriors, already offering value as a "three-and-D" type while showing flashes of star power as an individual scorer. His ceiling is relatively akin to an in-prime Pierce, actually, and Boston rids itself of Terry's three-year deal in this scenario, too. Golden State is one of the league's biggest surprises, but to be anything more than that this season, it'll need to make a move. Acquiring Pierce, still an elite two-way player, could be just the one who makes the Warriors a true contender.


Pierce for Gasol. Boston and the Lakers trading marquee players. No.

Pierce for Jefferson has way too many storylines connected to it. Trading Jefferson for KG and then later getting Jefferson to play with KG by trading Pierce? It wouldn’t be a horrible basketball move and fans might even be somewhat acceptable to it by getting back Jefferson, but it just doesn’t feel right. Not enough separation.

Now trading Pierce for the other Jazz big on the outs wouldn’t be horrible, but Marvin Williams is just awful. They would have to include a better player like Mo Williams to make that deal at least serviceable.

Pierce for Bledsoe, Butler and Odom just seems like too much for the Clippers to give up. I’d entertain this proposal as Odom still does so many things on the court and can play so many positions and Butler has something left in the tank. Odom is on an expiring deal too, so it could be a way to have one last push until really entering rebuild mode.

Pierce and Terry for Barnes is the most compelling deal as Barnes should be a great player in the future. The idea of a core of Barnes, Bradley and Sullinger with another potentially great young big if Rondo is dealt is just too good to pass up. It also keeps the Celtics relevant with a decent PG in Jack and Richard Jefferson. Oh and the Celtics would deal away Terry’s contract which should help next year if Boston decides to hold onto Rondo.

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