There have been a lot of discussions about trades, blowing it up or running it back. Given we have a LONG offseason, arm chair GM discussions have taken front and center.
Now, let's look at if you we're Danny Ainge and you can trade Paul Pierce, what would the minimum package you'd accept? Considering what we know of Paul Pierce's contract (the guaranteed money and the contract ticker) and his importance to the Celtics - what would be a "workable" deal for you?
For me, at minimum, if can trade the Captain for a young aspiring asset (good but not great is okay with me), an expiring contract and a 2014 first round draft pick. I'm would probably go for that deal. In terms of a young aspiring asset my benchmark would be Eric Bledsoe (at a minimum). Bledsoe can still improve and he can start if Rondo is still rehabbing. Per 36 minutes, Bledsoe averaged 15 points a game and 5.4 assists, is 23 and bound to improve. When Rondo comes back, he can back him up and we can even do a two point guard system if our offense stalls again, him taking AB's spot.
Why I like about Eric, is that he can be a very attractive trade asset for any deal we do in 2014, especially if the C's give him time to showcase what he has. If he improves further than expected, then maybe we can seriously consider trading Rondo.
That considered, if Ainge can pull a semi blockbuster trade like this I hope he does it:
What the teams are getting
Forgive my fascination for Eric Bledsoe. When he was backing up Chris Paul this season, he seems to be a young guy with a lot of potential. This season per 36 minutes he avearged 14.9 points, 5.2 rebounds, 5.4 assists and 2.5 steals. That output dropped in the playoffs but I still think the potential is there. With Doc Rivers being a former point guard as coach, Bledsoe could still dramatically improve. As I said he could fit well starting in lieu of Rajon Rondo if he is still recovering at that time or backing him up as he recovers. We can even try a two - point guard hybrid if we need more free flowing offense.
OKC is torn about this guy. His production doesn't really nose dived from his Boston days and I think we are doing OKC a favor taking him in. So why would the Celtics want him back? I personally think that KP fits Boston a lot better than OKC. He's a hustle type of guy that fits more of our persona - gut, grill and balls - while OKC radiates more offensive swagger. While I don't expect Perkins to tide us over to being a contender - he will be invaluable as locker room guy for a young center lacking toughness and I'd be happy if he give us 6 points and 9 rebounds a game in limited minutes.
According to draft notes he is "A high risk, high reward prospect, Jones has a guard's game with a center's height ... Arguably a top 5 talent with almost unprecedented tools, it's how he puts them to use that will determine whether Jones turns out to be a reach or a steal, boom or a bust..
I like his potential as well. He costs less and we can experiment having him backing up Jeff Green who should get a ton of minutes next season as he works on his game.
Picks: Boston's 2014 second round pick for L.A. Clippers 2014 1st round pick.
Gortat should easily be an upgrade in the Center position for OKC. He could give you 13 and 9.9 rebounds a game and spread the floor a lot better than Perkins. At the same time, he would only have 1 more year left in his contract and if OKC wants to reboot again that position they can let him go. Point is - with Gortat, OKC stands a better chance to finally get over the hump.
We all know what Paul Pierce brings to the table. If the Clippers want to maximize Chris Paul's productive years - they should take Paul Pierce and push for a championship next season. I think the Captain will be that guy that puts the Clippers as serious title contenders. He can spread the floor better than Matt Barnes and alongside Chris Paul, Jamal Crawford and Blake Griffin you would have a lot of scoring options.
Deandre Jordan, young and athletic, DJ makes a lot more sense to a rebuilding Phoenix franchise. He still ways to improve and could be a top ten center in 4 years time. That potential should be tantalizing for Phoenix to go with their young core rather than an aging Gortat.
Filler. Should be an upgrade for P.J. Tucker and a nice backup to Dudley.