Clippers, Celtics: Let's make a deal?

So, as is the way of the offseason, we're already beginning to get rumors of "big" moves with the Celtics. The rumor mill is turning, and the flavor of today is a Clippers/Celtics trade.... including coaches! Figured I'd do my best to talk this idea out, clarify it for some, and hopefully get everyone's opinion.

The Trade:

So as I understand it, the trade is as follows. Also, I'm going to combine all of the rumors I have heard on this into one, so as to address them all.

Boston Gets:

Eric Bledsoe, DeAndre Jordan, Caron Butler, Vinny Del Negro, the 25th pick in this draft, and LAC's 2014 first round pick

LA Gets:

Kevin Garnett, Jason Terry, Courtney Lee, and Doc Rivers


First of all, let me start out by saying..... WHAT?!?!?!?!

Yesterday I'm reading speculation of Doc and KG retiring, and today I'm reading about them trying for a championship in a city other than Boston..... WHAT?!?!?!

Not in Boston!!! What type of crap is that? *sigh* Such is the offseason. So let's look at the trade itself, first from LAC's side.

What LA Gets:

Firstly if this possibility is real, the biggest thing the Clippers get isn't in the trade. Rumors of Chris Paul and Dwight Howard teaming up have been swirling for months, and I'm sure the Clippers are feeling the heat. Having not been able to show their star guard they have the ability to progress in the playoffs, Paul is itching to go somewhere he can find a ring (circa LeBron), even if that means outside of Las Angeles. By bringing in Doc and KG, the Clippers would essentially be guaranteeing their Franchise player stays with the Franchise (as an aside, these sort of situations make me think, "Thank God for Paul Pierce".) Reportedly Paul would rather play for Doc than any other coach in the league. Combine that report with the fact that the Clippers don't have a scoring big man, outside of Blake Griffin who's only offense is jumping over cars, and you can see where the Clippers would be interested in acquiring both Doc and KG. As for Lee and Terry. You get a vet in Terry who's made for the Big moment, and can hit the big shot. In Lee you get a pesky defender, and a three point threat to stretch the floor.

What LA is essentially getting is, Chris Paul to resign to a multi-year contract, KG (beast), a clutch performer, an excellent 3/D threat, and a Championship winning coach. The question becomes how much are they willing to pay for this? To answer that, let's look at what Boston would reportedly get out of the deal.

What Boston Gets:

What Boston gets in this deal is simple. Young talent, and picks to jumpstart the rebuilding phase. Eric Bledsoe is a young point guard who shows terrific upside, but has never been able to really show it playing second fiddle to Paul. DeAndre Jordan is a terrific, young, defensive center who has shown he can start in this league, and post good numbers. The two first round picks, 25th this year, and probably 25-30 next year allow the Celtic's to pick up young talent now, and try to develop it before Green and Rondo grow too old. I'd imagine 25 would find us a backup Center to slot behind Jordan, or a backup SG. Mason Plumlee if he falls, or Ricky Ledo/Jamaal Franklin. Caron Butler is thrown in as an expiring contract, which allows the Celtic's to free up cap space next year, along with Paul Pierce's contract. Del Negro has proven to be a serviceable coach in the league, and may serve as a stop gap for the Celtic's at the position until someone else could step in (calling Tyronne Lue.)

Adding these player's and picks to the Celtic's allow them to be competitive next year, while preparing for the post-Pierce era. I will add, this probably end's the Celtic's slim hopes of a Championship run, and begins our rebuilding.

Now let's look at why this trade could happen.

Why it happens:

  • This trade gives the Clippers a serious chance to contend for a title. Adding KG allows them to score in the post, and allows them to match up better with the bigger teams out West. It also allows them to keep their defensive identity, now centered around KG instead of Jordan.
  • It brings Chris Paul back. This to me is the biggest reason the Clippers do this trade. If I'm the Clippers right now, I'm scared to death of returning to the years when I was just "that other team in LA." Now their a growing franchise, a growing market even, and to lose Paul would immediatly halt all of that. Without Paul. this team is no longer exciting, nor is it a contender. They have to bring him back, and not just for a year, but for a multi-year deal in order to keep the team relevant. If they don't do this, they'll just fall back into obscurity.
  • The Clippers need veteran leadership. KG brings that, think back to 2008, and what KG brought to Boston. He'd bring all of that to the Clippers, plus a ring. That's pretty awesome. Terry to a lesser extent also brings the same.
  • The Celtic's are looking at rebuilding at some point, and by doing this deal it does potentially allow them to rebuild around Rondo. Earlier this week I wrote a post about how they couldn't rebuild around a Rondo, Green, Bass core. But by adding Bledsoe, Jordan and the picks, it gives the Celtic's a lot of young pieces to deal to other teams. With that sort of talent, I could see us pulling someone like Love or Cousins from their current team. Add Rondo and Green, some decent draft picks, and we'd have a competing team. Probably not a championship level, but a solid second round team (Miami, Indy, and Chicago would still be better.)
  • By doing this, the Celtic's basically get something for nothing. There was a chance that KG was going to retire this year, possibly even Doc. If that happens than the Celtic's get nothing. Buuuuut if they move the two, at least their getting something for it. Now that we've talked about why it could happen, let's examine why it won't.
  • The Celtic's are squeezing the Clipper's for all their worth here, and probably won't get a better offer.
Why it doesn't happen:
  • The Clippers are getting nothing here in the long term. This is basically them taking a huge risk, that adding Doc and KG will get them a Championship. If they are wrong, than KG retires after one year or two, and Doc probably does as well. This gives the Clippers a two year window to win the Championship. Add in the fact that Miami will still be together, and I just don't see the Clippers beating them, with or without the added help. So is this really worth crippling your team long term, for a short term run? Especially when you're probably going to have to face LeBron and Co. if you make it that far.
  • The Clippers are giving up waaaaaay to much. Now don't get me wrong, as a Celtic's fan I'm sitting here going "Take the deal!!! Take the Deal!!!!" But the realist in me doesn't say the same. The 2014 draft pick alone makes me question if this would ever happen. Think back to the trade deadline, why didn't a bunch of players, like Josh Smith, get moved? Because no one wanted to give up draft picks, and nothings changed now. With the new structure in the NBA draft picks are solid gold, and even a bad one like the Clippers is bound to be, still holds a ton of value. All this, and that's not to mention how stacked next years draft is. Some of those kids are bound to fall, and a late first round pick could turn into a solid young player (see Sully.) Apart from the pick, the Clippers are giving up a ton of youth for aging players. Don't get me wrong, there is a precedent for this. When the Celtic's traded for KG they gave up Al Jefferson, Gerald Green, Sebastian Telfair, picks, etc. But KG's 37 now, His days are numbered in the league, It's a little different this time around.
  • The Celtic's don't want to give up Doc or KG. With the history of the Celtic's, it wouldn't surprise me if the team just plays this old guard out, and sees them all to retirement. Also, they probably want Doc to coach Rondo who can be a bit of a handful at times ;)
  • KG's NTC. Yeah, he's still got that, and if Paul Pierce is still in Boston, I don't see KG waiving the clause. Even if Doc goes with him. I think KG would have to have some insurance that Paul would come over too. Possibly the Celtic's waive him, and the Clippers pick him up on a MLE, but I don't see KG going without Pierce.
  • In some ways this only stunts the Celtic's rebuilding. See my article here: for an explanation of why the Celtic's can't rebuild around Rondo and Green. They need a stud out of the draft or a solid all-star. This get's them neither. It makes them an average team, stuck in lottery hell, or no way of getting out of the first round.

So to sum it all up, there's reasons for this trade to happen and not happen. Personally I just don't see it. If the Celtic's do make this move, we can look forward to first round exits for quite some time. I'm along for the ride no matter what, but I wish for more than that.... Banner 18!
I appreciate your thoughts and comments, and if you liked the article don't forget to rec ;)

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