Perhaps I'm reading too much into this, but I'm seeing a pattern develop. Raef played with Pierce in college, Davis and Pierce are friends off the court, Payton apparently works out with Pierce in the offseason. Anyone still think that Danny wants to trade Pierce? I'm not saying these were the primary reasons for making the trades. I would think, however, that any decision the Celtics brass makes, takes into account the effect it would have on their star player. The Walker trade was a huge gamble, but the did consult Paul before moving on it. I think Allen's side-show performance for Pierce in the summer leagues (dunking for cash) scored some major points for him as well.
The Celtics organization realize that it would be very hard to get equal value for Paul. I'm sure that in a summer where Shaq and McGrady were being shipped, Danny wanted to leave his options open. But I'm equally sure that options A through X include building around Paul Pierce.