With a little time to sit back and carefully ponder these Paul Pierce rumors with an open mind, I think I can say objectively say...
Noooooooooooooo!!! Don't take my Captain away! Aaaaarrrrrgggghhhhh!!!
With that out of the way, let me try to explain.
Looking at the actual rumor, it is very important to point out a few things. For one thing, as of now, there is no indication that the Celtics are initiating conversations about Paul Pierce. Only that other contending teams are calling about his availability in the event that the Celtics "blow it up." That only makes logical sense.
Blakely: Ainge should resist temptation to trade stars
"If Danny (Ainge, Boston's president of basketball operations) decides to blow it up, why wouldn't you at least look into adding Paul Pierce?" one Western Conference front-office official said Tuesday evening. "You're telling me Paul Pierce couldn't help your team?"
One such team that comes to mind immediately would be the Chicago Bulls. Why wouldn't they want to add a proven scorer that knows Tom Thibbodeau's systems? He could add some scoring to a lineup that relies far too much on MVP Rose. Pierce has a couple of years left on his deal, but there are out clauses that could facilitate a buyout or retirement if it came to that. For now, once he gets into playing shape he could be a very valuable piece to any contender.
And thinking through this logically, I can even understand why Ainge might be tempted to listen to offers. He's said in the past that anyone is available for the right price. If you look at Pierce as an asset, you are not going to get a better return for him than you could in the next month. Better to trade a guy a half a year early than too late. He's one of very few trade assets that we have that could actually bring something worthwhile in return (draft picks for example).
With all that said... NO, NO, NO, a thousand times no!
I like to think of myself (perhaps with a hint of delusion) as a somewhat even keeled person. I am an unabashed optimist but I'll stand up for the rights of pessimists to voice their frustrations. I've mostly seen the method to Danny Ainge's madness and agreed with and supported a lot of his deals (and rumored deals).
However, I have no desire whatsoever about even pretending to be objective about this subject. This is my binky we're talking about. I waxed poetic this summer about feeling like I grew up with Paul Pierce and I would not recover quickly if he was ripped out of my team and plunked into another uniform.
We are talking about a guy that has been in Boston his whole career, survived a stabbing, lived through year after year of a rebuilding process, and finally grew up and became a Finals MVP, defeating Kobe and the Lakers in the process. That quick resume, as impressive as it sounds, doesn't even scratch the surface of what the man means to this team and to fans like you and me personally.
Side note: If the original reports about his signing back in 2010 were accurate, he does in fact have a no-trade clause. So any deal involving him would have to be approved by him.
Note Update: per @SherrodbCSN: "For those wondering, #Celtics Paul Pierce does NOT have a no-trade clause." (Now I'm confused)
So no, I would't endorse trading Paul Pierce. I don't care if we could get a decent draft pick for him. I don't care if we don't win another game all year. Maybe that makes me a bad GM, but I'm not employed by the Celtics, I'm just fanatically and emotionally tied to them. I root for the laundry (which by the way includes banners hanging from the rafters) but I also root for the men inside those jerseys.
This year, the Celtics advertising campaign slogan is "I'm a Celtic." I can't think of anyone in the last 20 years that embodies that spirit more than Paul Pierce. No way I'd endorse trading him away. My head sees why many of you would consider it. My heart will never, ever, ever agree.