Like many Celtics fans, I hated seeing Al Jefferson go back in 2007. It was totally worth the price, especially in hindsight, but it was hard to say goodbye to the kid that grew into a legit low post star before our eyes in Boston. It was hard to watch from afar as he struggled through injuries and horrible seasons in Minnesota and a first round flame out in Utah. All along the way, there have been countless fan generated ideas on how to bring him back to Boston, but of course that never worked out.
Now he's a free agent (in the same year that teammate Paul Milsap is a free agent by the way) and while he's way too pricey for the Celtics to consider signing outright, they could perhaps work out a sign-and-trade deal. The hitch: It would likely be for Paul Pierce.
Potential Celtics targets in NBA free agency | Comcast SportsNet - CSNNE.com
Summary: Of all the possible trade possibilities for the Celtics, this is one of the few that makes sense. Utah can lose Jefferson and get nothing in return, or swing a deal for say, Pierce and add a much-needed veteran. The addition of Jefferson would allow Garnett to play more at the power forward position and potentially allow the Celtics to cut his minutes back even further and give him even more pep in his step for the playoffs.
Of course that assumes that Garnett would not immediately walk away from the Celtics because of the exit of running mate Paul Pierce. Then again, if you were going to convince KG to come back for another year without Pierce, it might be an easier sell if you brought in a guy that was once a protege of Doc and Paul that KG could impart wisdom upon.
It wouldn't hurt that Jefferson's game is (in theory) tailor made to coexist with Garnett's. Jefferson thrives down low where KG prefers to work from the elbows. Big Al works the boards which (along with Sullinger) would give KG a lot of help in terms of wear an tear. The one big problem is that Jefferson has a reputation for being soft on defense. Still, in Doc's system and with some tutoring by KG, perhaps they could make him passable.
Would the Jazz go for it? They might, especially if they believe enough in their young core of bigs and think they are a piece or two from real contention. There's also the chance that they might want to deal Millsap instead of Jefferson.
This is probably still another long-shot possibility, but at least it is more straightforward than the complex 3 team deal it would likely take to get Josh Smith.
So what do you think? Bring Big Al back to Boston?