In addition to reporting that Kevin Garnett was coming back for a year, Jackie MacMullan indicated that the Celtics would be very interested in Paul Millsap.
More Jackie Mac: "Everyone knows that they covet Paul Millsap" When asked what she thinks "Plan A" is, she said getting Millsap— Jay O. (@MrTrpleDouble10) May 30, 2013
@celticsblog Yeah she also brought up how difficult it would be to get Millsap, then brought up how it might be easier to bring Big Al back— Jay O. (@MrTrpleDouble10) May 30, 2013
So how would a Millsap deal work out? Chances are pretty good that it would have to include Paul Pierce going out to Utah. (Note: this is about Al Jefferson, but he and Millsap are both likely to earn similar deals on the open market.
The one deal that armchair general managers seem to reference most in this scenario is some sort of swap with Utah in which the Celtics bring back old friend Al Jefferson, who is set to be an unrestricted free agent this summer. With the Jazz more likely to re-sign fellow free agent Paul Millsap and stocked with young frontcourt depth, there's a line of thought that wonders if Utah would be intrigued by a sign-and-trade package that would give them a much-needed veteran to lead a younger core.
Of course we have to remember the timing. Utah wouldn't be doing this for the "cap savings" of getting Pierce's non-guaranteed deal. The deadline for using that opt-out is June 30 and free agents can't start talking till July 1st. Besides, if they wanted the cap savings, they'd just let Millsap and/or Jefferson go. So Utah would have to see Pierce as a final piece to their puzzle and they might even want another asset to go with him.
Would they be content to add a few of our pieces off the bench instead? That's debatable, considering that there will likely be more than a few suitors looking to make a deal with Utah this summer (that is if Paul and Al don't get lucrative offers from teams with cap space).