From ESPN's Weekend Dime:
I know Kevin Garnett has a no-trade clause and Paul Pierce doesn't. And I know Danny Ainge is widely regarded as a cold-blooded gambler who'll trade anyone or anything to ensure that the Celtics don't free fall into the basketball wilderness when KG and P-Squared are gone, like Boston did post-Larry Bird and Kevin McHale.
But it's not that simple in real life. Ainge isn't just going to trade Pierce anywhere he wants no matter how many times he tells the story about Red Auerbach's openly lamenting that he held onto the Celtics' glory days too long. If Ainge ends up trying to move The Truth, it's my belief -- out of respect for the way Pierce stuck with the Celts through years of futility and ultimately helped haul the franchise, alongside KG, back up where it belongs -- that he'd try to work with No. 34 to send Pierce somewhere he could get somewhat excited about.
And that leaves only one realistic option: Pierce going back home to Los Angeles with the Clippers for a package headlined by young point guard Eric Bledsoe.
Yet everything you hear out there to date, heading into these final three weeks before the trade buzzer, suggests that (A) Ainge realistically knows he can't get enough back at this point in Pierce's career to send a Celtics living legend packing, and (B) Bledsoe remains untouchable because the Clips, like the Lakers with Dwight and Pau, can't afford to part with their prized QB prospect until they know Chris Paul is signed for the long term.
So the chances of a Pierce deal, at this juncture, are highly remote. Something like that would have to be classified as a major change to the team dynamic for a team that is always touting its chemistry as is. The only reason you can't rule it out completely is that the Clips -- for all the whispers in circulation that they don't plan to do anything at this deadline unless it's a slam-dunk boost to their title hopes -- might ending up needing a deep playoff run to ensure that CP3 re-signs, even more than they need Bledsoe as CP3 insurance.
And Pierce would instantly bring them the sort of championship experience and big-game shot-making this team lacks outside of Chauncey Billups, who's been out for ages. The Clips, as tight as they are, could certainly use a shooter/scorer of Pierce's pedigree to help loosen things up around Blake Griffin.
I would LOVE Pierce on this team. Bledsoe/Caron? Is that enough? Then what do we do about backup PG?