And when I say “everything,” I mean everything.
Rajon Rondo’s torn ACL forces Boston to look at their assembly through a whole different lens. Suddenly, they’re not a veteran team led by a youthfully exuberant point guard. Instead, they’re just old.
As such, no path of exploration is off limits—including the dismantling of what was supposed to be a championship-caliber faction.
Personally, I myself never saw it happening. The Celtics have toiled with trading Paul Pierce in the past, but I just couldn’t see them blowing this blueprint to hell.
Because of Kevin Garnett.
Boston’s star forward is one of four players (Kobe Bryant, Tim Duncan and Dirk Nowitzki) who have a no-trade clause. If the Celtics were going to rebuild and re-structure, he would be shipped out right along with Pierce.
Except the Celtics couldn’t do that, because that no-trade clause means he has veto power. Boston could, of course, take a proposed deal to the table, lay it down and ask Garnett if he would comply, but I just didn’t see him saying yes.
Because of how he returned to the NBA this season. He was on the brink of retirement, but decided to return to give it one (or three) more shot(s) at a championship—for Doc Rivers and the Celtics.
Per Kevin McNamara of the Providence Journal Garnett forewent retirement in favor of playing for Rivers and no one else:
“I did give it some real thought,” said Garnett. “With free agency coming up, I didn’t want to think about another team or anything like that. My retirement, obviously, would have been a personal decision, based on family and whatever reasons I have. My number one reason for coming back, obviously, was Doc. Doc being here is huge; I enjoy playing for him. The guys, the city, the fans here are by far the best fans that I’ve ever been a part of.”
Does that sound like a guy who would willingly leave Boston?
Which is why I scoffed at Sean Deveney of the Sporting News’ report that the Los Angeles Clippers had contacted the Celtics regarding Garnett’s availability:
— Sean Deveney (@SeanDeveney) February 3, 2013
Surely Boston wouldn’t even entertain trading Garnett. He wouldn’t allow it, which would thus lessen the chances of the team dealing Pierce. I mean, why would they blow it up halfway?
My sentiments were validated once Ramona Shelburne of ESPNLosAngeles refuted Deveney’s report:
Im told nothing doing btwn Clips and Celtics re: KG right now. Clips remain open to anything that makes them btr now AND in future.
— Ramona Shelburne (@ramonashelburne) February 4, 2013
But then Shaun Powell of SportsOnEarth.com reported that Garnett would be willing to waive his no-trade clause to play in Los Angeles:
Told Kevin Garnett will not waive no trade unless Pierce is dealt, and then only to LA. Lives in Malibu.
— Shaun Powell (@Powell2daPeople) February 4, 2013
As am I.
I’m not sure if Powell’s report is in response to the Clippers’ supposed interested specifically or if Garnett could be persuaded to join the Los Angeles Lakers as well. Either way, if it’s true (and I trust Powell) everything changes for the Celtics.
Knowing that they can trade Garnett, albeit to a limited market, truly opens the door for them to blow it up from all angles. Trade Pierce, trade Garnett, you name it, they can burn it down.
But will they? Are they ready to give up on the majority of a core that nearly helped build a dynasty?
In this instance, your guess is as good as mine.
Dan Favale is a firm believer in the three-pointer as well as the notion that defense doesn’t always win championships. His musings can be found at Bleacherreport.com in addition to TheHoopDoctors.com. Follow @danfavale on Twitter for his latest posts and all things NBA.