BOSTON (CBS) – The Boston Celtics have a very interesting summer ahead of them, and ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith got it going with a rumor for the ages on Monday.
On ESPN’s First Take, Smith hinted that the Celtics and Clippers could start talking about a blockbuster swap that would send Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and even Doc Rivers for Blake Griffin, Eric Bledsoe and Caron Butler.
Stranger things have happened, right? Not really.
Sports Illustrated’s senior basketball writer Ian Thomsen joined 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Toucher & Rich on Tuesday morning, and said Smith’s rumor deal is very laughable.
“Stranger things have not happened,” he said. “(The Clippers) would send their best player (Griffin), the guy that keeps Chris Paul in L.A., for two guys who are going to retire, who couldn’t get out of the first round? And then, Doc Rivers is going to go too; that’s the best part.”
“If Doc Rivers does end up going to coach somewhere else, and he’s young enough that he could do it, he’s not going to leave the Celtics and coach the Clippers the very next year,” said Thomsen. “He’s not going to rub everyone’s nose in it. The guy is in love with the Celtics tradition, what it means, and has the ultimate respect for the franchise.”
Felger & Mazz: Will Pierce, Garnett And Doc Be Back?
Of the three mentioned in the rumor, Thomsen thinks Rivers is the most likely to return. Chances are though, Boston’s two veterans will either be playing elsewhere or enjoying retirement.
“Garnett, I don’t think he will be back. My understanding was if he was feeling great during the playoffs that might inspire him to come back. But he wasn’t, and he played out of his mind despite that,” said Thomsen. “Jason Terry was telling me ‘you don’t know how hard this guy works just to get ready for practice.’ With that and the (final) All Star Game comments, even Doc thinks there is a better chance (Garnett) retires this year.”
“Then there is Pierce, the one of the three they can trade,” he said. “His contract can be bought out at the time of the draft for $5 million. They can trade Pierce’s contract to the Utah Jazz and do a sign-and-trade for Paul Milsap, and then Utah would buy-out Pierce and save $10-11 million and get a couple of the young players on the Celtics, and the Celtics would have Milsap. Even that is a long reach though, because I don’t know if the Celtics have the right stuff to put into a trade like that.”
Thomsen also talks about why a Kendrick Perkins reunion isn’t likely, a few other sign-and-trade/ free agent options for Boston, and if Jeff Green is ready to step in for Pierce: