Boston Celtics: Why Trading Paul Pierce Would Solve Kevin Garnett Issues

Loyalty is generally a good trait. For Kevin Garnett, however, it’s a bad thing and he needs to give the Boston Celtics full command of his future, which means he’ll have to waive his no-trade clause.

However, the 15-time All-Star doesn’t seem interested in cooperating with the Celtics. According to Chris Forsberg of ESPNBoston.com, Garnett boldly noted that he wouldn’t waive his no-trade clause under any circumstances, saying he will “live and die green.”

This stubbornness on Garnett’s part may give the Celtics no other choice but to take extreme measures, showing him that he’s better off swapping uniforms.

Trading Paul Pierce would be a start. In fact, it’d be a really good start, as–according to Kurt Helin of ProBasketballTalk.com–Garnett stated that he wouldn’t waive his no-trade clause unless Pierce is shipped out as well. Perhaps he didn’t quite specify what he meant when he said under any circumstances.

Regardless, trading Pierce would imply a couple things. For one, it’d suggest that Boston isn’t taking their recent 8-1 stretch very seriously. Despite losing Rajon Rondo to a season-ending ACL injury, there’s still a fair chance that Celtics fans will see the playoffs for the sixth straight season. And their 8-1 stretch without Rondo has kept this hope breathing, at least for the time being.

Secondly, by trading Pierce, the Celtics would reveal their desperation to begin a new era. Pierce and Garnett have led the Celtics to many winning seasons, yes, but their era is coming to a rapid close and the need for more youth is growing rapidly.

The obstinate Garnett, however, seems poised to make the Celtics put these plans to build a new era on hold until his contract expires after the 2014-15 season.

If Garnett truly believed in loyalty, he would do what’s best for the Celtics. The phrase “it’s a business” is tossed around constantly and that’s describing the opposite of Garnett. Then again, he is Kevin Garnett, a surefire Hall of Famer in years to come. He can do what he wants and he’s one of the few players that boast that luxury.

So yes, general manager Danny Ainge’s plans may be hindered. No, Garnett’s stubbornness won’t severely effect the long-term state of the Celtics. Rather, Ainge will have to maneuver around Garnett’s preferences or play the waiting game.

Well, waiting won’t accomplish much in this scenario because that would be falling right into Garnett’s trap. The tables would turn if Ainge weakened the Celtics’ roster considerably, thus putting the pressure on Garnett to stand by his comments or part for greener pastures.

I’ll ask you what’s more appealing: Remaining with a depleted Celtics team that wants to move ahead without you, or going to a team that consists of one of the best point guards in basketball and a roster that has the pieces to win a championship?

The choice is quite obvious. And if Garnett is a competitor–he surely is–then he will eventually succumb to his stubbornness and enable the Celtics to proceed as they wish.

Kevin Garnett

Kevin Garnett’s loyalty is hurting the Celtics. (Photo Credit: Mark Runyon a.k.a. Basketball Schedule/Flickr.com)

This entire process isn’t as easy as it sounds, though.

Danny Ainge will first have to find a trading partner for Pierce, who must be traded if they have any chance at persuading Garnett to yield his no-trade clause.

Finding a destination for Pierce doesn’t figure to be inordinately difficult if their asking price doesn’t surpass unreasonable. Realistically, Boston isn’t going to garner much in exchange for Pierce, but anything will do at this point. Bear in mind that he has a very flexible contract going forward.

If Ainge completes the task of trading Pierce, he’d be back to the Garnett saga. If Garnett stays true to his words, Ainge would be free to trade him. At least that’s what he would be banking on.

Perhaps Garnett is still stuck on the notion that the Celtics can win the championship. That’s overly optimistic to be sure, so maybe he needs a wakeup call. And trading Pierce might be the slap in the face that brings his mind back to reality that the Celtics’ ceiling is only so high, while some of his suitors don’t have ceilings.

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Tags: Boston Celtics Kevin Garnett Los Angeles Clippers Paul Pierce Rajon Rondo

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