The day is finally here.
The trade deadline is today at 3 p.m., and in that hour we’ll have a much better idea of Celtics president Danny Ainge’s vision for the rest of this season and into the future.
Rumors have swirled as to whether Ainge should “blow it up” and trade players like Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce now, or hold strong and hope the team can catch fire down the stretch and into the playoffs.
A trade of either Garnett or Pierce – neither of which have expressed a desire to leave Boston – would signal an end of an era and bring in a new one depending on who comes back.
There have been two major trade rumors involving Garnett and Pierce. The first centers on sending Garnett to the Clippers for backup guard Eric Bledsoe and center DeAndre Jordan. The second has Pierce leaving town and forward Josh Smith coming back from Atlanta.
Those returning pieces certainly have talent, especially Smith. But you can poke holes in just about every one of them. Is Bledsoe anything more than a backup guard – and don’t the C’s have plenty already? Is Jordan’s offensive game going to expand from beyond the half-circle under the hoop? And is a Rajon Rondo/Josh Smith-led team (assuming they re-sign Smith, who is due for a big deal) really a good idea?
On Tuesday, Ainge told reporters, "It looks unlikely that anything will be done," later adding, "There's been a lot of conversation around the league and we've certainly been busy at it. Trades are very challenging to make."
Ainge can say it’s “unlikely” all he wants, but Celtics fans are well aware that when it comes to deadline deals, he isn’t scared to pull the trigger.
He traded Eddie House, J.R. Giddens, and Bill Walker to the Knicks for Nate Robinson and Marcus Landry three seasons ago. He shocked all of Celtics Nation by trading Kendrick Perkins and Nate Robinson to the Thunder for Jeff Green, Nenad Krstic and a future first rounder two seasons ago.
With three season-ending injuries and Fab Melo, the C’s lack depth. A smaller trade to bring in extra bodies could be on the horizon.
"I think it's needed," Pierce told reporters. "I mean, right now we have 10 healthy bodies, so we could use a little depth pretty much at every position.”
That depth could be coming, but at whose expense remains to be seen.
Follow Metro Boston Celtics beat writer Jimmy Toscano on Twitter @Jimmy_Toscano