ESPN personality Stephen A. Smith tossed out a wild rumor on the show First Take on Monday, saying that a trade involving Blake Griffin, Eric Bledsoe, DeAndre Jordan and Caron Butler heading to Boston in exchange for Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce was being “contemplated.” The blockbuster would also involve current C’s head coach Doc Rivers accepting the Clippers’ head coaching position with current LA coach Vinny Del Negro getting the axe.
The salary figures, which must be a near match in the NBA for a successful trade to take place, are close under this scenario with each team swapping $27 million-plus in owed money.
The deal would be considered a heist by most NBA onlookers for the youth-barren Celtics, considering they would essentially be trading away two players on the verge of retirement for several players under the age of 25.
Griffin averaged 18 points and 8.3 rebounds this past season for Los Angeles and is one of the faces of the Clippers’ franchise. Jordan averaged 8.8 points per game and 7.2 rebounds per game this season while Bledsoe averaged 8.5 points per game and 3.1 assists per game.
Many NBA analysts cautioned Celtics fans to not get too excited about such a trade, including Smith’s ESPN colleague and former Celtic Bruce Bowen.
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“I find it hilarious sometimes,” Bowen told WEEI’s “Dennis & Callahan” show yesterday. “That’s difficult to see, the LA Clippers giving up Blake Griffin, No. 1 and No. 2, they want to build around that ball club and that’s Chris Paul and him and DeAndre Jordan, I believe. So that one there, that’s a little hard to fathom.”
Celtics radio analyst Cedric Maxwell said on Comcast Sports Net Sunday night that he believes that Pierce, Garnett and Rivers will all move on from Boston, one way or another, this offseason.
“I think Doc will take a leave of absence, he will go on,” Maxwell said. “I think Paul Pierce, the team has an option right now on his contract at $16 million, they can pay him $5 (million). I think the financial part is going to (figure) in. And as Kevin Garnett said, if Paul doesn’t come back, I think Kevin weighs his options and says he wants to go someplace else.”