With Pau Gasol of the Los Angeles Lakers, Paul Pierce of the Boston Celtics and Rudy Gay of the Memphis Grizzlies having been mentioned in trade talks, rumors and discussions for the last month and a half or so, is their any way all three of these players could become a part of one mega-trade?
Well, according to a report by Marc Stein of ESPN, that could be in the realm of possibility.
Although there are still live rumbles on the league’s personnel grapevine that this will actually be the February that Celtics front-office chief DannyAinge finally parts with Paul Pierce or Rajon Rondo, I’m still pretty skeptical. As one team monitoring the Celtics said this week: “[Boston] has floated the idea of moving Pierce or Rondo out there for the last three years … but has never pulled the trigger.”
So it’s premature, to me, to throw Pierce’s name up there with Rudy Gay and Pau Gasol on the list of high-profile names available this trade season, even though we’ve heard more than one rival team speculate — given that the Celtics and Grizzlies, sources say, have indeed held some exploratory trade talks since Gay hit the market — that a three-way deal where Pierce lands in Memphis, Gasol goes to Boston and Gay joins the Lakers makes “some sense.”
Pau Gasol as a Boston Celtic? Paul Pierce as a….well, anything but a Boston Celtic?
This would be huge.
Would Celtics President Danny Ainge really be able to part ways with a player as synonymous with the franchise as Pierce? This is his 15th year wearing the Celtic green. He’s beloved by the city and a definite first-ballot hall of famer. The team has struggled as of late (20-23, eighth in Eastern Conference, six-game losing streak), but even I don’t buy into the Celtics being desperate enough to deal away Pierce, at least for now.
I’m not entirely sure, but I’d like to believe that the fan base in Boston would have a hard time grasping the idea of a former Laker coming to town to replace one of the greatest Celtics of all-time in “the Truth”.
Pau Gasol is the one player mentioned who is in need of a change of scenery the most. The Gasol/Dwight Howard frontcourt combination in Los Angeles has been a disaster thus far, with Pau being moved to the second-unit as a last-ditch effort to salvage his season. He’s clearly too talented to be coming off any team’s bench, so if Gasol were to be moved before the February 21st deadline, in wouldn’t surprise me at all.
Would it work in Boston? From a talent standpoint, of course it would. The Celtics are the second-worst rebounding team in the NBA at just 39.5 a game. Gasol’s 8.2 rebounds are higher than any player on Boston’s roster (Kevin Garnett leads with 7.2). He could easily help in that respect, but he should thrive simply because he doesn’t have a fellow seven-footer clogging the paint with him. Garnett’s ability to shoot the basketball from 15-20 feet could allow Pau to have his way down low.
Rudy Gay as a Laker? That’s a tough one. He could play either the three or the four, but I could see Mike D’Antoni using him at the power forward slot and be a help defender on the perimeter. He’s finds his most success when he has the ball in his own hands so that he can create his own offense, but on a team with so many mouths to feed, I wonder if he can adapt, play off the ball and be a spot-up shooter.
This is all speculation at this point. I don’t see this potential deal ever becoming more than an intriguing trade rumor. Besides, more pieces would need to be involved for this to work on a financial level.
I believe one, two or even all three of these players will find new homes before the deadline, but to all be involved in the same blockbuster trade, that may be pushing it.