According to reports by RealGM and Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports, the Boston Celtics were as close as they have ever been to dealing veteran forward Paul Pierce back in February, right before the NBA Trade Deadline.
The proposed three-team deal would have sent Pierce to the Dallas Mavericks. Josh Smith of the Atlanta Hawks would have then joined the Celtics.
Column: After refusing to part w/ Paul Pierce and a 1st round pick for Josh Smith, the Celtics keep coming in East. http://t.co/29aVtrJ1P1
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) March 8, 2013
The Mavericks would have sent forwards Brandan Wright and (R) Jae Crowder, as well as guard Dahntay Jones to Atlanta, while also swapping first rounders in the 2013 NBA Draft. Jones eventually made his way to Atlanta in a trade for sharpshooter Anthony Morrow.
The Hawks were also looking to acquire a first-round pick from Boston.
The Celtics were reluctant to part ways with that pick, so ultimately the trade fell through.
It’s not as if Boston has been worse off for not going through with the deal. The team has won 13 of its last 17 games since All-Star point guard Rajon Rondo went down with an ACL tear that will keep him out for the remainder of the regular season, at the very least. They are now just 1 1/2 games out of the forth seed in the Eastern Conference (33-27), which would guarantee them home-court advantage in the opening round of the NBA Playoffs.
Boston hosts the Hawks later tonight at the TD Bank Garden. Tip-off is at 8:00 pm ET.