So far, the Boston Celtics have been doing well since their point guard has torn his ACL, done for the season. That doesn’t mean they’re not thinking about breaking up the package, meaning Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce. The Los Angeles Clippers have already shown interest in Garnett, offering Eric Bledsoe and Caron Butler.
When it comes to money, this deal works mostly for the Celtics. Garnett is owed $12.4 million next season and $12 million in 2014-2015. They’ll be getting two players who together make $10.6 million in 2013-2014, becoming free agents after that. It doesn’t prove as some long term solution for the Celtics if they choose to start a rebuilding process, but it does finally get them a backup to Rajon Rondo instead of playing with just one natural point guard, and a proven scorer like Butler, who can play a couple of positions.
Kevin Garnett hasn’t been exactly playing at an All-Star level, but that hasn’t stopped him from making it into the AS game, averaging 14.8 points and 7.3 rebounds per game. It’s no longer about some injury slowing him down: Garnett is simply old, and less physically imposing on both sides of the floor. However, the Clippers would like to get another big man, feeling that having Paul, Green and Crawford as their backcourt players is enough, but Lamar Odom and Ronny Turiaf as their big guys isn’t.
Two problems: Kevin Garnett has a no-trade clause in his contract, one of only four NBA players with such a thing. However, he does own a house in Malibu, so maybe living in Los Angeles wouldn’t sound like such a weird change for him. But that doesn’t sound like the biggest obstacle facing this deal: The Celtics’ decision to break up the team is.
Many things have been said about the Celtics in the late 80’s and early 1990’s, preferring to ride their old horses Larry Bird, Kevin McHale and Robert Parrish until they weren’t worth anything instead of trying to part with a piece of history in order to keep the team competitive instead of going into some lean years. Garnett and Pierce haven’t won three NBA titles, just one, but Pierce has been with the franchise in three different decades, while Garnett acted like he was born next to the TD Garden form the moment he arrived.
There’s no room for sentimentality in pro-sports, especially not in the way the American sports system works. Kevin Garnett played high school basketball in Chicago. He spent the first half of his NBA career in Minnesota. He’s all about bleeding green right now, but that’s because he’s paid to do it. If Danny Ainge thinks that the Celtics can win without Garnett while allowing him to have enough cap space and other trading chips to make moves very soon, avoiding a period of painful decline for the Celtics, he should pull the trigger on this one.