We now have multiple sources confirming that the Nets and Celtics are engaged in discussions for Paul Pierce, perhaps in an attempt to facilitate a trade for Josh Smith.
The Boston Celtics and Brooklyn Nets have discussed a trade for Celtics star Paul Pierce, league sources told Yahoo! Sports.Brian Geltzeiler has this first and I initially found it hard to believe. Now that we see some of the pieces that Danny Ainge would be getting in return for Pierce, I find it even more difficult to believe... But Geltzeiler has a good track record and Wojnarowski is bullet proof, so this rumor definitely has legs, in my opinion.
The Nets' offer centered on forward Kris Humphries, guard MarShon Brooks and a first-round draft pick, but the Celtics want a more substantial package to consider moving Pierce, league sources said.
"The Celtics still highly value Pierce and it wouldn't make sense to trade him for that kind of a package if they're keeping Kevin Garnett," one league source said.
Boston has shown interest in forward Mirza Teletovic and securing another possible first-round pick, but the Nets have shown no inclination to pay that steep of a price for Pierce.
The Nets and Celtics discussed a deal for Pierce at the 2012 trade deadline, but the Celtics decided to keep him for another playoff run. Pierce, 35, is averaging 18 points for the Celtics this season, shooting his worst from the field – 41 percent – in the past eight seasons.
Boston had interest in guard C.J. Watson in a separate deal, but Brooklyn doesn't want to part with him, sources said.
For weeks, the Nets have been kicking the tires on every and anybody that's been available on the market, but I never thought in a million years that Ainge would help the Nets facilitate a deal that simultaneously helps the division opponent get strong AND ends the tenure of Pierce in Boston.
If this deal happens, I'd also expect Kevin Garnett to waive his much discussed no trade clause and end up as a member of the Los Angeles Clippers in another deal that's been rumored to have been discussed.
In less than 24 hours from now, the Atlantic Division may be transformed and the plug may have been pulled on the Celtics. Stay tuned.
This would not be the first time that Billy King tried to grab Paul Pierce from Boston. Many thought the deal that King had in place for the Celtic legend in 2012 was very close until Danny Ainge pulled back at the last minute. I was intrigued then and I am certainly intrigued now.
This could also be a smoke screen to help speed up negotiations with the Atlanta Hawks for Josh Smith. If Atlanta knows that the Nets may have another deal in place it may help facilitate a Smith deal.
Either way, the fact that King is working to better the forward position for the Nets is encouraging on all fronts.