Teams Reportedly Asking Celtics About Paul Pierce’s Availability

by January 18, 2012
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Not too long ago, Paul Pierce was talking about the Boston Celtics’ title chances. Now, as the team trudges through a 4-8 start, there are faint whispers that Pierce could soon be on his way out of Beantown. From Yahoo! Sports: “As Kevin Garnett and Allen become free agents this summer, money will peel away from the salary cap. Between then and now, the bigger question promises to be: Does ownership and general manager Danny Ainge go for the complete rebuild and trade Pierce before the March 15 deadline? Several contending teams have inquired about Pierce’s availability. As one Eastern Conference official said, there are ‘lots of calls asking if [Boston] will blow it up.’ For Celtics ownership and Ainge, this moment of truth could be coming sooner than later. The Celtics have lost five straight games, dropping to 4-8. They’re still trying to see how much blame for this sluggish start belongs to the lockout, the schedule or advancing age. Ainge has always insisted he’ll never make the mistake with his Big Three that Red Auerbach made with his own in the late 1980s by staying too long with them. Garnett and Allen come off the Celtics’ cap this summer, but Pierce is the most perplexing member of the Big Three. He has two years and $32 million left on his contract through the 2013-14 season, and moving him for a shorter deal could make the Celtics a huge player in free agency the next two years. As Boston officials contend, this is the reason they didn’t re-sign Perkins and Tony Allen to long-term contracts. They’ve been preparing for the time their core became too old, for the team’s need to start over.”