With the Clippers in Boston this weekend, Danny Ainge likely had a chance to talk face-to-face with Clippers brass. And the Clippers likely had the chance to inquire whether the Celtics might be interested in breaking up their core and improve their team firsthand.
The rumor began filtering out shortly after Sunday's game between Los Angeles and Boston that the Clippers were interested in acquiring Kevin Garnett.
Sean Deveney of The Sporting News reported the Clippers believe they can win a championship this year and would be willing to bring in a veteran like Garnett to anchor the locker room further. For the Celtics it seems like they would get a young player like Eric Bledsoe or get Chauncey Billups' expiring contract in return to clear up some cap space to reload.
More than anything it suggests that many around the league believe the Celtics need to clear the decks in the wake of Rajon Rondo's injury. Boston has not lost since then in four games however, including a win over Los Angeles.
Nobody appeared to tell the Celtics of this plan. They deny having any interest in trading Garnett to the Clippers with Doc Rivers going so far as to tell the Boston media the idea was "silly."
All from [the media]," Rivers said. "None from us. Really. I would like to say that. Sometimes I like [the media], sometimes, some of the stuff that happens is just silly. It really is. When I wake up in the morning and I hear a trade rumor that I haven't heard in my office, that's silly, and that's what happens.
I heard one report -- I honestly did -- that me, [Los Angeles Clippers guard] Chauncey [Billups], Kevin [Garnett] and Paul [Pierce] had dinner. And I was like, 'I wish I would have known about it. That would have been terrific, because I would have made them pay and I could have had a free dinner.'
The Clippers for their part also deny any intention to make a deal, according to Broderick Turner of the Los Angeles Times.
There is of course a big hangup to any proposed Celtics-Clippers deal. Kevin Garnett has a no-trade clause in his contract and he would have the final say on whether he is moved out of Boston or not.
And judging from his comments that he bleeds green, it seems extremely unlikely he would welcome a move out of Boston.
Even though the Celtics are without Rondo and there seems to be increasing pressure for Danny Ainge to break things up and move on from this Big Three era, there does not seem to be much panic from Boston.
The Celtics may not be championship contenders, but they appear quietly confident in what their veteran players can do.
That does not mean Ainge will not make a move if he sees one worth making. And that does not mean he will not ask Garnett to be included if he thinks it could help Boston improve.
This proposed Clippers deal might have been nothing but rumor, but the Celtics might still very much make a move.
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