Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce trades ‘likely’ not happening, Danny Ainge says
The Boston Celtics “most likely” won’t make major changes to their roster like trading stalwarts Kevin Garnett and/or Paul Pierce, president of basketball operations Danny Ainge said Thursday.
“Yeah, I think that’s by far the most likely thing. Sure,” he said when asked if he was comfortable saying that the two stars will remain in Boston, according to ESPNBoston.com.
“I’ll just repeat what I always tell you guys — the things that are out there are the things that aren’t true and the things that are happening are not being reported,” he said regarding trade rumors.
Trade rumors involving Garnett have been floating around after the season-ending injury to star point guard Rajon Rondo. The Sporting News reported on Sunday that the Los Angeles Clippers had explored a trade for Garnett, but other reports have dubbed that unlikely.
Trading either star would mark a huge shift for the Celtics. It would signal that they are ready to rebuild away from a long-time core that includes both Garnett and Pierce. Any trade would have to be completed before the Feb. 21 deadline.
In addition to Rondo, the Celtics also lost rookie big man Jared Sullinger for the season last week. But they remain comfortably in the No. 8 spot in the Eastern Conference with a 25-23 record before they took on the Los Angeles Lakers Thursday night.
“I want to see how our team plays over the next little while before the trade deadline, too,” Ainge said Thursday. “But I don’t think we’ve had a true test of exactly what team we are yet. And I think that, because I’ve been doing this for 10 years now, but with this group of guys for the last couple of years, I don’t see that much changing. There aren’t a lot of teams that are trying to pursue players of KG and Paul’s age, and I just think that we value them more than other teams value them.