According to A. Sherrod Blakely, Ray Allen and Paul Pierce are drawing the most trade interest among any of the Boston Celtics. Allen is reportedly being sought after by the Los Angeles Clippers, while Pierce’s suitors include the Clippers, Los Angeles Lakers and Houston Rockets.
Among those believed to have some interest in Allen, are the Los Angeles Clippers. With the season-ending injury to Chauncey Billups, the Clippers have a huge void to fill at the shooting guard position.
As for Pierce, he still has two years remaining on his contract after this season (the final year is partially guaranteed), but he’s still one of the better one-on-one scorers in the NBA. Adding a player like Pierce, either as a starter or coming off the bench, could provide some much-needed depth to a title contender or a playoff team looking to improve their standing. Some of the teams believed to have interest in Pierce include both of his hometown teams — the Los Angeles Lakers and the Clippers — as well as the Houston Rockets.
If the Celtics do trade Pierce and/or Allen, they would presumably want young players, expiring contracts and draft picks in return. Since the interested parties are looking to solidify playoff rosters, it’s unlikely any of them will be offering veteran stars in return. It would obviously be heavenly if Otis Smith would join the fray, picking up the phone to say, “so, umm, Ray Allen for Dwight Howard?”, but that shouldn’t be considered plausible, even if you have an autographed picture of Satch Sanders hanging above your bed and view the world through a Celtics-green kaleidoscope.
Allen and Pierce have value. But the Celtics should only move them if they can improve their future standing, and even then, I would hesitate to trade Pierce, a Celtics lifer who has earned the right to retire in Boston if he so chooses.