April 24, 2012; Salt Lake City, UT, USA; Utah Jazz power forward Paul Millsap (24) attempts to block the shot of Phoenix Suns forward Markieff Morris (11) during the first quarter at Energy Solutions Arena. Mandatory Credit: Russ Isabella-US PRESSWIRE

Proposed Trade Scenario With Phoenix Suns Involving Paul Pierce

Mar. 27, 2012; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Phoenix Suns center (4) Marcin Gortat takes a shot under pressure from San Antonio Spurs guard Tony Parker at the US Airways Center. The Spurs defeated the Suns 107-100. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-US PRESSWIRE

After this season, the Celtics will likely begin to look towards a more focused rebuilding plan. With Garnett only under contract for this year and next, and Paul Pierce on the hook for two more seasons as well, the C’s could look in a new direction — and I believe the Suns could offer an attractive package.

The proposed trade I tinkered with on ESPN’s trade machine would send:

Paul Pierce and one or two first round picks to Phoenix

Phoenix gives up: former Bobcat Jared Dudley, Kansas product Markieff Morris, and Polish phenom Marcin Gortat.

The move would give Phoenix some young talent at power forward in Morris, a versatile swingman and role player in Dudley, and the heist of the trade: Gortat.

Gortat and Rajon Rondo would be a dynamic combination and Gortat is only 28, which means that he and Rondo could pair together for the duration of Gortat’s prime. Gortat needs a great point guard to play to the best of his potential (most big men do), and Rondo would fill the bill.

Gortat averaged 15.4 points per game and 10 rebounds per game playing alongside Nash. He’s also an above average defender and blocked 1.5 shots per game, which would help solidify the Boston interior defense. Along with Fab Melo, the duo could provide constant basket protection to the C’s.

Why would Phoenix do this trade? Simple: Pierce’s soon to be expiring deal would free up $18 million in cap space and the two first round picks would aid the rebuilding process. Two firsts may be too much, so maybe a first and a second rounder could be offered with Pierce in exchange for the trio.

The trade would keep Boston in contention while also obtaining some young talent for the future, most notably Morris, who is athletic and a good shooter, a more dynamic version of Phoenix’s Channing Frye. Morris showed the potential at Kansas to be a starting caliber NBA power forward.

The result would be a lineup that would look similar to this:

PG: Rajon Rondo
SG: Courtney Lee / Avery Bradley
SF: Jeff Green
PF: Markieff Morris / Jared Sullinger
C: Marcin Gortat

Why no Brandon Bass? Bass could be dealt for a first round pick and Morris and Sullinger are younger options with higher upside. Jason Terry will be close to retiring and doesn’t represent a long term option.

The trio of Rondo – Green – Gortat is hardly a true “Big Three,” but it’s the kind of lineup that could be deceptively competitive and keep the C’s running deep into the Playoffs for years to come.

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Tags: Boston Celtics Jared Dudley Marcin Gortat Markieff Morris Paul Pierce Phoenix Suns

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