Jun 06, 2012; Oklahoma City, OK, USA; San Antonio Spurs small forward Kawhi Leonard (2) reacts to a foul call against the Oklahoma City Thunder in game six of the Western Conference finals of the 2012 NBA playoffs at Chesapeake Energy Arena. Oklahoma City won 107-99. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-US PRESSWIRE

Proposed Trade Scenario Involving Paul Pierce With San Antonio Spurs


Yesterday, I highlighted a trade with the ESPN trade machine that I felt the Celtics could make with the Phoenix Suns.

Tonight is a similar spin on that same theme: Deal Pierce for some young talent, maybe even throwing in a pick with Pierce.

The proposed trade:

Boston gives up: Paul Pierce & a first

San Antonio gives up: Tiago Splitter, Kawhi Leonard, DeJuan Blair, and Stephen Jackson’s $10 million contract.

How the Move benefits San Antonio:

The Spurs only get better. Instead of starting a defensive stopper at small forward like Leonard, or even platooning in over-the-hill and ineffective Jackson, they can now start Paul Pierce…What a lineup:

PG- Tony Parker
SG- Manu Ginobili
SF- Paul Pierce
PF- Boris Diaw
C- Tim Duncan

They sacrifice some young talent, but that starting lineup has the look of a contender. It is an all or nothing last shot for the Spurs to get another title or two before Duncan retires, and Pierce and Duncan could walk off into the sunshine together, with a couple more rings each.

Think about how good the Spurs would be at closing out games with Parker, Ginobili, Pierce, and Duncan all as last shot options. Who do the Spurs isolate at the end of quarters? Ginobili or Pierce? Does it matter? Both are superb options.

Why it makes sense for the Celtics:

The C’s need to get younger, and getting rid of Pierce is the first step in that process. His contract is big, $18 million per season, but he has a lot of value still and can provide a lot of help for a team needing a big time player who is only on the hook for this season and the next.

The Spurs package would be awesome: Tiago Splitter has the makings of a top 15 center. DeJuan Blair, ACLs or not, is a great rebounder who can provide some toughness for at least another five seasons. Kawhi Leonard is a top tier defensive stopper already, and isn’t a bad scorer by any means. He’ll be an All-NBA All Defense selection soon enough. Lastly, Jackson’s expiring contract is a huge gift, as it would enable the Spurs to go chase a decent free agent next summer.

The Celtics remain a contender long past Pierce’s expiration date, Garnett retires in two years, and the rest of the roster is young and talented.

A possible depth chart*

PG- Rajon Rondo / Dionte Christmas (?)
SG- Avery Bradley / Courtney Lee
SF- Jeff Green / Kawhi Leonard / Kris Joseph (?)
PF- Brandon Bass / DeJuan Blair / Jared Sullinger
C- Tiago Splitter / Fab Melo

*- Add one pretty mid range free agent to the mix, $8 to $10 M

That team would stack up pretty well against a lot of different lineups. Rondo and Bradley are likely the backcourt of the future, while I see Lee as more of a sixth man type of player.

Jeff Green and Kawhi Leonard would be a deadly duo at small forward, as both are good to great defenders who can shoot the ball and run the court very well.

At power forward, some of that depth would likely be dealt, and it’s uncertain which of those three players will eventually be the best option. A wait and see approach is nobel.

Lastly, Splitter is an above average center in the NBA already, and Melo is probably going to be about replacement level for a backup center, so the Spurs could stand to upgrade by dealing a power forward + a pick to obtain another good center. Of course, the designated free agent signing could be used to lure a big man, as well, but then again, Splitter may pan out and be as good as he was once expected to be (He was at one point projected to be a top-five pick).

Tags: Boston Celtics Featured NBA Trades Paul Pierce San Antonio Spurs

  • jt

    As a Spurs fan this seems terrible. Leonard is genuine superstar material. Hardworking kid. Future of franchise. No thanks.

  • John Wall

    lol i like the trade but who is out there in the market that is worth 8 million this deal would make more sense next year more so than this year

  • SA Fan

    That is a horrible trade for San Antonio. There is no way they would trade almost half of their rotation for one aged player who can probably give them no more than a year of production. Not only that, but if this was a valid trade machine move, they would still be right at or just over the cap with a need to re-sign 3 more minimum salary quality players (to maintain the required number of players on the roster). They would in essence be gutting the team and tanking a year due to a lack of quality rotation players in return for a 1st round pick. Why do this when they already have a proven young player in Leonard?

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/RYSHBGRAZBQJ4BZDNIXGXT7MWU Marilyn

    i don’t think the addition pierce would bring to the spurs would out-do the negative of losing all those players. that leaves the spurs eith basically tim duncan, boris diaw and matt bonner as their only big men. that combonation definitely would not work, especially in the playoffs. it also takes away their entire purpose of building up a young, talented base. if boston doesn’t want pierce anymore i’m pretty sure there are other trade options that would benefit both sides a little more than this one.

  • bdgrey

    Kawhi Leonard would start over Jeff Green. In fact, he would start over pretty much everyone but Lebron, Durant, and Melo. Yes, I am aware that I left out Rudy Gay, Danny Grander, and Gerald Wallace. The dude played two seasons in college, played w/o a training camp, took over the starting spot at SF last year, never looked back, and put up better numbers in the playoffs. Pop also said that Kawhi is the future face of the franchise. Whether or not that holds true remains to be seen of course, but no……Absolutely, without a doubt, no. That is the worst trade the Spurs would ever make and I would disown them forever……Kawhi is not just a defensive stopper. He can shoot from anywhere, create his own shot, handle the ball, and he’s a future perennial All Star……Then again, I would never expect anyone outside San Antonio to have any clue what I’m talking about here. No one watches San Antonio until it’s the playoffs, and those who did, did they not see what he did? The kid is ridiculously good…………..As a side note, Jackson is not over the hill – he destroyed in the playoffs last year- Tiago is unbelievable at the pick and roll and is an above average defender, and Blair is Blair. Could really do with/without him……Also, Kawhi is only 21.

  • JayDee

    This is the worst trade I have ever seen in my life. Put down the clam chowder and lay off the Sam Adams. You’re not thinking straight.

  • http://www.facebook.com/Brrownbear Tish Brownbear

    This is the dumbest thing I have ever read. I would never trade Leonard for Pierce… even straight up.