Mar 31, 2012; New Orleans, LA, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes forward Jared Sullinger (0) walks back to the locker room after the semifinals of the 2012 NCAA men

Boston Celtics Proposed Trade Involving Paul Pierce With Chicago Bulls

The Bulls desperately need a second fiddle for Derrick Rose. Carlos Boozer has fallen short, and there’s no one else capable of playing the role that the Bulls thought the former 20-10 machine would fill.

Luol Deng, for all he is, is not a number two option, and the acquisition of Paul Pierce would satiate that hole within the Bulls’ attack.

What would the Bulls give up to obtain Pierce? Quite simply, like any other team, a good bit.

Namely, that third fiddle, Deng, would have to be dealt. Let’s look at a proposed deal between the two teams that I conjured on ESPN’s Trade Machine:

Boston gives: Paul Pierce & Jared Sullinger

Bulls give: Luol Deng, Taj Gibson, & Jimmy Butler

Why Boston Would do the trade:

Deng is younger than Pierce, and at this point would fit in well with what Doc Rivers wants to accomplish. He plays solid D; Doc loves D. He can hit the threes that will come from Rondo drive ‘n’ dishes. He rebounds the ball, and after Kevin Garnett retires, the C’s will need more of that.

Most importantly, Deng is 27, and just about to enter his prime. That could make him a staple in Rondo’s development, and allow the duo to stick together a good half-decade before Deng himself became expendable around age 32-34.

May 10, 2012; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Chicago Bulls forward Taj Gibson (22) questions the official after being called for a technical foul against the Philadelphia 76ers during the 1st half of game six in the Eastern Conference quarterfinals of the 2012 NBA Playoffs at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-US PRESSWIRE

Taj Gibson is an upgrade over Brandon Bass or Sullinger. He’s a great undersized power forward, but he would have to be re-signed. Gibson is in the last year of a $2.1 million contract. If he liked Boston and re-signed, the C’s could have a very dangerous rotation that would look something like this in 2-3 years, after Garnett and Terry retire.

Butler is a very interesting young talent, and since the C’s are giving up Sullinger to both add talent and clear time for Gibson, it is only fair that they get a nice prospect like the 6’7″ forward from Marquette.

Butler hasn’t been overly impressive so far, but his mid-range jumper is better than his field goal percentage indicates, and he’s a threat on the offensive boards, a good ball handler, and a player who could develop into something.

Two to three years from now, the depth chart could look something similar to this

PG: Rajon Rondo / Dionte Christmas (?)
SG: Avery Bradley / Courtney Lee
SF: Luol Deng / Jeff Green / Jimmy Butler / Kris Joseph
PF: Taj Gibson / (Jeff Green) / (Brandon Bass)
C: Brandon Bass -or- Free Agent/Draftee / Fab Melo

The curious notation of a “free agent/draftee” means the C’s have work to do past this trade. Fab Melo doesn’t likely have the makings of a starter. But until Garnett retires, this isn’t a problem that has to be addressed. I only put Bass at the starting spot because of that group he is the default center.

That core of players has a lot of potential, and if the C’s were lucky enough to strike gold on a big man in the Draft, or pull a free agent heist.

The C’s will have a payroll of about $40 million if they decide to decline the final year of Garnett’s contract in the summer of 2015. That should be far below the cap.

There’s a lot that can’t be taken into account by projecting three summers ahead, but Gibson would require a re-signing, and a lot of moves can and will happen before then.

It’s just never too early to look ahead.

Why Chicago would do this trade:

They obtain the small forward needed for Derrick Rose to have to do less. Pierce would take a lot of pressure off Rose, and make the one-time MVP’s life that much easier.

Obtaining Sullinger might be Carlos Boozer v. 2.0, but Sullinger has a lot of promise, and if he became what Boozer was, I’d say the Bulls would be pretty pleased. Moreover, the Bulls will likely amnesty Carlos Boozer after this season, as he still is owed over $32 million the next two seasons beyond this year’s.

In all, the Bulls get stronger for the short term, but damage their prospects in the long term. The thing is, they aren’t going to get there with the pieces they have, and even at age almost 35 years of age and with 14 years under his belt, Pierce could help Rose a lot more than Deng or Boozer could offensively.

Try to win a ring. Win one. Win two. Then worry about the future. The Bulls have put the cart before the horse by not obtaining a superior veteran. Swing and a miss with Boozer. Let’s see if Pierce works.

Tags: Boston Celtics Chicago Bulls Luol Deng Paul Pierce

  • BeanTownBomber

    What are you retarded? You think Boston would ruin Paul’s legacy for Luol Deng, and some other bums? no GM in his right mind makes that trade, especially with the C’s in a win now mode. The Celtics greatest strength is their chemistry, and who cares that Deng is 4 years younger He’ll never reach the level Paul is at right now! and Sully was a steal in the draft, Danny is def going to give him a shot. This post makes no sense just some hopeful Bull-crap (pun intended). Seriously hows this sound
    Bull’s GM: Hey Danny, wanna trade me your teams captain, leading scorer, 8 time Allstar, NBA champ and finals MVP Paul Pierce for our 3rd option?
    DA: … Joakim Noah?
    Bull’s GM: na that dude Luol Deng
    DA: …. You serious?
    Bull’s GM: ya and throw in Sully, that kids gonna be real good.
    DA: click*

    • Brett David Roberts

      Clearly you’ve forgotten the best part about the NBA Trade machine on ESPN: Tinkering around and thinking “What if?”

    • Brett David Roberts

      Also, in what world is Taj Gibson a bum? Why WOULDNT the C’s want to pair Rondo with someone 8 years younger? I’m still not in agreement with you, is what I am saying.

      • Jason

        I know this is a what if scenario and I dont want to be rude, but NO THANKS! Were not trading paul pierce unless its for a rudy gay type talent (and even that probably wouldnt happen because everyone wants pp to retire in green…. on paper it would be a better option for the celtics for long term, but he’s been to loyal and would hurt the team/town emotionally). Deng is overrated, sorry to tell u the truth. He’s a good player but he only made all-star team because he was the second best player on the team with the best record. He would be coming off the bench if he was to join the celtics
        (with pp still in green). or some other teams

        I love taj gibson, but he peaked. He’s not gonna get much better. Id love to have him, but not at the expense of losing Sully. Sully is gonna be an amazing player and will be vital next year.

        Sorry but youre not getting Paul, not even in your dreams.. and thats the TRUTH!

      • joel

        Taj Gibson is nothing more then a bench player. 2nd Tier big with no upside, what you see is what you get.

        Deng is a solid player but I would not give up Pierce for him, Pierce bring way more to the table then Deng, specially in the clutch.

    • DaveACIM

      agree with this–this article is nuts

  • [email protected]

    This is just dumb all around. You don’t give up three talented younger players for an old man. The Bulls already have an old 2. Statistically, Gibson is one of the best defensive 4s in the league. Deng is the Glue Guy according to TT. Butler replaces Brewer as the defensive stopper with more offense. TT is a defensive coach and all three players mentioned are defensive stallworths. Dumb, Dumb, and DUMMER.

    • Brett David Roberts

      I see what you’re saying, but there are a lot of reasons the Bulls would do this. Winning championships is what matters, and Pierce would give the Bulls another go-to guy, for late in quarters and games. It would take pressure off Rose. I’ve already said all these things though.

  • Celtics4life

    What is wrong with you!?!?!? Paul pierce is a Celtic legend… Luol dent isn’t now and nor will he ever be on the same level as Paul pierce. If we lost pierce right now we would be wasting the rest of Kevin Garnett’s finals season in the nba and Jason Terry’s!

    • Brett David Roberts


  • Rudy Grayson

    Well I wouldn`t be piss because P.Pierce struggle for the past 2 yrs. against Miami in the Playoffs him and R.Allen. L.Deng can score,defend,rebound, and shoot over 80% at the FT line. L.Deng gotta average 21 points & 7 boards against Miami no excuses.

  • Brett David Roberts

    It’s funny, I read through this and there are people (on both sides) calling me an idiot for completely different reasons. So who is the trade really good/bad for?

  • yooooo crazy

    you are out of your mind with this trade lol no way chicago gives up Gibson and Deng for father time

  • what?

    Why make this trade? You are talking about FUTURE, but if it really was about that, then KG and Terry wouldn’t be here. Therefore, the argument of ‘futureproof’ isn’t really valid. Another thing is that Pierce is still good for 2 years as well as KG. Why trade 2 future hall of famers for somebody that doesn’t make THAT much of an impact? (relatively speaking)
    Now from what we have right now, in 2 years if PP and KG retire, we free up around 27million from our cap. From what I know now, KD is 19 million, Lebron, wade, and Bosh are 17 a piece. Does that not show how much 27 million is? Because with that, you can get a decent center+small forward back definitely. No need to make useless moves that barely mean anything.

  • what?

    To add on to that, the Bulls really aren’t on any kind of ‘win mode’. Rose is what… max of 24 years old? He is the centerpiece and the Bulls GM has a ton of time to fix the team. Why trade for PP to go on a team that really doesn’t have much of a chance to win the championship? Especially since Pierce wants so experience FA feeling in 2 years.


    Thanks for sticking up for Pierce. There is no way he goes anywhere. He deserves to retire here in Boston, where he has given his heart and soul. Keep these deals, they stink anyway. Paul Pierce IS A CELTIC FOR LIFE.

  • Yogesh

    Chicago’s problem is Carlos Boozer’s contract. Boston is set up well already for the future. Rondo, Bradley, Lee, Christmas, Joseph, Green, Sullinger, Bass and Melo is a great for the future. Deng, Green, Joseph and Butler are all redundant. Chicago should seek to package their valuable assets along with Boozer’s contract to a team looking for a veteran big man. They can put together a package of picks and Boozer to Sacramento who is looking for veteran leadership for Marcus Thompson/Tyreke Evans and a big man. Bobcats can offer Henderson and Thomas. Hornets might part with Rivers and some filler. If the Bulls can get rid of Boozer even for very little they’ll be moving on the right direction to build around a core of Rose, Thibodeau, Deng, Gibson and Noah.

  • Dissapointed.

    You are an idiot.

    Brandon Bass is 6’8”. He can’t be a full time Center!

    The Celtics need to acquire a new primary scoring option in the next 2-3 seasons and Deng has proven to be a Jack of all trades King of nothing.

    The lineup you have says defense first, but then you go to Brandon Bass at Center and it’s destroyed. He’s going to get smashed by anyone of 6’9” over time!

    This is the stupidest thing I’ve ever read and I’m glad you aren’t the GM.

  • Dissapointed.

    Do you remember what happened when Perkins got traded? The team fell apart.

    How do you think trading Pierce would effect Rondo and Garnett for the remainder of the season.

    Even Doc would say, “WTF?”

  • arw

    This writer obviously has nothing else to write about. Very sad. Very boring. And a waste of time.

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