The Boston Celtics received devastating news when it was learned that star point guard Rajon Rondo was lost for the season with a torn ACL. Immediately, people were calling for the Celtics to blow up the entire operation and build for the future, and it looks like team’s around the league were listening.
It appears that a handful of NBA squads could be looking to land star forward Paul Pierce, but there is one team that is believed to be a heavy player in the Pierce sweepstakes.
One team that rival execs expect to be at the forefront of the Pierce pursuit is Memphis, which delayed but did not solve its long-term payroll concerns by getting under the luxury-tax line with last week’s trade with Cleveland. While Memphis can survive for the rest of this season without trading Rudy Gay, Zach Randolphor Marc Gasol, it still cannot sustain such a top-heavy payroll for the next two seasons. Pierce would keep the Grizzlies dangerous — arguably, make them more dangerous — for the rest of this season, and allow them to reorganize their spending as soon as next season.
If Memphis was to make a move for Pierce, they would have to accept that they must part ways with Rudy Gay. It would make sense for Memphis to choose Pierce over Gay because he has the playoff experience and would save the team nearly $13 million in cap space next season.
The Celtics and their fans may not be thrilled about the idea of dealing Pierce, but if they could bring in a player like Rudy Gay as compensation it would certainly be a move that they would need to entertain.