Discussions between the Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Clippers to send Kevin Garnett to LA, along with coach Doc Rivers, has stalled Saturday afternoon with the Clippers' refusal to include Eric Bledsoe in the package.
The deal would have sent Garnett to the Clippers in exchange for DeAndre Jordan and a first round pick. It would also be agreed in the deal that Doc Rivers would sign with the Clippers as head coach, leaving a big possibility that Paul Pierce would be waived by Boston and signed by the Clips, too.
In addition to Jordan and the pick, Danny Ainge also wanted Bledsoe and an additional first. The Clippers, however, were reluctant to give up Bledsoe. Saturday afternoon, it was reported that the Clips are prepared to move forward without Rivers, and that Boston will retain him as their coach.
Were the Clippers right to hold on to Bledsoe so tightly?
First of all, the Clips did not want to trade Bledsoe before Chris Paul resigns. The possibility of losing two starting caliber point guards is too risky when the franchise is just starting to turn it around.
However, Garnett and Rivers to the Clips would almost guarantee that Paul would resign. Paul loved the idea of playing with Garnett last season at the trade deadline, as he prefers veterans that can coach themselves to a developing young player like Jordan.
Second, the Clippers were hoping to use Bledsoe in a separate trade that can net them another proven veteran. Rumors have listed Orlando's Arron Afflalo and Indiana's Danny Granger as possibilities. Both are great fits with the Clippers, and either one will provide much-needed help on the wing.
Third, the most intriguing idea of all: Eric Bledsoe and Blake Griffin to the Lakers for Dwight Howard. This is probably the juiciest offer the Lakers will get for Howard after the disastrous season he had, but sources close to the situation reported that there is no way the Lakers would trade their star center to their crosstown rival.
Lastly, something not a lot of people are considering: Has Bledsoe's trade value already peaked? His value is at an all time high right now, after a solid season that showed a lot of potential. What if he doesn't improve next year, or if his numbers dip a little? Would that have a big effect on his trade value? And most importantly, Bledsoe will be a restricted free agent in the summer of 2014, and he would almost definitely get a huge pay raise. Right now, still on his rookie deal, Bledsoe is a bargain; if he gets overpaid in 2014, his value can drop in a hurry.
By giving up Jordan, Bledsoe, and two firsts, the Clippers mortgage their future for at most a couple of years left of Garnett and maybe Pierce.
Is it worth it if that convinces Paul to re-sign?
Will the Clippers lose Bledsoe for nothing when they can't pay for him, or get back three quarters for a dollar?
Would the new "Celtics look" to the Clippers have won them a title?
A year from now, Clippers fan will either look back and be thankful that they did not give up too much for so little of gas left in the tank, or they will look back and think wistfully, "what if."
Let's hope the curse of Clipperland has not struck again.