No team will be faced with more difficult decisions as the trade deadline approaches than the Celtics. While Boston has gone 5-0 since losing Rajon Rondo to a season-ending knee injury, they are still only at 25-23 and in a tie for the No. 7 seed out East.
As a result, many have speculated about the futures of Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett. And while both have affirmed their commitment to the franchise, Pierce left himself some wiggle room in some interesting remarks he made to reporters on Wednesday (courtesy of the Boston Herald):
"It's all on what they plan on doing," said Pierce. "If they try to go into a rebuild mode, then, you know, I don't know if I want to be a part of that. But that's up to them and what they need to do. I don't want to go out on a rebuild mode.
"I want an opportunity to at least try to win another championship, simple and plain. And if that's not going to be here - if that's going to be somewhere else - so be it. That's what it has to be. I mean, even the greatest players played for other franchises."
Piece went on to discuss his contract status in the interview, noting that at his age he has to decide every offseason whether he wants to continue playing.
CelticsBlog, SB Nation's aptly named blog about the Celtics, has more on Pierce's interview here.
At the age of 35, and after 15 seasons with the Celtics, few would begrudge him the opportunity to play for a contender for one more title run, especially when Rondo's injury makes that scenario extremely unlikely in Boston.
The question becomes whether Danny Ainge would actually be willing to go through with such a major deal and what teams would be willing to give up to acquire Pierce in the final years of his career.