NBA trade rumors: Paul Pierce nearly sent to Mavericks at trade deadline, according to report

Kevin C. Cox

Can you picture Paul Pierce next to Dirk Nowitzki and Josh Smith as the new face of the Celtics? Well, it apparently was pretty darn close to happening.

This season's quiet NBA trade deadline was reportedly one Celtics' first-round pick away from a blockbuster trade that would have severely altered the fates of three NBA playoff contenders, according to Yahoo! Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski.

For more on the story, visit CelticsBlog, Mavs Moneyball & Peachtree Hoops

News broke Friday that the Celtics, Mavericks and Hawks were close to completing a three-way deal that would have landed Paul Pierce in Dallas and Josh Smith in Boston, but the Celtics balked at Atlanta's request to send them their first-round draft pick on top of everything else.

In the proposed trade, Dallas was sending Atlanta a package of Jae Crowder, Brandan Wright and Dahntay Jones along with a swap of first-round picks in the upcoming NBA draft. Apparently one more draft pick from Boston was too much to ask for though as the deal deteriorated upon Danny Ainge's refusal.

For what it's worth, Yahoo! Sports is reporting that this deal "had been the closest Pierce had come to parting with the Celtics."

Boston can't be too upset about the whole ordeal either considering they're hardly in rebuilding mode, winning 13 of their last 17 games since they lost Rajon Rondo to a torn ACL. Then again, it would have been mighty interesting to see Doc Rivers try to figure out how to construct a lineup with Smith alongside Kevin Garnett. That would have been one mean frontcourt.

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