Originally posted on State Of The Celtics  |  Last updated 2/29/12

According to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports, Doc Rivers and Danny Ainge have decided — or have been forced to come to the realization — that the Boston Celtics are not championship contenders and they are ready to make some deals for the future. Woj also believes that Paul Pierce would be the most likely candidate to get shipped out of town.

Wojnarowski points to Pierce's contract — which still has two years and over $30 million left on it after this season — as the reason why he'd be the first to get moved. Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen are both in the final year of their deals and probably wouldn't give the Celtics much of anything valuable in return other than chumps and second-round draft picks. Rajon Rondo's contract is much more inviting to teams than Pierce's is, but the Celtics would be looking for top billing in return for an All-Star point guard who is just entering the prime of his career. We've seen that other teams around the league aren't willing to give that up for Rondo. See Chris Paul.

So that leaves Pierce, who is 34 years old but could easily be seen as a player that could help another contender immediately. I wrote earlier this month that I wasn't expecting the Celtics to make a move to break the team up this season partly due to the fact that the contracts wouldn't allow them to get much in return. I still feel that's the case because I don't see Danny Ainge giving any of the Big Four (or enter another appropriate nickname here) away for peanuts. He'll want something that he can build with, whether it's first-round draft picks or young talent that can be watered, tended to and handled with care until it blossoms.

Will Pierce bring the Celtics any of that? I doubt it. Sure, he can help out another contender right now, but would that contender really be interested in giving up either of the things that Ainge would want? Look at Pierce's stats over the last month. He's shot the ball poorly and has seemed timid at best. His trade value right now isn't worth much and I don't see Danny trading him for more expiring deals. I could be wrong, but I don't see it happening. The backlash would be enormous.

Not to mention, my green-tinted glasses have me thinking about "loyalty," which I know really doesn't exist in sports anymore. I'd like to think that I'm mistaken about that, though.
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