The Clippers walk away from the negotiating table
Reports indicate that the Clippers have stepped away from the negotiating table today after Boston asked for DeAndre Jordan and two first rounders in exchange for Garnett and releasing Doc Rivers from his contract with the Celtics.
Earlier reports had the Clippers only sending one pick and taking on Jason Terry or Courtney Lee, two players whose contracts are getting in the way of Danny Ainge's rebuilding plans in Boston.
Maybe I've just played too much NBA 2k, but I think the Clippers needed to make this trade, or at least a variation of it. The Clippers are close; they have an elite player in his prime in Chris Paul and a very capable sidekick in Blake Griffin. If the decision were up to me, I would've gone hard after Garnett AND Paul Pierce.
Obviously that last paragraph is moot if they don't bring Paul back. Without Paul, they're probably a lottery team, but with him, they're close. They just had their best season ever and better half court offense and toughness would really help lift them to the next tier of NBA teams. Adding Pierce and Garnett would go a long way towards giving the Clips a personality and valuable playoff experience, and shipping a couple youngsters for a shot at a ring is a risk that I think you have to take.
The West was supposed to belong to the Thunder for the next decade. But the future of the Western Conference is up for grabs now that the James Harden trade seems to have been a mistake for OKC. This is the Clippers chance to squeeze whatever they can out of Pierce and Garnett and make a real run at a title.
The Clippers were stingy, which is a powerful negotiating tactic, but I think it cost them big time. They refused to put Eric Bledsoe on the table and now, barring a big change, they'll probably finish in the middle of the pack in the West again next year.
Perhaps the addition of Garnett and Rivers, and possibly Pierce, wouldn't have made the Clippers the favorite to win next year, but it would sure make things more interesting. With 29 other teams trying win a championship, you have to take risks. You have to be willing to lose a trade in order to make a truly landscape-shifting one.