Would Boston Celtics Have Traded Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett if Red Auerbach was in Charge?

By Michael Terrill
Would Boston Celtics Have Traded Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett if Red Auerbach was in Charge
Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

I understand that the controversial trade that saw the Boston Celtics deal Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett to the Brooklyn Nets occurred quite some time ago. However, it is still something that has many people who are passionate about the Celtics still upset. Red Auerbach’s daughter, Randy Auerbach, is one person in particular who has voiced her opinion recently on the topic.

Randy is convinced that her father, the legendary Celtic coach and executive, never would have traded Pierce and Garnett because of what they did for the organization. Pierce, in particular, is someone that would have been untouchable after building his career in Boston.

“I would have bet money that he wouldn’t have done it,” Randy said, according to nesn.com. “I don’t know everything that has happened of late, but what I knew of my dad, I don’t see him making that trade.

“I would guarantee he wouldn’t have traded them. I’m definite in that.”

There is no question Auerbach would have allowed Pierce to finish his career with the Celtics. There is not more proof than the fact that he held onto Larry Bird and Kevin McHale while their careers came to an end. Instead of trying to get some sort of value for them, he decided it was best to allow them to retire where they wanted. Obviously, not the wisest decision from the franchise’s point of view but respectable nonetheless.

Boston got basically nothing in return for three talented players in the case of Piece, Garnett and Jason Terry. It is true that Gerald Wallace could prove to be an asset for the team. Not to mention, three first-round draft picks have potential to turn into something special. With that being said, Pierce is still playing at a high level while Garnett has at least one more good year in him, if he can stay healthy.

“Given [Auberbach’s] track record and philosophy of life, not in his lifetime would that have happened,” Randy said, according to nesn.com. “He really took a lot of pride in players finishing their careers with the Celtics. That was something very important to him. If it was for Chris Paul, maybe. We got nothing [for Pierce and Garnett]. You don’t trade laterally, and we didn’t even get laterally. But I hope it works. Nothing would give me more pleasure than to be wrong.”

It will be interesting to see how the team pans out for both organizations, especially with the regular season right around the corner.

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