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Making sense of the Kevin Garnett trade rumors

Posted by Gary Dzen, Boston.com Staff  February 5, 2013 09:54 AM

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One tweet by a Sporting News reporter has set off a lot of talk about the Celtics potentially trading Kevin Garnett to the Clippers. The tweet, below, says that the Celtics and Clippers discussed a deal Sunday that would send guard Eric Bledsoe and forward Caron Butler to Boston as part of a deal.

ESPN shot down the report that the teams had spoken about a deal. So did the Los Angeles Times. Sean Powell of SportsonEarth.com says Garnett will only accept a trade if Paul Pierce is also traded. Yahoo! Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski, who usually breaks these kinds of trade stories, has not backed up the original report.

All of this suggests that the Celtics are not trading Garnett to the Clippers anytime soon. But that doesn't mean a trade won't happen, either. Fans have a tendency to believe trade rumors are an all-or-nothing venture. "I heard KG is going to the Clippers." "Someone shot it down, that can never happen now." And so it goes.

More pertinent is to look at what people involved are saying and doing. We've yet to hear from Garnett on the rumor, but with the Celtics playing Wednesday night we may soon. Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge has in no way shot down the notion that a trade could be coming.

"My job is to do what's in the best interest of our team, regardless of my personal ties or my personal feelings with the players," Ainge said last week. Asked specifically about trading Pierce, Ainge said he couldn't rule it out. He's likely to say something similar when asked about Garnett. Whether or not Ainge makes a move will depend on the offers on the table and the performance of his team before the Feb. 21 trade deadline.

Garnett is the other key player here. He has a no-trade clause. He contemplated retirement at the end of last season. If he doesn't want to leave, he's not going anywhere. Both Garnett and Pierce can help a contending team, which means the rumors aren't likely to go away anytime soon.

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