Paul Pierce: “I want to retire a Celtic”

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Since Rajon Rondo went down with an ACL injury, I had not been alone in calling for the Celtics to start making big changes — it’s time to transition to the next phase of the Celtics.

But saying that and actually doing something like trading Paul Pierce is something else entirely.

He is a 14-year Celtic, a champion and finals MVP, a 10-time All-Star wearing the green. He is the most iconic Celtic player since the Bird era ended. He is beloved. Trading him is hard just for the sentimental reasons.

And he doesn’t want to go, he told the Boston Herald (via Celticsblog).

“You know, I want to retire as a Celtic,” said Pierce. “That’s been my longtime goal. But it’s not in my control. The organization, they make their decisions, but it’s something I desire.”

GM Danny Ainge has talked more than once about wanting to break up this Celtics era earlier rather than later. But can he really just trade Paul Pierce?

Pierce has one season on his contract, one that can be bought out for $5 million. He’s still a valuable scorer who can create his own shot and will step into more of a point-forward role with Rondo out.

He has a lot of trade value. But can the Celtics really pull that trigger?