A Little Help

by Bryan

From my basketball savvy friends…

I was reading Chris Sheridan’s article about the potential Kobe Bryant/Bulls trade and came across this nugget:

Even then, it is not clear that any trade involving Deng would be acceptable to Bryant, who is wielding the power of the NBA’s only no-trade clause by threatening to veto certain deals.

I thought that was odd, because I read in Sports Illustrated’s basketball preview that Paul Pierce had squashed a 2005 trade for Chris Paul:

Whereas Pierce once feared being traded to a losing franchise — he vetoed an attempt by Boston in 2005 to move him to the Portland Trail Blazers for a draft pick the Celtics would have used on Wake Forest guard Chris Paul — he was now willing to start fresh almost anywhere

I’m wondering: who is right? Does Kobe, in fact, have the NBA’s only no-trade clause? Does he have the only complete no-trade clause, and does Pierce have a partial no-trade clause? Did Pierce have a no-trade clause in 2005, and does he no longer have one? Or did the Celtics extend Pierce a de facto no-trade clause in good faith in exchange for his years of service? I’m comfortable with any situation except the last one (save for potentially sloppy journalism on somebody’s part). As much as a I like Paul Pierce, it’s foolish to operate outside the bonds of the contract – that’s why you sign the contract. For someone who fancies himself as ruthless as Ainge, who says in the article that he would have traded Larry Bird from the Celtics in the early 1990s, it would be a giant mistake to have pulled back a Paul-for-Pierce deal on the basis of Pierce’s feelings. If you think you’re getting the better player, you do what you have to.

Anyway, the following is completely irrelevant, if fun:

Pierce, Garnett and Allen —> possible Eastern Conference champions
Paul, Garnett and Allen —> damn likely Eastern Conference champions