HOUSTON – The Boston Celtics can discuss a trade with the Los Angeles Clippers or any other NBA team all they want, but Kevin Garnett says it won't matter. Asked Saturday if there was any circumstance or team that could entice him to give up his no-trade clause and leave Boston, Garnett said, "No."
Even so, the Clippers still believe they can get Garnett to accept a trade if the Celtics tell him they want to make a deal, a source told Yahoo! Sports.
"If Boston came to him with the trade and he knew they wanted to do it, he would change his mind," the source said.
Publicly, at least, Garnett was pretty clear about his desire to stay in Boston.
"If it's up to me," Garnett said, "I will live and die green all day."
Reminded that the final decision is up to him because he has a no-trade clause in his contract, Garnett replied: "OK then. So [why] are we talking about it?"
Garnett, 36, signed a three-year, $36 million extension with the Celtics in the offseason that figures to take him to the end of his playing days.
"Let me ask you guys something: Why would I make the provisions to ride with [the] team and go further only to be set up to have change?" he said prior to Saturday's Eastern Conference All-Star practice.
The Celtics and Clippers have been discussing a deal that would send guard Eric Bledsoe and center DeAndre Jordan to Boston for Garnett. The two teams have talked regularly, but the biggest hurdle to clear could be Garnett's no-trade clause.
The Clippers hope they can convince Garnett to join them because his offseason home is in Malibu just outside Los Angeles. Garnett also is close friends with former Minnesota Timberwolves teammate Chauncey Billups, who is now in his second season with the Clippers. The Clippers own the Western Conference's third-best record at 39-17 and are attracted to adding a big man like Garnett who could open up the offense with his jump shooting, giving Blake Griffin more room to play in the post.
Garnett's chair during Saturday morning's media availability was positioned next to that of Griffin and Clippers guard Chris Paul. Paul exchanged pleasantries with Garnett prior to the media availability and made mention that both are close to Billups.
Garnett said Celtics president Danny Ainge and coach Doc Rivers have not talked to him recently about any potential trades including him.
"It's always a business, just speaking from my side," Garnett said. "Trade talks are part of the league, part of the business side of the league. I'm no different from that. It is what it is. At this point, Danny hasn't said anything to me. I haven't had any talks with Doc about anything that has been altered or anything that has changed from the status quo."
Paul and Griffin both expressed strong admiration for Garnett.
"Who wouldn't love to have Kevin Garnett on their team?" Paul said. "I talk about that guy all day, every day. You know the intensity to the game and how he plays the game. At the end of the day, that guy is a special player. I've looked up to him for a long time."
Said Griffin: "He's very, very serious as a competitor. His level of professionalism is off the charts. I've heard that every game he's an intense guy to be around, and that's tough to do. To play as many games as he's played, to still have that level of intensity every single game is tough to do. That's something I really admire."
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