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Report: Celtics almost traded Paul Pierce for Chris Paul

Chris Paul, Paul Pierce

Revisionist history is always fun in the NBA when discussing stars like Paul Pierce and Chris Paul.

The two have had very different careers. Pierce is considered one of the greatest players in Boston Celtics history and has a championship under this belt. Paul, however, is universally known as a great player who cannot win much in the playoffs.

So would it surprise you to know that these two players were once almost traded for one another? It sounds crazy, but the NBA is known for crazy things happening from time to time.

Appearing on Zach Lowe’s podcast “The Lowe Post,” former Boston Globe reporter and current ESPN writer Jackie MacMullan detailed the almost-trade on draft night in 2005 that would’ve rocked the NBA, per Mike Chiari of Bleacher Report relaying the information.

“If the Celtics could have done it, they would have. This is how close it was: I worked at the Boston Globe then. There were two ads to run in the morning editions of the Boston Globe. One was: ‘Follow the Celtics with Paul Pierce going forward’ and another was ‘A new era beginning’ and a picture of Chris Paul.”

Man. That’s almost as close as the Los Angeles Lakers were to getting Paul back in 2011, but not quite.

The fact is, almost-trades happen all the time. However, this one was interesting. The Celtics would’ve had Paul as a rookie and he would have grown up in that system for much of his career.

On the flip side, Pierce never wins a championship with the Celtics and so many narratives change. Perhaps Paul gets past the second round of the playoffs sooner in his career, and people no longer think that of him.

Also, Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen probably never join the Celtics because Pierce isn’t on that team anymore.

It’s all crazy and fascinating, and one of the more interesting what-ifs in the league’s history.