"We don't need a big man. We already have one. I just hope and pray Danny believes that me and Paul are the ones who can get us to the playoffs."
The article discusses the moment Al realized that he had Pierce's respect:
The Celtics were down two points to the Knicks and five-time All-Star Paul Pierce, who has been the go-to guy in these situations for the past eight years, was maneuvering toward the basket with the rock in his hands. Jefferson was mildly surprised when Pierce threw it to him in the post. As the double team converged, a common strategy since Jefferson began racking up double-doubles (he had 30 in the team's first 52 games), Jefferson did what he thought Pierce wanted him to do. He passed it back. "Next thing I know, Paul is yelling at me,'' Jefferson said. "He's screaming, 'C'mon man, keep it!' That's when I realized, 'Wow, I guess I really do finally have his respect.'"
But does Al really have Pierce's respect for the future. He has mentioned that we have to trade some of the young players to get more veteran help and the only player so far who has been garnering attention in trade talks is Al Jefferson.
Last season when Al was struggling with injuries, Ainge continued to believe in Al and his play this season has rewarded that belief. But will Danny give up a player who is just coming into his own and who may be eventually better than any of the veterans he brings in, who may be heading to the down side of their careers?
Jefferson said he believes Ainge will hang onto him and allow him to be part of the nucleus that brings the Celtics back to respectability, something Jefferson promises will happen as soon as next season. "I just feel like we've got something going here," Jefferson said. "But I understand it's a business. I don't want to go anywhere. But getting traded for Kevin Garnett? Hey, that would be big."
"It would be really, really hard to trade Al,'' Ainge said. "I say that because of what I see, what he can be, and who he is right now. It's always hard to trade players you like, but I would do it if it made the team better. "But what I'd say right now is not only would it be hard, it would be unlikely, too.''
Personally, I wouldn't want to trade Jefferson for Garnett. Al has his whole career ahead of him while Garnett is heading for the down side of his. He is a great player but Al is becoming a great player and will be around to being many more championships to Boston. I agree that because of what Al can be and who he is, we need to hang onto him and build around him. I would rather trade Pierce than Al. The article finishes with this from Al:
"I can get us there,'' said Al Jefferson. "Me and Paul. Just give us the chance."
And I am all for giving Al the chance to bring a championship to Boston. We have stayed with our young core this long and have seen them all grow in leaps and bounds this season. I say keep them together and with what we get from the draft this season, give them a chance to go for it. source: ESPN [More] [Discuss this topic on the Celtics Green Forums!]