The 2007-08 season significantly changed the NBA for years to come. During the season, we saw the re-emergence of two dynastic teams in the Lakers and the Celtics. Both teams made moves that made them favorites to win the NBA championship.
The Los Angeles Lakers completed a trade to bring Pau Gasol to LA and team with Kobe Bryant. The duo had chemistry from the get-go, and the Lakers were back in the championship fold once again.
For the Boston Celtics, they executed two major trades to bring in Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett to the franchise to pair with their All-Star Paul Pierce. The Celtics’ big three immediately catapulted to the top of the list of favorites to win the NBA championship.
The Celtics had pulled off the trade in order to keep Pierce happy. The All-Star had been with the franchise for quite some time but had never had a solid team around him. In an effort to keep Pierce happy, they brought two superstars to make them one of the best teams in the NBA overnight.
And the move paid off, as the Celtics went on to the NBA Finals to face off against their rivals Los Angeles Lakers. Pierce and the Celtics were able to beat the Lakers, and he was named Finals MVP for his performance. The Celtics big three had paid off big time.
But Paul Pierce was almost part of a different big three, all the way in Dallas. According to Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, the Mavs had agreed to a deal in principle with the Celtics and another team that would have paired him with Dirk Nowitzki and Jason Kidd.
“It gets better. We had a deal done. We had a 3 way trade done. All teams agreed to their part of the deal. When we get on the trade call, the 3rd team killed the deal because they didn’t know that a first was going to the Celtics. They chose not to do the deal at all.”
But the deal fell through when the third team in the deal, which Cuban did not reveal, rejected it after finding out that Boston would receive a first-round pick as part of the trade.
While Pierce will have no regrets about staying with the Celtics, one can’t help but wonder what a combination of Pierce, Nowitzki, and Kidd would have looked like and achieve in the NBA if given a chance.