Paul Pierce Reiterates Desire to Retire As Celtic As Trade Rumors Swirl

Paul Pierce, Ray AllenWALTHAM, Mass. — Paul Pierce is headed to Memphis. Or Toronto. Or maybe it is Indiana, Portland or Los Angeles.

The longest-tenured current Celtics player has been connected with all these destinations in the last year — in reports of varying veracity — and Rajon Rondo‘s season-ending ACL injury ramped up the trade speculation once again. Since news of Rondo’s injury broke Sunday afternoon, the rumored deals include Pierce heading to the Grizzlies in exchange for Rudy Gay and to the Raptors in exchange for Jose Calderon or Kyle Lowry.

Before practice on Tuesday, Pierce took the opportunity to reiterate his desire to stay with the only organization he has played for in his 15-year career.

“I want to retire a Celtic,” Pierce said. “That’s been my longtime goal, but it’s out of my control. The organization makes their decisions. But it is something I desire, since I’ve been here so long.”

Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge was reportedly close to trading Pierce to New Jersey at the trade deadline last season, but Ainge decided to keep the future Hall of Fame forward while also aborting a trade that would have sent Ray Allen to Memphis for O.J. Mayo. The Celtics ended up reaching the Eastern Conference Finals, where they fell to the eventual NBA champion Miami Heat in seven games.

Allen spurned a two-year contract offer from the Celtics last summer to sign with the Miami Heat. Pierce has one season left on his contract beyond this year, although his salary is only partially guaranteed for the 2013-14 season.

Have a question for Ben Watanabe? Send it to him via Twitter at @BenjeeBallgame or send it here.

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