Slowly but surely, the talk of Chris Paul coming to Boston is beginning to die a slow death.
But it's not necessarily because of his reported disinterest in signing a long-term deal with the Celtics (Kevin Garnett's camp had similar reservations at first, but eventually got over it), or whether the C's have had a change of heart about being open to the idea of trading point guard Rajon Rondo.
One of the reasons that's giving the C's some reason to pause in their pursuit of Paul is his health; specifically, his surgically repaired left knee.
While he appears to have bounced back from the 2010 injury nicely, there is some concern that the injury could prove problematic in the future.
Paul suffered a torn meniscus injury in late-January of 2010. Dr. James Andrews, one of the top orthopedic surgeons in the world, performed surgery on the knee on Feb. 4. Unable to sew the torn meniscus back together, Dr. Andrews had to take the torn portion out entirely.
The knee has two menisci that essentially serve as shock absorbers between the femur and tibia bones. Paul has one now, which means there's likely some of bone-on-bone rubbing which has the potential to get worse and ultimately lead to additional surgical procedures.
Paul played this past season with a brace on the knee, which helped with its stability -- one of the concerns that exist with having a partially meniscus.
"Talking with the doctors and trainers, (the brace) was the best thing for the long haul and for my body," Paul told the New Orleans Times-Picayune.
The bone-on-bone issue is a serious one, especially for players who rely so heavily on change-of-direction quickness -- like Paul -- in order to be effective.
Look no further than Portland's Brandon Roy, one of the most talented players in the NBA who underwent surgery on both of his knees in an effort to alleviate the discomfort that came along with bone-on-bone contact. The Trail Blazers have to limit his minutes because of his bad knees, which is why he's one of the players many believe will be available via amnesty.
Of course, there's also the possibility that the remaining meniscus in Paul's knee is adequate enough to limit the amount of bone-on-bone action so that it won't be a problem.
But if you're the Celtics -- or any other team considering a deal for Paul -- are you willing to take that chance?