Friday, March 16, 2012

Apocalypse Now: last days for Boston Celtics’ big three?

Despite the team’s struggles and general manager Danny Ainges’ constant trade threats, the Boston Celtics were not able to pull the trigger on any trades before the trade deadline on Thursday.

That doesn’t mean that Boston’s management is happy with the roster as currently constructed, it just means that they didn’t receive any trade offers they felt would make the team better. But this team is expected to change dramatically by the start of next season.

At least two of the big three may leave during the offseason with Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen being the most likely to go since both of their contracts expire at season’s end. There is the possibility that both could return at greatly reduced salaries but it’s more likely both will leave to pursue a ring with a championship contender next season.

Neither has much time left to chase a ring with Garnett turning 36 in May and Allen turning 37 in July. Both have shown that they can still put up decent numbers but it is doubtful they will want to waste their last few seasons with a rebuilding team.

Both will be pursued by teams that could use their services especially Allen’s deadly jumper. A team like Miami would love to have his accurate shooting off the bench to open things up for LeBron James and Dwyane Wade. It would be hard for opposing teams’ defenses to sag into the paint with Allen spotting up outside.

Garnett would also be a welcome addition for a championship contender. Garnett is a tough one-on-one defender and is great in help defense also. He’s long, has decent shooting range and still possesses moves in the post. Garnett is putting up good numbers as a starter; just imagine how effective he could be playing against an opposing team’s second unit.

The third member of the trio Paul Pierce will turn 35 less than a month before the start of the season. Pierce still has two years remaining on his contract after this season and may also be targeted by teams that covet his skills.

Paul can still put the ball on the floor and is still a pretty reliable scorer. He also showed his ball-handling and passing ability when Rondo went down with an injury so people know that he can run an offense if necessary.

Pierce is most likely to stay because he is a career Celtic and the team may allow him to retire with the only team he has ever known. But if Paul does express the desire to go chase another ring somewhere then I doubt the team would try to prevent him from doing so.

Bottom line though is that this team is not going to be a championship contender anytime soon. Although the Celtics have a lot of money coming off the books with Garnett’s huge contract expiring and all the money they are paying Allen also coming off the books there haven’t been any big name free-agents who have expressed a desire to play in Boston next year.

Doesn’t mean it won’t happen though. If the Celtics can make a splash this offseason it may convince the big three to stick around for another run. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.

Will Danny Ainge break up the 'big three' this summer? We would love to hear your thoughts on the subject.
Roosevelt Hall is an NFL Blogger for The Sport Mentalist and is also an NBA Blogger for The Sport Mentalist 2. He can be contacted at RHall_TPFB@Yahoo.com. Follow him on Twitter @sportmentalist and add him on Facebook Roosevelt Hall Thesportmentalist.

 

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