Blog Entry

Celtics, Allen on trade clock

Posted on: February 7, 2010 6:32 pm

Few grand conclusions can be drawn from February NBA games. But in this case, the Celtics' latest disappointing loss only underscored what has been a poorly kept secret among NBA executives for weeks: Ray Allen's time in Boston is likely coming to an end.

Thanks to a non-competitive third quarter, the Celtics fell to Orlando 96-89 on Sunday, dropping them to third in the East behind the Cavs and Magic. The struggling Celtics still have three games against Cleveland to prove they haven't fallen from elite status. But after going 1-3 against Orlando and 0-4 against Atlanta, the Celtics have reached a crossroads in their bid to milk one more championship banner out of the Allen-Paul Pierce-Kevin Garnett era.

Don't bet on every member of the Big Three being around beyond the Feb. 18 trade deadline.

Though team president Danny Ainge has publicly ridiculed the Allen trade reports, several NBA executives told that the Celtics have been actively trying to parlay Allen's $19.7 million expiring contract into an asset that could keep them in the mix during the upcoming playoffs and also help them for the next several seasons. The most recent inquiry, sources say, involved Sacramento sharpshooter Kevin Martin, who'd be a good fit with Boston's remaining core. Kings officials might be talked out of their reluctance to deal Martin if they could pry a prolific big man out of a third team brought into the discussions or in a separate transaction before the deadline.

The bottom line is that Ainge, who saved his job by pulling off the perfect storm of trades that yielded Allen and Garnett three years ago, has made it clear in private conversations that he's "not going back to the abyss," according to one person familiar with the discussions. 

"Danny has said, 'I can't go back to square one where we were prior to the Garnett deal,'" the person said. "At the All-Star break, they’re going to look in the mirror and say, 'Cleveland got better, we can't beat Orlando, and we can't even beat the Hawks. We’re not going to win it this year.'"

If the Celtics kept Allen and let his contract come off the books, they'd still be over the cap this summer with no avenues besides sign-and-trades to acquire a starting shooting guard. That's why Boston also has expressed interest in the Bulls' Kirk Hinrich, an excellent defender and ball-handler who would give the Celtics a starting two guard next season at $9 million and in 2011-12 at $8 million. The Bulls' motivation would be cap relief.

The Kings, who are not planning to be big free-agent shoppers this summer, aren't seeking to acquire cap space alone. They want assets -- and the Celtics don't have a young big man to offer. The Bulls, who almost certainly will move Tyrus Thomas, might need to be invited into that conversation to satisfy everyone's needs.

Whatever avenue they pursue, the Celtics don't want to go into this summer with no cap flexibility and no assets that could be used to keep them among the elite. Before Ainge struck the 2007 draft-related deal for Allen and then plucked Garnett from Minnesota with the help of former teammate Kevin McHale, the Celtics had just endured a 24-win season and hadn't been out of the first round since 2002-03. Ainge and Doc Rivers were on the brink of getting fired until the perfect remedy presented itself -- and the Celtics parlayed the Allen and Garnett deals into their 17th NBA title.

"Kevin McHale's out of the league," one rival executive said, only half-joking. "So they're not going to be able to recreate that deal again."

The period leading up to that was so grim that nobody in the organization wants to revisit it. The best way to avoid such a scenario would be to part ways with Allen. It wouldn't be starting over. Instead, it would be a bold attempt to have a chance against Cleveland, Orlando, and Atlanta in the playoffs and avoid going back to the depths of rebuilding.


Since: Nov 9, 2008
Posted on: February 9, 2010 4:02 pm

Celtics, Allen on trade clock

I agree. The Celtics would find themselves in the same position as when they were at the end of the Big 3 dynasty years, and held on a little too long. That poor planning, and the cocaine OD of Len Bias, sent the franchise into a tailspin for a number of years.

Since: Jan 26, 2010
Posted on: February 9, 2010 6:46 am

Allen - NOT the only problem

I'm a Seattle supersonics fan especially when Ray Ray was here in town. Ray Allen is shooting 45fg% on the year.  Yea his 3p% is down, but he's had to shoulder the load without a healthy KG or Paul Pierce for most of the way.  Trading Allen won't do anything.  The whole team is ailing.  Time to rebuild around Rondo.

Since: Sep 1, 2006
Posted on: February 8, 2010 11:55 pm

Celtics, Allen on trade clock

Well. Not just Ray Allen has problem.....this season.

I think all big three have the same problem. Do they get lazy????? What's wrong with them?

Big baby Davis, Tony Allen and rest of young talents all played well (of course Rondo now the best player in C's) so far but Wallace, Ray, KG, PP did not.

Those guys getting lazy.............. is because they already have Rings on hand

Since: Oct 11, 2006
Posted on: February 8, 2010 11:01 pm

Celtics, Allen on trade clock

The C's biggest trade chips right now are Rajon Rondo (untradable in my opinion) and Kevin Garnett. Hard as it might seem to get equal value for either of those guys, they should look at it to see what they can get. Look at young teams on the threshold of competing. The OKC Thunder for instance. What if you got a raft of draft picks and Jeff Green for Garnett? Green plugs in nicely with Kendrick Perkins and RAsheed Wallace, while the Cs get some picks to build up the team with again. Another crazy trade partner would be Phoenix, who'd love to move Amare and have some youth as well. Just a thought.

Since: Feb 8, 2010
Posted on: February 8, 2010 6:21 pm

Celtics, Allen on trade clock

Why would the Celtics want to give up on this season, because they "only" have the same record as Atlanta and are 1 game behind Orlando? 
If Boston trades away Ray Allen, then they will automatically suffer as they lose a guy who knows his role and they get one (or more) guy that needs to find his role and learn the system.  So unless they get some amazing value, then in my humble opinion better wait until end of the season.  Cheers from the NBA fan from Switzerland Laughing

Since: Sep 29, 2006
Posted on: February 8, 2010 5:52 pm

Celtics, Allen on trade clock

your team is old and not enough athletes to keep up with hawks, cavs, orlando and most all teams in the west.  Playoff team yes but not a real contender this year.

Since: Sep 29, 2006
Posted on: February 8, 2010 5:49 pm

Celtics, Allen on trade clock

you can bleed green but your team is not in good shape-33 and bad knees is not a starter-he can come off the bench if you had another player to replace him-bad knees do not get better.  Rondo has no outside game yet and so you need a better spot up shooter. This is not the C's year with the team they have on the floor.

Since: Feb 10, 2007
Posted on: February 8, 2010 5:19 pm

Celtics, Allen on trade clock

Another guy i'd look into is Andre Iguodala  .... young .. tough ... good rebounder ... decent shoot.

Since: Feb 10, 2007
Posted on: February 8, 2010 5:06 pm

Celtics, Allen on trade clock

*  Why AREN'T plays designed for KG and Sheed in the low post 

Since: Feb 10, 2007
Posted on: February 8, 2010 5:04 pm

Celtics, Allen on trade clock

You're right .. rebounding has been there achiles heel ... that and poor FT shooting.

Why Doc doesn't get the team workin on both these areas is beyond me ... although, the rebounding has picked up as of late.

Not sure about confronting one player ... it's a team issue and should be addressed accross the board.

Also .. why plays are designed for KG or Wallace in the post is beyond me.   Perkins as well ... his shot percentage is the highest in the league ... work on his post game and get him more post possessions.   

Speaking of Sheed  ... he's  the cancer on the team  .. they weren't lazy before he got there and I think his bad attitude and dumb lazy play has rubbed off on the team some.    IMO .. i would cut ties with Sheed and trade him immediately and let some other team pick up whatever part of his horrible contract they are willing to take.   If you gotta eat 2 mill per year ... so be it ... this guy is a disgrace to basketball and should never have been brought into the class organization that is the Celtics.


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