Blog Entry

The Celtics are at a crossroads

Posted on: June 30, 2010 1:10 pm
You realize it was just three years ago that the Big 3 in Boston were formed? At the time, we knew that their window was short. All three were older, with only a few years left. After the first championship, it looked like they were destined for more. Then when the collapse in 2009 happened due to injury, we thought the window had slammed shut, and that carried through last season when they limped into the playoffs. Then they tore the East's head off and ate the remains, and going into the Finals it looked like everything was hunky-dorey. But even losing in the final minutes of a Game 7 aren't enough when the league moves as fast as the NBA does now.

And with the events of the past 48 hours, one thing is clear. The Celtics are at a crossroads.

Paul Pierce is opting out . Ray Allen is a free agent. And Doc Rivers is still trying to decide whether to come back or not. And all three of those decisions impact each other.

If Rivers comes back, he'll want to make sure he's contending for a title, not rebuilding. And Pierce and Allen will likely want to play for the coach that took them to the Finals, not Vinny Del Negro (no offense, Vinny).

So all sides have to come together to make another run at it, and then Danny Ainge has to decide exactly how much that run is worth. This is not an easy situation. You might say this is trickier than Amar'e Stoudemire in Phoenix or Dwyane Wade in Miami. The future in Boston is highly uncertain. They were unable to get to the summit with the squad as currently assembled. Do they believe they could get there with the same group a year older? Do they need home court advantage (read: should they actually try in the regular season?)? Do they have to upgrade? Are they willing to take a paycut to upgrade?

Rivers, to his credit, and unlike some other headline making coaches, is staying quiet . He's going to not say anything, make his decision, and live with it. Pierce is opting out, but there's no indication if he's doing so to make room for the team or to get the most he can or to explore his options elsewhere. After being dangled on the trade line, you can bet Ray Allen will be taking a good look around.

This team could be dramatically different next season, and that has impacts on Rajon Rondo, who would need to become the unquestioned leader of the team. For Kendrick Perkins, who will have surgery and won't be ready by the start of the season .

And where does that leave Kevin Garnett? All the Celtics have succeeded by one motto of staying together, playing together, fighting together. But the winds of change are at the door, and as a team, they have to decide what happens next.

Like I said, things move pretty quickly in the NBA. You don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss... wait. That's not right .

Since: May 17, 2008
Posted on: June 30, 2010 2:52 pm

The Celtics are at a crossroads

If the Celtics sign Boozer or Bosh then what, Garnett to the bench? All 3 are PF and none will want to play off the bench.  You could try Bosh at C but he's be out of position and probably not as effective there, plus then what do you do when Perkins gets back---you need that wide bodied 7 footer in the middle. That said, I don't think Pierce opted out of his contract to make less money in Boston, he's looking for more.

Since: Jun 22, 2009
Posted on: June 30, 2010 2:48 pm

The Celtics are at a crossroads

litonvegas, I understand that you must be a die hard celtic fan but that is not only the most unrealistic expectation for them to give up 1/4 of their salary, but that is also the worst lineup that anyone has put together during all of this free agent talk.  Bosh Boozer and Perkins with Paul Pierce and Rondo. First of all Garnett is a legend and he is not going on the bench for Boozer. Second you have no SG, or if you think Paul Pierce is your SG, then you have no SF. No Bosh can not play SF.  All they should do is focus on resigning everyone they lost and a solid big man to come off the bench at a mid level salary.  Garnett will never be a sixth man.

Since: Mar 6, 2008
Posted on: June 30, 2010 1:38 pm

The Celtics are at a crossroads

If the Big Three would just give up 1/4 of their salaries each, they could free up almost 20 million combined with Rasheed's salary going away.  They could then sign two blockbuster free agents (Boozer/Bosh?) and have an unbelievable front line and bench that would be unbeatable given that the Big Three are aging.  But since Pierce is filing for UFA, this doesnt seem possible anymore? Starting lineup: Pierce, Bosh, Boozer, Rondo and Perkins.  Garnett could be the best sixth man ever.   Maybe Pierce wants to go back to Los Angeles where he has his roots. Clippers:  Take a shot at Pierce and Boozer  and the Clippers will not be an afterthought in L.A. anymore. 

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