Blog Entry

Ainge says he's open to trading the Big 3

Posted on: January 19, 2012 11:31 am
Edited on: January 19, 2012 1:17 pm
 Danny Ainge says he'll consider "blowing up" the Big 3 of Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen, and Paul Pierce (Getty Images)

By Matt Moore

In comments which should surprise absolutely no one, Danny Ainge told the Boston Globe Thursday that he's prepared to blow up the Big 3 of Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen, and Paul Pierce if they could find a deal which will help them transition into the next era of contention through younger players. The Celtics, who have yet to defeat a team over .500 and who snapped a five-game losing streak with a win over Toronto Wednesday night, have looked well past their prime. The team continues to insist it's a matter of conditioning and not necessarily age. But Ainge's comments clearly indicate that he's not willing to hold out until the Celtics' door has been slammed completely shut. From the Boston Globe:
Ainge said he would consider trades if they would net younger talent. He has maintained he does not want the franchise to go through a 10-year span of insignificance as it did following the departures of the previous Big Three of Larry Bird, Kevin McHale, and Robert Parish, who remained with the team past their primes.

"First of all it’s a different era," Ainge told the Globe. "I sat with Red (Auerbach) during a Christmas party (in the 1990s). Red was talking to Larry, Kevin, and myself and there was a lot of trade discussion at the time and Red actually shared some of the trade discussions. And I told Red what are you doing? Why are you waiting?

"He had a chance to trade Larry (to Indiana) for Chuck Person and Herb Williams and (Steve) Stipanovich and he had a chance to trade Kevin (to Dallas) for Detlef Schrempf and Sam Perkins. I was like are you kidding? I mean I feel that way now. If I were presented with those kind of deals for our aging veterans, it’s a done deal to continue the success."
via Ainge would consider Big Three trade -

If you want to take anything of real note from these comments, it's that Ainge no longer has confidence and faith that this core can contend for a championship. That doesn't mean he's ruled it out, but it means that he's not completely comfortable with the core formed four years ago that sought multiple titles to the most storied franchise in the league (with apologies to the mighty Lakers), and to date have only brought one. That's one more than most players or franchises have ever obtained, but that's not the standard in Boston.

Paul Pierce seems to have very little lift or stamina, as evidenced by a pair of ugly missed layup attempts against the Raptors Wednesday night when Pierce was blocked by the rim. Pierce finished with eight points but did have seven assists vs. the Raptors. Meanwhile, Kevin Garnett has very little lift and is struggling for the first time in the are he has for so long dominated, defense. Ray Allen is still knocking down threes but even he of the ridiculous conditioning has shown the effects of age. It's hard to see this team improving on last year's progress which ended in a quick five games against the Miami Heat

Ainge is faced with tearing down the most successful team of his tenure, and trading multiple Hall of Famers who teams know have eroding abilities and who will likely not have the same motivation outside the warm, family environment of the Boston green, for young players and picks with which to build a new nucleus around Rajon Rondo with. Jeff Green was projected to be a part of that foundation, but his heart condition has left his career up in the air for the foreseeable future, and the Celtics have no other young assets. 

But that's not the only reason Ainge may not be able to get a deal done. The odds are strong the Celtics will go on a tear this season. They'll start playing better, get into better condition, start showing flashes of the old intensity on both sides of the ball. A few significant wins against top teams will create the urge for Aine to stay his hand. The problem is that defeating teams which may not honestly take them very seriously at this point in the regular season is drastically different from the playoffs, and after the brutal intensity of this compacted regular season, the Celtics simply may not have enough left in what is already a depleted tank to make a push once they get to the playoffs, having burned so much fuel just to reach the planet Postseason. 

It's an interesting question to ponder, if the Big 3 are broken up: did they fail? On the one hand, they validated all three of their Hall of Fame entry tickets with a championship, and in the age of free agency, one ring is rarer than ever. But this team had lofty expectations of a dynasty, and instead may walk away with just the one. How can you win a championship with a core, and make another Finals trip, and be considered a failure? The answer to that question lies with the legacy of the name of the front of their uniforms, and though history will judge them individually as giants among mortals, if this is the Big 3's last year together their legacy will be significantly less in stature than what we assumed it would be when confetti rained on them in 2008. 

(HT: SLAM Online)


Since: Dec 7, 2011
Posted on: January 19, 2012 4:00 pm

Ainge says he's open to trading the Big 3

ainge nees to do something. ifhe can get anyone that is susceptive to past stats and liking a legend. some people that make decisions on the nba teams seem to be that way. when you have rondo as you best olayer , something needs to be done. rondo is a swuirrel. there are many reasons to say that, but the main one is when he wants to race bolt. he has not yet realized that the game isnot abouthis ego, but about helping the team.

Since: Sep 24, 2011
Posted on: January 19, 2012 3:42 pm

Ainge says he's open to trading the Big 3

Danny, go get Jimmer while his stock is low. He's playing with thugs who don't want anything to do with him.

Since: Dec 18, 2006
Posted on: January 19, 2012 3:36 pm

Ainge says he's open to trading the Big 3

Which teams would gave away their young talent to these 3 senior citizens? Ainge should have thought of trading these guys at least 2 years ago but to do it now, I think it's already too late. I see all 3 of them retiring after this season. I don't think Pierce, Garnett and Allen wanting to play with any other team but Boston unless they are traded to a team that has a great chance of winning the title like Lakers,Mavs,Bulls, and even Thunder, and maybe the Clippers. Obviously they will have to take a major paycut but I'm sure these millionaires don't care so much about the money, they just want a chance to win another ring.

Since: Apr 14, 2009
Posted on: January 19, 2012 3:14 pm

Ainge says he's open to trading the Big 3

I agree with all that think Ainge should be fired. He took what essentially was the best team in the league last year and traded away the anchor to their post game in Perkins. Ainge went against the age old adage of "if it ain't broke, than don't fix it" and somebody has to be held responsible for it. The trade that sent Perk away to OKC was a shock to everyone. How can you preach team unity and Ubuntu, then go ahead and trade away one of your own, all this while having the best record in the East? You can say that if it wasn't for Ainge the big three would have not been together in the first place, but in the world of sports it's, what have you done for me lately? Ainge sunk this battleship and then did nothing in the off-season to fix it... He's a bum and he needs to go!!!!

Since: Dec 14, 2011
Posted on: January 19, 2012 3:05 pm
This comment has been removed.

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Since: Dec 3, 2006
Posted on: January 19, 2012 2:56 pm

Ainge says he's open to trading the Big 3

Peirce is the only one who has spent his whole career in Boston.  Trading him might ruffle a few feathers.  Allen and Garnett were traded for.  I don't see how trading them away for younger talent and draft choices could ruin their legacy as Celtics.  They were basically hired guns to help Peirce win the championship.  Mission accomplished.

The thing is what are they really going to get for any one of these guys?  Allen probably has the most value as he seems to have the most left in the tank.  Garnett really hasn't been that great for a couple seasons and Peirce is fading fast.  I'm thinking teams looking to make a playoff run would be interested in aquiring one of these guys.   But really what are they going to get?  Late 1st round picks?  backups?   It's going to be real hard for them to get much value for them. 

Since: Jun 24, 2011
Posted on: January 19, 2012 2:43 pm

Ainge says he's open to trading the Big 3

Let's not forget Ainge basically gave away Kendrick Perkins & Glen Davis. They need to get rid of him now.

Since: Sep 15, 2006
Posted on: January 19, 2012 2:17 pm

Ainge says he's open to trading the Big 3

Damn does time fly.  I can't believe Garnett is in his 16th season already.

Since: Apr 2, 2011
Posted on: January 19, 2012 2:16 pm

Ainge says he's open to trading the Big 3

They need to get rid of Ainge.  Last year's big trade turned out to be a big bust. Where is the accountability?  If he believes the C's should've traded Larry and Kevin, then he shouldnt be mad if they fire him today.

Since: Oct 26, 2006
Posted on: January 19, 2012 1:51 pm

Ainge says he's open to trading the Big 3

They won't win it all this year so they might as well get what you can for these guys. Trade for picks, trade exemptions, and leave the team cap space to sign free agents.

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