Think back to the summer of 2007. Paul Pierce was disgruntled by his team’s consistant losing ways. Kevin Garnett, who had called for a trade, came out and said he was not interested in Boston. The Celtics and their fan base had not won a championship 22 years, something foreign to a team that at one time eight straight championships. Then, everything changed. GM Danny Ainge pulled off a trade to acquire Ray Allen and Glen Davis for #5 pick Jeff Green, Delonte West, and Wally Szczerbiak. Once Allen joined Pierce in Boston, Kevin Garnett quickly realized the opportunity that presented itself–a chance to play with two other perennial all stars in Beantown. Though still a bit reluctant, one-time MVP Kevin Garnett was traded to Boston in a blockbuster deal to form the “Boston Three Party.” That season, the Celtics won the NBA Championship.
Admittedly, this story was one I experienced as a longtime Boston fan of every Boston team. However, this story is not a Disney story and does not look destined for a happy ending. As the March 15th trade deadline approaches, the Boston Celtics have been the team mentioned the most in potential deals. With all 5 Celtic’s starters subjected to trade talk, it seems no one in Boston is safe these days. Let’s look at some deals Ainge and the Celtics have been swirled around:
Rajon Rondo (Celtics G) for Pau Gasol (Lakers F)
In my opinion, this deal just doesn’t make sense. Rondo is a great up and coming point guard who has a very friendly contract. Even though KG is falling apart and does not control the inside anywhere near the level Gasol can, Gasol is getting up their in age (31). He reminds me of Kevin Garnett when he first arrived in Boston; sure, he might be great for a few years but after that he’ll be just like KG now–aging and rapidly declining. The Celtics need to get young and retool and getting Gasol doesn’t do that.
Rajon Rondo (Celtics G) for either Steph Curry (Warriors G) or Deron Williams (Nets G)
For either of these deals to be practical, their obviously would need to be more pieces given away on the part of the Celtics. Rondo for Curry was a hot topic back when the CP3 trades ran wild, but it is not clear if either teams would revisit the trade option. Rondo has been reported to be very moody and not well liked around the league, certainly the makings of a guy who needs a change of scenery. Plus, the Warriors have premier scorer and borderline ball-hog Monta Elllis (SG) who would match well with Rondo who is more than happy to not shoot. The Celtics would love to have a scoring PG, and Curry would bring them just that. As far as Deron Williams, he obviously is a scoring and passing combo guard and one of the top 5 PG’s the in league. Beyond being a perennial All-Star, D-Will could attract Dwight Howard and/or other superstars to Boston, who will have tons of salary room this offseason with KG, Allen, and Jermaine O’Neal’s contracts coming off the books. Boston surely would need to give much more than Rondo for Williams though.
Kevin Garnett (Celtics F) for Josh Smith (Hawks F)
Why the Hawks would want to do this, I’m not sure. However, this trade rumor has been swirling around lately and I would have to assume the Celtics would give more than KG to acquire 26 year old, borderline All-Star Smith. At best the Hawks would stay the same and gain an expiring contract with KG, and at worst they would become significantly worse without Smith. This would be though, a great move for the C’s. They would get a very young and athletic SF/PF who could certainly be a part of a future “Big 3″ as he is averaging about 16 PPG, 10 RPG, and 1 BPG this year. I’m all for this deal, Danny Ainge.
Jermaine O’Neal (Celtics C) for Michael Beasley (Timberwolves F)
Since being drafted 2nd overall in the 2008 draft, Beasley is unquestionably a talented young man. However, he is very immature and has not developed into a great NBA player–yet. We most remember he is still only 23 years old and has lots of time to develop. The problem is that he is a restricted free agent after this year and could demand a high salary, something Minnesota doesn’t want to deal with. In O’Neal, the T-Wolves might not be getting great talent, but they get an expiring contract and loads of salary room to sign a superstar to come play with recently resigned Kevin Love and Ricky Rubio. Could you imagine the potential Beasley would have under coach Doc Rivers? Beasley needs a change of scenery and the ‘Wolves could use some salary space, so this deal actually makes a lot of sense for both parties. The only question mark would be, where does Beasley fit in if Pierce remains a Celtic–they both play SF.
If there is one thing for sure, it is that Danny Ainge has a plan. Ainge is one of the craftiest GM’s in all of sports and I can undoubtedly say he has a game-plan for this team. He must have something; Doc Rivers signed a 5 year extension last summer with the team when everyone thought he would give up coaching after this year since the Big 3 will be dispersed and his son will be starting his NBA career. Will Rondo be moved? How about the big 3? Can the Celtics really get a superstar with the pieces they have now, or can they get “chips” which can then be traded this offseason for a superstar? There are certainly many question marks with this Celtics team now and no one is safe. That said, I have been a Celtics fan my whole life and “in Danny I trust.” With the trade deadline less than 2 weeks away, I am prepared for a couple big deals by the Celtics, or no deals at all. But that’s why we watch the sport. Anything can happen.
Ryan Grady (TempuuR) is a new Fantasycpr writer.
You can follow Ryan on twitter @greentheexperts OR at his site http://greentheexperts.weebly.com/index.html