Pivotal Off-Season For Danny Ainge and Celtics
At the conclusion of Game 7 of the Eastern Conference semifinals between the Boston Celtics and Orlando Magic, it was clear who the better team was.
The Orlando Magic.
The problem for Danny Ainge and the Celtics was that they had no Kevin Garnett and Leon Powe, as both players were not healthy and unable to suit up for the series. That’s neither here nor there now and what matters is that the Boston Celtics have some key decisions to make during the summer about what the future holds for this intriguing squad.
With Doc Rivers and Tom Thibodeau locked up for next season, the coaching staff is all set. However, there have been trade rumors circling involving the names of Rajon Rondo, Ray Allen, and Kendrick Perkins in the past couple of weeks, specifically with the players being traded in some type of package to the Phoenix Suns or Minnesota Timberwolves.
Whether these rumors are true or are in fact just, rumors, is uncertain at this point. That doesn’t stop us from considering the options. If Danny Ainge and the Boston Celtics decide to trade an aging Ray Allen, it would not necessarily mean the Celtics are getting any worse. Allen’s contract ends at the end of the 2009-2010 season as he will be the first member of the Big Three out of Boston (if he chooses not to re-sign). If the C’s landed themselves a younger shooting guard or forward in a trade for Allen, it may set themselves up for more success in the long run while sacrificing a better chance at the title next season. However, a trade involving Rondo and Perkins would create a huge hole at the center and point guard position. The two youngsters have blossomed in the past two seasons and are on the verge of stardom. Replacing either would be tough especially with a limited number of resources.
However, if the Celtics worked a trade to land All-Star Amare Stoudemire, Leandro Barbosa and the 14 overall pick from the Suns for Rondo and Allen, maybe the Green should consider such a whopping swap. Boston would obviously need to find a ball-handling point guard for the short-term and the future with the lose of Rondo, but the acquisition of Stoudemire could create of the most feared and dynamic front courts in the history of the NBA. With Perkins, Garnett, and Stoudemire, the Celtics would dominate the post and boards. Also, Doc Rivers would be afforded the ability to rest Garnett more and prolong his career in Boston and the NBA.
Boston could also wheel the 14th overall pick from the Suns to another team for a point guard or other area of weakness. The possibilities are endless for the Celtics executive but fans urge extreme caution to Ainge when wheeling and dealing such big pieces to the puzzle.