Another day ticks off of the calendar and the writing on the wall becomes more and more clear. The Boston Celtics need to take a step back in order to move forward.
The Celtics have reached the point where a trade needs to happen in order to better the club for the future.
Regardless of what the Celtics have to offer, decisions have to be made.
So what do the Celtics have to offer in a trade:
Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett have reached the end of their contracts, holding onto both Allen and KG will yield nothing in return for their services.
Next up Paul Pierce. Pierce has a ton of remaining money left on his current deal. The Celtics can look to make a deal moving the veteran captain or choose to amnesty him and try to work out a new deal.
Taking the amnesty route does have its share of risks. Sure, the money will come off of the books, but there is possibility that Pierce can choose to sign elsewhere.
Pierce may want to remain a Celtic for life, but that is before his hometown Lakers or Clippers have come calling with a boatload of cash to throw at him.
And finally, there is Rondo. Rajon Rondo is the Celtics’ one and only legitimate trade chip. Rondo is a player that could net a high caliber player in return. On the flip side, star point guards do not exactly grow on trees.
Now onto the rumor mill:
Depending on who you read/listen to. The Celtics are either holding onto Rondo or looking to deal him for anything.
There is a growing assumption that Danny Ainge will try his hardest to move Rondo to the Nets in place of Deron Williams. Williams is seen as the key piece needed for any team hoping to land Dwight Howard in free agency.
Rondo has upside, but he also has his fare share of warts. Not likely for this to happen, but it is at least a starting point.
Another rumor that simply will not go away is the Rondo for Pau Gasol swap. This move makes sense in a fantasy basketball sense, but not in real life. Rondo is younger, cheaper and simply more dynamic. While Gasol will make a difference, the price is just too steep considering the extra pieces you need to throw in to make the money work.
Paul Pierce seems like a hot topic around the Bean lately after being rumored to be being moved to both the Trailblazers and the Knicks. The Knicks deal had a possible swap for Carmelo Anthony, the Blazers not so much. Anthony would look good in green, but the excessive baggage he brings to the court would wear on fans wicked fast.
As the clock roars towards three o’clock this afternoon, it is seeming more and more likely that the Celtics will hold onto their assets and look to rebuild in the off season. The recent loss of Chris Wilcox exposes the team’s front court even more.
The Celtics should be players in this market. They no longer have what it takes to remain an upper echelon club in the association. While the team can turn it on from time to time, they simply lack the youth/depth to make this happen on a consistent basis.
You have to know when to hold them and know when to fold them at the deadline. Only time will tell if Ainge will walk or run away from the moves made/not made over the next few hours.