There are reports that the Celtics are receiving inquiries from other teams about Paul Pierce. This is a no-brainer. Danny Ainge should trade him while the 34-year-old former All-Star still has some value. I wouldn't settle for less than a future first round pick and a young player who shows some upside. On the surface, this kind of return could be a reach, especially since the The Captain is grossly out of shape, and hasn’t exhibited much in the way of production before Monday night’s second half retro performance against the Thunder. However, there are teams out there looking for the final piece to get them an NBA title, and Pierce just may fit the bill.
The Celtics are going nowhere this year. It’s obvious, even though some out there want you to believe that the C’s will make some noise once they get in shape. The only noise you’ll hear is when the C’s team bus pulls out of the arena after they’ve been swept out of the first round of the playoffs. That is, if they even make the playoffs.
Believe it or not, the Celtics already have the blueprint to win banner 18. Let’s go back to the summer of 2007. The Celtics were awful, ending the season 24-58. They had two chips, a young Al Jefferson (21ppg/11 rpg) and the fifth pick in the NBA draft. We all know Danny traded Delonte West, Wally Szczerbiak, and that fifth pick (Jeff Green) to Seattle for Ray Allen. Then Danny sent Big Al to Minnesota (along with a host of forgettable players-Gerald Green, Sebastian Telfair, and Ryan Gomes) for KG. The rest is history; one NBA title and possibly two more if KG was healthy in 2009 and Perkins hadn’t ripped up his knee in game 6 of the NBA finals.
Look, the Celtics stunk for several years, and that’s why they were able to swing the deals for Allen and KG. The blueprint is simple. Become a lousy team, get high draft picks like Al Jefferson, hope they develop, and then have a shrewd G.M. (insert Danny Ainge here) who will trade them (and picks) away for established stars who still have something left in the tank and something to prove. It worked once and it can work again. The downside is we, the Celtics fans, must endure a long spell of horrible basketball before you can even begin to sniff the possibility of another NBA title.
Bye the way, don’t even entertain the possibility that the Celtics will bring in a couple of big time, raise the roof free agents next season (given the expiring contracts of Ray Allen and KG) and team them with Pierce. The Chris Paul and Dwight Howard post-lockout trade bacchanalia already tells us that uber free agents don’t want to come to Boston.
So cut out the sentimentality. It’s O-K to appreciate all that The Captain did for the C’s. But this is a business baby. Go ahead Danny. Ship Pierce out of town once he’s in game shape and let’s look ahead to Banner 18 being raised to the rafters in 2016? 2017? 2018? Your guess is as good as mine.