NBA Trade Talk: 5 Moves Boston Celtics Need to Make Now
Danny Ainge says it's time for change. The aging and struggling Boston Celtics are a hot button of rumors and speculations for the trading season. Celtics fans are anticipating big shake-ups, potentially starting with the "Big Three."
With the faint glimmer of the old glory in their minds, the Celtics are exploring all their options, the best being out with some of the old, and in with the new.
Here is a look at five moves the Celtics should make NOW.
Let Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen Go
This will come as a blow to some Celtics fans, but the era of the three is coming to a close. Danny Ainge, President of Basketball Operations, has already stated to the Boston Globe that young talent is going to be his focus and he will do what it takes to get it.
The three have been the pride and joy of the Celtics, but let's face it, they aren't getting younger. This season has proved that. Riddled with injuries, the guys in green haven't been exactly successful and it won't get any easier. With the likes of Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett passing their mid-thirties, it's time for the Celtics to cut and get as much as possible for them while they can.
It's nothing personal to these guys.
Keep Paul Pierce
Team captain and front man Paul Pierce has had the rumor mill buzzing. The Celtics would be crazy to let him leave. Last season he averaged 18.9 points. It is argued that he is the greatest scorer in team history. His ability to make plays at crucial moments in the game makes him an asset not a liability. Giving him up could put the team at risk the rest of the season.
A heel injury limited his quickness and made for a slow start this season, but Pierce’s solid skills at defender around the paint make him a vital part to the team. Easily having the most range of the big three, Paul has proven injury won’t hold him back.
This season he is averaging 16.5 points per game with six steals and 31 assists. Undoubtedly, he is one of the most effective players. He assisted the Celtics in an 87-56 win over the Magic. This led the Magic to their lowest franchise total in points; the Celtics could easily rebuild a solid team around captain Pierce.
It would be nearly impossible to keep the three and acquire Dwight Howard. Ainge has said he’s willing to “blow them up." Although Howard has said he would not be interested in the green, Ainge was able to land Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen, so why not Howard too?
His fresh face and powerful presence on the court is just what the Celts need to jump start some life into their game. Not only would his effectiveness on defense level up the already improving Celtic D, you can’t deny adding his shooting arm to assist shooting star Paul Pierce would lessen his pressure and give Howard some shining moments as well.
With a .553 field-goal percentage just this season, averaging 20.4 points per game, the Celtics could use him, desperately.
If everything goes as Ainge seems to be planning, he will be on a buying spree this trade season. One item he should have his eye on is Kevin Love. This All-Star talent from the Minnesota Timberwolves is just the remedy Doc needs to aid his team. Should Love hit restricted free agency, Ainge should feel eased to open his money bags to him.
Kevin Love has proved to be a powerful star on the court. Averaging 24.9 points per game, with 17 steals and 29 assists just this season, Love has the right stuff to nurse the Celtics to a championship. Love has the quickness to be the most effective forward for this team.
At the young age of 23, this guy has the freshness fans want and the abilities this veteran team wants.
It's important for the Celtics to add someone who can get to the bucket as easily as Paul Pierce and relieve some of his pressure. An excellent counterpart for him would be the Jazz guard Devin Harris.
Harris is tearing up the court this season: 21 rebounds, 57 assists and 13 steals should easily make him a candidate for Ainge. These kind of stats are perfection for a supporting spot on this team trying to rejuvenate itself. Not to mention, he's tacked on 122 points for the Jazz this season. If the big three stays in tack through 2012, they will need this kind of player along side them.
He's young, quick and agile. Grab him.