Boston Celtics: Danny Ainge Has One Week to Trade Allen and Garnett

Ben Shapiro@benshapironyc1 Analyst IIIMarch 9, 2012

Will Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett be on the move in the next week?
Will Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett be on the move in the next week?Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Next Thursday, March 15th, is the NBA trade deadline. At some point between now and then Danny Ainge should make the bare minimum one trade involving either Kevin Garnett or Ray Allen. To not make such a trade, or even a combination of trades in which both players are dealt, would be completely irresponsible. 

If you don't want to hear that or you disagree, that's fine. But ask yourself this simple question: Can the Boston Celtics make a different trade or stand pat and win an NBA title this season? 

If your answer to that is anything but "yes," then there is absolutely zero reason to not trade one or both of those players. 

Ainge won't get much in return; after all, he's already missed out on many chances to get something of value in return for either aging superstar. 

Both players are nearing the end of their contracts. Both players get paid handsomely. Both players can retire or become unrestricted free agents at the conclusion of this season. Clearly, whatever deal Angie makes won't be bringing earth shattering talent back to Boston in return. 

It's better than nothing, though. 

That's exactly what Ainge and the Celtics will get if they choose not to trade either player. Nothing, zilch, zero, a goose egg. If you have assets that are rapidly declining in value, you don't wait for them to become worthless. Yet, that's exactly what Ainge would be doing by not facilitating a trade of some sort.

Even if it's for a young unproven player or a second-round pick, it's something. It's better than nothing. 

If the team performs worse down the stretch, that would be a shame. But would you prefer a higher first-round draft pick in one of the deepest drafts in recent memory, or a first- or second-round playoff exit? 

The playoffs would be better for this season, as some younger players and higher draft picks would be far better for the next three, four, or five seasons. The general manager's job is to build a team for the future and to win championships. Keeping both Allen and Garnett is a move in neither of those directions.

The fact that both players are unrestricted free agents after this season means that if either of them wants to play for the Celtics at a lower price, then they will have the option of doing so. If they don't want to play for Boston, then they don't have to. But that will be the case this offseason, regardless of what moves Ainge does or does not make in the next week. 

It's time to pull the trigger on a deal involving Ray Allen or Kevin Garnett. The sentimental value the players hold to Celtics fans is only under contract for another month or two.

The era of "The Big Three" is coming to a close. The only question is whether or not Danny Ainge and the Celtics want to start the rebuilding process now or continue to put off the inevitable.