May 22, 2007
I'm working on the assumption that if the Celtics land the number one pick in the draft, they'll select Greg Oden and go to bed very happy.
But if the ping-pong ball lands in the two-slot, will they go to war with Kevin Durant for the next 15 years?
I'm not convinced that they should.
If Danny Ainge is serious about turning this team around in the now, he needs to stab Bill Simmons and Celtic Nation in the heart and do his best to trade Kevin Durant, Theo Ratliff and, say, Leon Powe to the Phoenix Suns for Shawn Marion and Corey Brewer.
The 2007 Celtics starting lineup would then look like this:
PG: Rajon Rondo
SG: Corey Brewer
SF: Paul Pierce
PF: Shawn Marion
C: Al Jefferson
Adding a long-armed defensive stopper in Brewer and the most versatile defender in the league in Marion would easily give the Celtics the most athletic team in the Eastern Conference. Ainge should then turn one of his "prized" young players (Delonte West, Tony Allen, or Gerald Green) into a lethal long-range shooter.
J.J. Redick is probably available for the right price in Orlando. With Redick and a "healthy" Wally Szczerbiak in the rotation, the Celtics could let Rajon Rondo loose to penetrate and dish to the perimeter. Throw in Ryan Gomes and Kedrick Perkins, and you've got one helluva nine-man rotation.
In sum: Pierce and Jefferson remain the offensive staples. Doc Rivers doesn't have to call plays for Marion or Brewer. The starting five can lock down their smallish Eastern Conference foes. The 2007 Boston Celtics compete for the Eastern Conference Championship.
The alternative is placing a bet on Rivers figuring out how to use Pierce and Durant together (good luck) while continuing to groom Jefferson. This ends in Pierce getting shipped for less than he's worth...guaranteed.
Does Danny have the guts to do the right thing...or will he give in to the fan base?
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