Boston Celtics: 3 Bold Offseason Moves C's Must Make
The Boston Celtics came within one game of improbably making their third championship appearance in the last five years.
Instead, the Celtics lost to the heavily-favored Miami Heat in seven games. The team needs to make a major decision this offseason.
Danny Ainge and the Celtics front office need to decide whether the team will go all in for one last title run or end the Big Three era once and for all.
With the torn ACL suffered by Bulls star Derrick Rose that will sideline him for the majority of next season, and the overall lack of talent in the Eastern Conference, the Celtics have an opportunity to once again compete for a title next season.
The team should work hard this offseason to acquire talented players who can help the team contend for an NBA championship.
3. Sign Eric Gordon
One of the Celtics major problems this season was a lack of offensive firepower. The team’s 91.8 points per game this year ranked 26th out of 30 NBA teams.
Paul Pierce was the team’s only player who could create his own shot on a consistent basis. Besides Pierce, the team possessed a bevy of players who relied on others to set them up offensively.
Eric Gordon would be a perfect fit for the Celtics.
In each of the last two seasons, Gordon has averaged over 20 points per game. He will provide automatic offense for whichever team brings him in.
Gordon’s injury issues, which sidelined him for the majority of the 2011-2012 season, will slightly affect his allure to potential suitors this offseason.
Still, partially due to the dearth of talent in this year’s free agent pool, Gordon will still demand big money.
With Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen and a variety of other players coming off the books, the Celtics will have enough money to make a run at Gordon. The team should make a strong bid for the young shooting guard as he will provide Rajon Rondo with a young and athletic backcourt mate.
Gordon will make the Celtics offense far more lethal.
2. Don't Re-Sign Brandon Bass
Bass had the best season of his NBA career in his first year with the Celtics. The power forward averaged 12.5 points and 6.2 rebounds per game, which were both career highs.
He was consistently able to spread the floor by knocking down mid-range jumpers. He was universally thought to be a major upgrade over Glen Davis, who the team traded him for.
Why would the team not want to re-sign Bass?
Two big issues for the Celtics this season were rebounding and a lack of size. The team ranked dead last in rebounding, averaging a league low 38.8 boards per game.
Bass is a solid rebounder, but not a great one. He is also undersized for his position, as he is listed as a 6’8" power forward.
After being a reliable contributor for a team that reached the Eastern Conference Finals, Bass will receive a decent pay raise from some team this offseason.
The Celtics would be better off spending their money on a pure center who can provide size and rebounding for the team. The Celtics were constantly hurt this season because they were overpowered in the paint and on the boards by their opponents.
Bass is a very good player, but is not the best fit for the Celtics at the money he will demand.
1. Shop Paul Pierce
Celtics fans cannot fathom the team being without Pierce. He’s by far their longest tenure player, and has been the heart and soul of the team for much of his 14 year career.
The fact of the matter is that Pierce took a step back last season, especially during the playoffs.
During the regular season, Pierce shot just 44 percent from the field—the lowest for him since the 2006-2007 season—and shot a putrid 39 percent from the field during the postseason.
The most disheartening numbers for Pierce came in the Eastern Conference Finals.
Most people remember Pierce’s big three-pointer over LeBron James to clinch Game 5. Besides that shot, Pierce struggled mightily against one of the league’s best defenders.
He made only 34 percent of his field goal attempts during the series and shot over 40 percent in just two of the seven games.
Pierce usually raises his level of play when he is matched up against the toughest competition. Unfortunately, he did the exact opposite in the Eastern Conference Finals, and it cost the Celtics dearly in the series.
Pierce’s best days are behind him. The Celtics should consider moving the future Hall-of-Famer if they are given an offer they feel will make them a better team.