According to ESPN.com's Jeff Caplan and Marc Stein, the Celtics have reportedly agreed to terms with Jason Terry this past week. ESPNBoston.com reported PF Kevin Garnett has agreed to re-sign with the team as well.
These moves are surefire indicators that the Celtics are looking to compete for a championship now, and it was exactly the right move.
Last season was supposed to be this team's final run at a title with Ray Allen and Garnett set to be free agents.That extra money from the expiring contracts would allow president of basketball operations Danny Ainge to shop for young talent in free agency. In turn, it would be a move that helped this team to make title runs down the road.
Yet Ainge went out and sought both Terry and Garnett, and according to ESPN.com's Brian Windhorst, the team made an offer to Allen despite the sharpshooter eventually choosing to play with the Heat.
The indisputable deciding factor for Ainge was the performance of these Celtics in the 2012 playoffs. To begin the playoffs the team survived two tough matchups against a younger Philadelphia 76ers and Atlanta Hawks. Philadelphia was able to push this team to seven games.
The Celtics followed that up by coming back from an 0-2 deficit to go up 3-2 in the Eastern Conference Finals against the NBA-champion Miami Heat. Boston may have been older and undeniably slower on both ends, but the fact was they were one game away from the NBA Finals.
It is also important to consider the team was without their two key talents in Avery Bradley and Jeff Green while playing an unhealthy Allen as well.
Had these veterans failed to make a comeback against the Heat, Ainge and the Celtics would have been doing themselves a favor entering a post-Big Three era. Boston would then be able to give Jared Sullinger and Fab Melo playing time together, as well as a developing backcourt in Rondo and Bradley.
But when it was all said and done, Boston proved that they were capable of taking down the Heat in the playoffs. The Celtics survived in seven games against the 76ers, came back strong against the eventual champions, and the aging veterans were at their best in the playoffs.
Garnett's 19.2 points per game this postseason was the most he had posted since scoring 20.4 a contest in the 2007-08 title run. Although Paul Pierce had his shooting woes, the six rebounds per game in the playoffs was the highest average Pierce has posted since the 2004-05 appearance. Not to mention, Pierce scored at least 19 points in four of his last five games.
Though the team won't have Allen next season, Terry is the type of clutch scorer that can take the big shots Allen once took. He is a knock-down shooter who can hit from nearly anywhere on the floor. More importantly, Terry brings a 2011 championship along with him. Incidentally, the one title came against none other than the Miami Heat.
This team survived several tough playoff matchups and were neck-and-neck with the Heat in 2012, which is why bringing back Garnett and seeking out a talent like Terry is precisely what the Celtics need. It is clear this team is aware that they must soon prepare for the rebuilding stages. Yet make no mistake about it, the Celtics also know they have what it takes to beat the reigning champs.