Last year, I didn’t think the Boston Celtics had what it took to win the championship. Glaring seemed Rajon Rondo's inexperience, and I questioned the depth of the bench. But they won it all anyway, and I was very proud of Kevin Garnett's veteran leadership.
This year, I again doubt their ability to win, and I also see their window closing. It might be time to start tearing down, as the current economic situation could allow the Celtics to thrive for many years should they start to rebuild now. Because of how things are going, teams are looking to deal contracts and great tier-two athletes for basically nothing. One good example of talent being sold at too low of a price was Andres Nocioni, though the Kings eventually offered a great package for him.
The Celtics must aggressively go after teams that are basically giving away everything for a shot at the 2010 free agent pool. Boston should look to deal with teams like the Knicks, who gave away two great players to dump salaries.
The Celtics can afford to be over the cap and luxury cap for years because they will be a good team that can and will defend for many years.
Of course, with that being said, they really need a bench and a few up-and-coming starters. Everyone talks about the "Big Three" being old and running out of time, and while I don't see it like that, I do think they need to be slowed down. If you can bring in players who are capable of playing starting minutes but still keep them on the bench, it would give the Celtics an edge.
If the C's went after players like Tracy McGrady (whose career could possibly be over in Houston), it could pay off greatly. He plays an isolation type of basketball which could prove to be very fitting when the Celtics want to rest their trio more often. Besides, odds are the second-level guys coming off opposing benches wouldn’t be able to handle T-Mac one-on-one.
True, Houston doesn't play well when McGrady is run in an iso. But the Celtics cannot go after players that every team has given up on because of their attitude (i.e., Iverson and Carter). They must go after and give a chance to players that simply aren't on a fitting team. Besides, it looks as though Tracy will need a new destination after this season.
If the Celtics can continue to find creative ways to sign good players, they can contend for years even if the "Big Three" get past their prime. Like I say, veteran leadership and experience win you Playoff series, not an upcoming, youthful, fast-paced team.