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NBA Trade Speculation: Why the Celtics Shouldn't Deal Kevin Garnett or Ray Allen

Jeremy Gottlieb@@jmg2776Contributor IJuly 6, 2011

Kevin Garnett may not be what he once was, but he can still help the Celtics contend.
Kevin Garnett may not be what he once was, but he can still help the Celtics contend.Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

The NBA lockout is in full swing, but that doesn't mean trade rumors aren't swirling.

The noise around the Boston Celtics, though, has amounted to little more than a dull roar thus far. Some attention has been given to the idea of the C's moving Ray Allen or Kevin Garnett, both in the final year of their respective deals, after the current labor impasse ends.

ESPN Boston took a look at this possible scenario, asking five NBA writers if they would either trade Allen and Garnett this offseason, at the 2012 trade deadline, not trade either of them, or deal one or the other. 

The results were unanimous, with every writer surveyed choosing the option of not to deal either future Hall-of-Famer.

And guess what? They're all spot on.

Naturally, neither Allen nor Garnett are what they once were, as both of them, especially Garnett, proved in the Celtics Eastern Conference Semifinal loss to the Miami Heat. But with the right kind of depth and support, both are still fully capable of being more than effective.

In Game 3 of the series against the Heat, Garnett erupted for 28 points on 13-of-20 shooting, and added 18 rebounds. He averaged 15 points and 11 rebounds in nine playoff games, right in line with his averages for the regular season, when he played just 31 minutes per game.

The Celtics don't have a lot they can count on behind Garnett at the present time thanks to Jeff Green's inconsistency and first round draft pick JaJuan Johnson's inexperience. But if coach Doc Rivers can keep KG's minutes limited without too much of a drop-off, there's no reason to assume he can't still contribute a great deal.

As for Allen, all Celtics followers know he keeps himself in prime shape and condition, as evidenced by his career best 44 percent from three-point range this past season. Allen is still capable of scoring in huge bunches, the latest example of that being Game 3 of the C's first round series against the Knicks, in which he dropped 32 points, including 8-of-11 from long range. Allen's minutes were well managed too (36 per game), a trend that should continue in 2011-2012.

The Bulls and Heat were better than the Celtics last season, particularly after the trade deadline. But if everyone stays mostly healthy, rookies Johnson and E'Twaun Moore contribute and Rajon Rondo continues his run among the upper echelon of NBA point guards, the Celtics can certainly still contend in the Eastern Conference for at least another year. Trading either Ray Allen or Kevin Garnett—or both—will seriously impede that chance. 

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