So Long Doc, Kevin and Paul
The championship window had not only closed but was sealed shut as Father Time took his inevitable toll on future Hall-of-Famers Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett. In an ensemble cast of upper echelon, if not great ball players, they have the opportunity for one more ring in Brooklyn but they would be playing out the string if left untouched in Boston. Danny knew it and decided to take what he could get while he still had hold of his assets.
What they got was big-time baggage in the form of a $30 million contract over the next three seasons with Gerald Wallace and a barely palatable $12 million earmarked for Kris Humphries. Fortunately Humphries contract evaporates after next season so the C’s can evaluate if he’s a hit or a miss and go from there. It should be noted that Jason Terry is also headed to the Nets, shedding $5 million per annum off the Celtics payroll. But the big prize for the suddenly rebuilding Celtics is three first-round picks in 2014, 2016 and 2018 and the right to swap first rounders in 2017.
Moreover, the C’s also pick up a first-round pick from the Clippers when they traded their coach Doc Rivers for an unprotected first-round pick in 2015. Rivers vacillated about his enthusiasm to fulfill the balance of his contract with a team that was clearly destined for mediocrity. He got his wish when Ainge pulled the trigger on the deal and ended the speculation.
The NBA odds have rocketed for the Celtics due to their recent maneuverings as WilliamHill.com recently had them pegged at 40-1 to win the NBA championship but since the big deal, books are adjusting as evidenced by Bovada.lv which is currently dealing the Shamrocks at 100-1.
So, let’s dispense with the nonsense that a title is in the cards for Boston either this year or any year until those draft picks come to fruition. Even then, those rookies will need time to adjust and not all will pan out. I wouldn’t even bet your money on the Celtics to make a run…okay, maybe your money but not mine.
Right now the Celtics have two main assets with Jeff Green and their captain by default, the petulant and brooding Rajon Rondo, whose health is questionable after coming off an ACL tear. The Celtics brass are hoping that newly hired head coach Brad Stevens, whom they plucked from the college ranks, will be able to mold Rondo into a leader on this young team. If that fails, don’t be surprised if Danny Ainge allows Rondo to prove to the entire league that he is back to All-Star form and his stock skyrockets for a contender who needs a world class talent at point guard to push them over the edge. The high-stakes gambler that is Danny Ainge would then be in the driver’s seat, fielding offers from one and all as the trade deadline looms.