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3-on-3: Getting ready for the (alleged) 2011-12 season

 

Here’s a new feature you’ll see on CelticsHub this coming season.

Picking up on the 5-on-5 NBA roundtables that have been running over at the ESPN mother ship, we’re pleased to introduce 3-on-3, which will be appearing regularly across TrueHoop Network sites from now on.

For our first installment, Brian, Brendan and Hayes take a look at some of the pressing questions surrounding the Celtics.

 

1. When the lockout ends, what should be Danny Ainge’s first order of business?

Hayes Davenport: Honestly, it might be to sit on his hands. There are going to be swarms of middling free-agent targets available as soon as the lockout lifts, and I can totally see Danny talking himself into the value of a grizzled vet like Grant Hill or Tayshaun Prince for one last title run. If he can grab any of these guys with a one-year deal, I’m not against it. But if it means giving up increasingly tight roster space in the long term, then I’m not not against it.

Brian Robb: Bringing in rotation bodies Doc Rivers can trust. Health and minutes have and will continue to be the biggest issues surrounding this team’s core. Ainge has come up short the past couple years in addressing both of these departments, so it’s more crucial than ever for Boston to bring in high-upside veterans (a la 2008 with James Posey and Eddie House) with their limited resources.

Brendan Jackson: Assess the market. It sounds pretty obvious, but this is going to the most trying “offseason” in the big-3 era. For the past three years it’s been business as usual: reload the roster with complimentary players. This year, Ainge has got to figure out what his current roster is capable of and make some tough decisions.

 

2. What’s more important: a dark horse shot at a title or transitioning to the post big-3 era?

Hayes: Transitioning to the post big-3 era, a process that has already begun. Like it or not, most of the moves Danny has made in the past two years have been with the future in mind: he’s traded away mid-level players that would have filled out the roster for years to come, and most of the help he provided for his stars came in the form of super-old veterans with exactly one year left in the tank. The future has always been the first priority for Danny, but what he does with that future remains to be seen.

Brian: A dark horse shot at a title. Ask any Celtics fan who grew up in the 1990s whether it’s worth sacrificing a title shot for a smoother transition. After a two decade drought from the NBA Finals (1987-2008), it would be foolish to throw away a final shot with the veteran talent this team has, just to better position itself for a future run that may never come. More than ever, the time is now for the 2011-12 Boston Celtics and Ainge needs to plan his offseason with that in mind.

Brendan: Can’t it be both? Unless Ainge can secure a top ten player is there really any point to trading anyone away? Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett are both in the last years of their deals and and Rajon Rondo is making $11 million next season. The Celtics will be way under the cap if they don’t do anything drastic and are likely not to get equal value if they do.

 

3. Who is the most important Boston Celtics player in 2011-12?

Hayes: Whether as the best player on the team or as its most valuable trade commodity, it’s Rajon Rondo. Either way, he’s the future. After Rondo, it’s Jeff Green, also as either the fifth-best player on the team or as its second-most valuable trade commodity. Here’s the point: the most important storyline of the Celtics season is not how much they can get out of their veterans, but how much more they can get out of their young talent.

Brian: Rajon Rondo. He’s got the young legs but he was one of the biggest reasons why the wheels came off the wagon in the regular season last year. Consistency has always been his lingering issue and coming off back-to-back All-Star seasons, it’s time for him to start playing like one for a full season. A bad game here or there is fine, but disappearing on offense for a month can no longer be an option if this team wants to succeed.

Brendan: Free Agent X. Which is, admittedly, a terrible prospect. It’s pretty obvious that the Celtics completely undervalued Tony Allen. When he left, an injured Marquis Daniels and a hapless Jeff Green couldn’t do anything to replace him. Both players’ futures are up-in-the-air right now and the Celtics are painfully thin on the wing. Oh, and does anyone  know who is playing center besides (maybe) Jermaine O’Neal?

  • I_Love_Green

    Wonderful. I'm looking forward to reading more of these, hopefully soon for a season preview!

  • janos

    hi Ryan, is Janos:
    I like new format of chat box, good use colan after every body name. I start do that to.

    That guy today marry kardashian then breaks up? Not Omar Lakers but other guy. Not good guy.
    Wish season start, I like better watch box scores not celberity stories….

  • Batman

    I love the 5 on 5s! So Happy these r coming to CelticsHub too!

  • I_Love_Green

    Just read a 5 on 5 about the amnesty clause, and one question was whether or not the C's should cut JO. I think 2 or 3 actually answered yes. Yes he's old, yes he's over paid, but its a one year deal, and HE'S OUR ONLY CENTER.

    I swear some of these guys over there are idiots.

  • g

    ..and the soul-ation is … Sign and trade baby, ship him, a first rounder, second rounder, and future considerations, maybe cash to Orlando. Dwight will be here this year or next so Orlando can get something back for their hope-less season THIS season. Thanks Carmelo! Doc didn’t sign on to NOT be Dwights coach. Remember the all star game anyone? Dwight wants to play here for Doc especially. He is my friend personally, believe it or not, but f.t.r., and he told me this personally over two mos ago when we spoke last! He wants to be here WITH the big three-period! He will not care that I say this as who,s gonna believe me anyway!? Lol! Grab Posey andor Hill, JR Smith too. JO may be gone so we will need a backup for Howard. How about Jordan from LA who ate us up last May! Get ready fans! May not be this year as DH admitted to me, but he will be here wearing no.12, IF Alston is gone, as if …

    • sam

      dont tease me

    • Paul

      add Rondo to that list if you want Dwight

  • Kricky

    Nice to see some signs of life on one of my favorite blogs.

    Great commentary (as usual). But I'm surprised that there is only one mention of the Center position here. I mean, are we really putting all our eggs in JO's leaky basket?

    • Ryan DeGama

      I promise you'll see plenty of angst about the center position as soon as the lockout gets settled. It's a major issue for this team, as you know…

  • Morpheus

    Take the Avery Bradley overseas stint with a grain of salt. Apparently he's not the only NBA player having trouble playing and performing at a high level over there.

    • Kricky

      Jesus. Not again…

  • Kricky

    From Shaq's book:

    On Nate's trade:
    I wasn’t surprised at all when he got traded. Nate was always trying to get noticed by the public. He was always tweeting videos of himself punking his teammates … Some people are a little too focused on Twitter and Nate was one of them. He was too worried about how many followers he had. He kept saying, “Shaq, I need more people. Help me out.”

    Talk about the kettle calling the pot black! Jesus, how many of those Shaq publicity stunts did we have to stomach. All for 8 minutes of crappy playoff play.

    • Morpheus

      When you're one of the best centers of all time and you've won multiple championships and a HOFer, nearing retirement age, you can pull all the publicity stunts you want. Nate's still young and he can only dream of achieving what Shaq has achieved throughout his illustrious career.

  • -JP

    Really good idea for the blog, these are fun.

    I hope the season starts soon as we all do, but I do have to say I can never see Dwight Howard coming here. He'd rather go to LA or Chicago, a bigger city than Boston, and be with a more established player than Rajon Rondo.

    As discussed, I think Jeff Green, is hugely important for this upcoming season. If he can make a difference, it will really be a great compliment as we will have reliability off the bench, something we didn't have in the second half of last season. Thats a lot to expect, and I really don't expect it, but I have to hope, because it can't all be on the shoulders of Rondo, KG, Ray, and PP.

    Oh and we also need a starting Center, don't try to sell me J.O.

  • I_Love_Green

    Comes down to tomorrow. Lets hope the owners agree to the players system tweaks and the deal gets done.

  • Morpheus

    I can see the light…i can see the light. Come on, let's get the NBA season started.

  • The Duke

    Ainge need to figure out what he can do to extend the lockout passed March 11th. That way you guys can avoid two whoopings courtesy of the Lakers.

    • ozcelts

      Nice one Mitch- say hi to your mum for me

      • The Duke

        Will do Delonte . . . say high to Lebron's mum for me. :)

  • Glenn

    Brendan (above) really said it all. Danny Ainge is really created a black hole and frankly lost the NBA championship last season trading his youthful center and relying on two has beens that couldn't play for more than 10 minutes a game each. Thanks Danny, I've been a Celtic fan for over 50 years.

  • Morpheus

    Nope, i think the players should reject this offer. If we lose a whole season, we lose a whole season. No frickin way, the players should accept this BS from the owners.

  • LACelticsFan

    http://www.boston.com/sports/basketball/celtics/a

    IVERSON ANYONE?????

    Might be a great idea to explore.

    • Batman

      We need rebounding
      A.I MIGHT average 1 a game

      • I_Love_Green

        Address the big men, look for a possible defensive guy who plays the 2 and 3, and then maybe look at AI.

    • LAKERS FAN

      Move to Boston

  • http://www.offshore-professional.com/en/index.html JonathanN

    THANK YOU!!! I so appreciate this site. This is the information I was looking for.

  • skeeds

    AI? yeah, because with our problems, Iverson is exactly what we need. Another diva, who honestly, has nothing more to offer than Delonte, Bradley and Arroyo.
    We're good on the 1-2 spots guys, we need MUSCLE. And pleeeeease ainge, DON'T sign anyone else over 34 years old. He's gonna get injured, or just simply play awfully won't he? You've gambled away 2 championship runs with these veteran stunts.

  • jmpb-ballplayer

    come n big 3 bring it home

  • http://jonsayssmd.tumblr.com jon

    i love this team!!! i hope the win this year!! :D

  • I_Love_Green

    Players reject deal, and the CHub stays quiet….

  • Morpheus

    LOL this is ALL Fd up man. The whole system, everything from owners, GMs, players, cap system.

    Solution – shorten length of contracts to 3 years guaranteed. That way, players like Rashard Lewis, Gilbert Arenas, Joe Johnson, Tracy McGrady don't cripple a franchise.

  • ripsonics

    season is over… we can basically relax now cause we arent going to hear any good news.

  • http://www.slideshare.net/CONVOCCOLOCALISATION/convocco-localisation-review convocco

    3-on-3: Getting ready for the (alleged) 2011-12 season.I'll believe it when I see it

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