Post-game Reactions

Mitch Lawrence of the New York Daily News has a source inside the Celtics confirming ownership has recently given Danny Ainge approval to move any of the Big Three:

But with Paul Pierce dealing with heel issues, Kevin Garnett fading, Ray Allen still effective shooting threes but headed for his 37th birthday and the Celtics 5-8 entering the weekend, the team’s owners gave GM Danny Ainge the official go-ahead to move any member of the troika.

“We’ve got to move on,” said one Celtics official. “Let’s face reality.”

When the lockout ended, Ainge and Doc Rivers believed they could squeeze one more title run out of their nucleus. But it hinged on a couple of other players. If Jeff Green played and they could sign David West , the Celtics figured they would help lighten the regular-season load for Pierce, Garnett and Allen.

But Green needed heart surgery and West, who had expressed an interest in signing in Boston, changed his mind when he wasn’t offered a deal that would have made him among the highest-paid players on the team. The offer would have made him the fourth-highest paid Celtic and West instead signed with Indiana.

Without Green or West, ownership finally conceded the team doesn’t have the quality reinforcements to make a deep run. Ainge says he won’t hesitate to trade off any member of the Big Three in the right deal. If he can find any takers.

If the Celtics counter this assertion, it wouldn’t be a surprise. And if no appealing trade presents itself, that would also be unsurprising. But the above appears to suggest that Ainge was ready to move on earlier and ownership was holding out to see if the Celtics could turn things around. And only recently has Ainge been given the nuclear launch codes.

As Brendan detailed earlier this week, the Celtics are in the soft part of their schedule with multiple games against Cleveland, Toronto and Washington (and Phoenix!). If they’re going to get things turned around, it has to be now. Because with their longest stretch of home games over (the C’s went 3-6, with all but one of those games being at the TD Garden) things only get uglier as the season goes on. Even if the Celtics get better.

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Ryan DeGama

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  • someguyinsac

    Blasphemy! I'm not ready to give up hope just yet.

  • CelticsBIG3

    This team is unfortunetly shot. I watch every game all the time regardless of the situation. I turned last nights game off at halftime.

  • I_Love_Green

    Just don't trade Pierce!

  • Morpheus

    All good things come to an end. We all knew this was coming, now it's here and everyone's like "Oh shit noooooooooooooooooooooooo".

    I will always remember the time, place and emotions i felt when the Big 3 won the championship back in 08. It's sad that that era only managed to come away with 1 championship, but they revived the history and legacy of the Celtics culture. They restored pride back into the franchise and made the Boston Celtics relevant again. I know Red will be happy with what this team's achieved over the last 4-5 years and Bill Russell and all the Celtic legends.

    I just hope Danny makes the right moves so we don't have to endure going through another painful 20 year drought.

  • sk35

    I still don't think he should trade them for the sake of trading them. 1st of all, they have to get value back and how many teams are going to offer much for old players – especially if they know the Celts are desperate? 2nd, they will have a ton of cap space next year anyway without doing anything. 3rd, you never know what might happen. Yes, they look old and pretty terrible in most games but, as others have pointed out, after the last lockout the 8th seed Knicks got to the Finals. Not saying the Celts are headed there this year but they could have a couple of rounds of entertaining playoff basketball to offer. And then they can start over next year.

    • Ryan DeGama

      The upside to this is keeping PP around as a bridge to the next gen. And perhaps Ray and KG as well. You could still renounce the latter two this summer if you wanted to. Or S&T them.

      • sk35

        I agree Ryan. I think Ray wants to end his career in Boston and I think he wants to play more. Pierce and Rondo would be a good start for next year and then if Ray and KG stay, they would be good bench players.

  • Yeah

    I’d rather miss the Playoffs and do a proper rebuild with the big 3 bench-bound than make a move that would send them away. It just doesn’t make sense to send them…we can totally get guys like Eric Gordon and maybe even Kevin Love in the offseason, while keeping all 3 of them. Then we just have an epic starting lineup and an epic bench for next season. Go big or go home…going big means keeping the big 3.

  • Jim

    I say Ainge does any deal that builds for the future. I am as loyal as anybody to the Big Three but I do not want to repeat the suffering of watching a proud bunch of guys getting beat by father time. We can not compete with the younger more athletic teams. It is time to face the sad facts that the most exciting moment for the Celtics this year will be the Nba draft!

  • skeeds

    But, really WHY trade? Who on earth can Ainge get right now who's worth it?

    A lot of players can be dealt for, but none who would have any sort of impact now. I said it before. The only combination of moves that makes us an instant championship contender, is one that brings Howard to Boston with a full extension without trading Rondo.
    So since that is off the table, let's chill and go through this season, and make our moves in the summer.

    Of course, Ainge is so trigger happy I have no hope that he will take his time to evaluate carefully the risk of any move he makes. I'm just waiting from moment to moment to read that he traded Ray Allen for a cheeseburger and fries.
    So in advance, DAMN YOU AINGE!!!

  • jack

    I've been thinking about the whole trade situation, and I can't help but feel pretty sad about it. As someone who grew up in Boston, and a son of University of Kansas graduate, I have been watching Paul Pierce my whole life. I couldn't imagine him going somewhere else. I really like what like what Ryan DeGama said as PP being a bridge to the next generation. Rondo, Pierce, and newly signed big man for future Celtics sounds pretty good to me. What really would sound good is if we could get Ray and KG back next year on small contracts (and reduced roles) , while signing their replacements. This would be best case scenario, considering what they could learn from Ray and KG. I mean look at Micheal Redd- playing behind Ray and he becomes a great 3 point shooter. Look at Kendrick Perkins- learning by playing next to KG he was able to change the culture and bring up the defensive tenacity of OKC. The most value we have in our big three might be their ability to cultivate young talent. (Young Talent good enough to get playing time from doc). Hopefully the cap space we have will allow this. So I started to look at the free agent class of 2012. Obviously I would like us to sign D12 this off season, but it probably won't happen. I really like what 'Yeah' said in signing Eric Gordan and Kevin Love, but that might not be possible either. But wouldn't that be great, another guy from Minnesota Timber-wolves named Kevin. Anyways, Right now I am watching the Memphis/Sacramento game on league pass (for whatever reason its the only that is working). So I thought, what about O.J. Mayo and Demarcus Cousins. Both have had some attitude issues, but with the celtics veterans and Doc, they could learn. O.J., I believe has been a pretty good shooter (regressed last season, but has played well so far this season), and could learn a lot from Ray. Also Memphis has a lot of money in Gasol, Randolph and Gay so hopefully they can't sign them, leaving us an opportunity. As for Demarcus, his contract isn't up until the following summer, but with all they reports of his trade demands, maybe Ainge could swing something (whether it's now or in the future). He also could learn a ton from KG, and be a great piece going forward. Maybe all this is just wishful thinking but I thought I'd see what you all think.

  • lakershater13

    As much as I was saying trade Pierce I'm not sure it would be worth it since so many NBA stars only want to play in NY, LA, and Dallas. If you can get a proven star or young talent for Pierce I say do it but unfortunately no stars want to be in Boston. I do not understand why stars don't want to be in Boston with the history of the team. You can mention the cold weather but seriously NY is just as bad. In Boston is a big market. Very puzzled why star players do not want to be in a great city like Boston. I have some hope Boston can get into the playoffs and make things entertaining. The Celtics limped into the playoffs in 2010(of course they had Perk) and made the finals. We all can only root for the C's and hope for the best with the good and the bad.

    • I_Love_Green

      That '10 playoff team was miles ahead of this team now though. That team had the talent, but just didn't care during the regular season. This team is just too old, and not deep enough for any serious push.

      I'll still root like hell for them though.

      • lakershater13

        Agreed but its so hard to not be optimistic being a fan.

  • J.P.

    I say this as a Celts fan so don't bite my head off, but Kevin Love isn't gonna be a Celtic, so STOP DREAMING!!!! If anything he's gonna go further west, plus McHale isn't around to make another buddy-buddy trade w/ Ainge.
    I think the best course of action is to ride out this season, try to bring KG & Ray back under smaller contracts & see what they can do thru free agency & the draft. Trading for Cousins would be nice, but it all depends on what you'd have to give up to get him. Missing the playoffs after making a trade would be worse than missing the playoffs w/ the current roster, IMO. By all accounts this draft should be loaded w/ athletic big men that KG can tutor. Perry Jones III would look really sweet in a Celts uni runnin the court w/ Rondo for the next 5-10 years!!!

    • jack

      Nicely put

    • Anthony

      Any reason/ rationale why Kevin Love cant become a Celtics? It's unlikely to get him via trade but not sure Minnesota can or would resign him since he's probably going to demand max money.

      Demarcus Cousins has some nice skillsets but I just dont see hime fitting in well to the Boston and Celtics culture. He seems like too much of a headcase for the city or the fans to accept him long term.

      I've mentioned trying to trade for Josh Smith for JO, Wilcox, and Dooling or Bradley. The trade works money-wise and according to the rumors from the summer, Smith expressed interests in being traded to the Celts. He played with Rondo in Oak Hill Academy and they're probably be friends. Atlanta might be willing to take such a trade because they're short on bigs since Al Horford is out and they can clear JO, Wilcox, Dooling contracts to go after Dwight Howard. Just a thought.

  • lakershater13

    Ok this could be crazy but bleacher report posted the idea of trading allen and rondo for wade. Now this would give Miami someone who can handle the ball and someone who could spread the floor and give them a deep threat. Miami 6-0 with out wade. Wade could help lure Howard to Boston. I don't know if I would like the trade or not since I am a huge Rondo fan but its an interesting idea.

    • I_Love_Green

      And people honestly believe something like this would happen…come on now.

  • Floyd

    I do not think that the "Big 3" is the problem. I think the problem is Jermaine O'Neal. He can not even jump up one inch from the floor. He can barely get the rebounds and he can barely score. Jermaine needs to come off of the bench. He definitely does not need to start. Danny Ainge needs to solidify the bench more. Maybe Danny Ainge needs to think about bringing in Al Thornton, James Posey, and Allen Iverson because they can be bought "cheap". We need another point guard and Iverson will be good coming off the bench for Rondo. Shasha could be cut because he is not getting any playing time. The point guards that we have to back up Rondo are not working out. There's only one player coming off the bench who is worth something and that's Bass.

  • Zee

    Honestly, and I hate to say it, but I've lost hope in the Big 3. Ray Allen is cool, but Pierce and KG are looking like stunt doubles for Grumpy Old Men. I don't even get excited about watching them play like I used to. We just do not compare to the other elite teams in the league. Rondo is doing his thing this year so far. We definitely need to keep him.

    In my opinion. all of our troubles began when Ainge did the Perkins trade. We've been sinking ever since then. Had we not traded Perk, we would've had a better run last year. As well, we shouldn't have signed Shaq last year. He was on his last leg. We KNEW it was only for one year, so why did we sign a player who only was going to play one year? Waste of time and money. And then he didn't hardly play due to injury.

    The only way to turn this team around is to A) drink from the fountain of youth (pray to the Lord Jesus), or B) rebuild and hope to win a title again 2-3 years from now. It's going to take time.


  • Zee

    I just read through everyone's comments and many of you proposed great ideas. The one I agree with most is the one to make it to the postseason and go as far as we can (person actually said NOT make playoffs; I don't see us not making the playoffs), and focus on next year with the Big 3 coming off the bench…. behind some athletic, young, and skilled talent. Now THAT I agree with!

  • Ryan DeGama

    Personally, I'll be more sad to see the Big Three leave (if they do) than I will be worried about the future.

    • I_Love_Green

      Agreed. If and when they get broken up this year, I'll be more in a reminiscing and depressed mode that its over.

    • janos

      Ryan, is Janos
      I miss them to they my friends for long time now and bring titles, but at end day play for name jersey front not back. I will not give minus but not either plus.

      Player go/come, Celtics forevers.

  • James Patrick

    The hardest part about all this is what could've been…
    2008…. We won!
    2009…. KG gets hurt, we fight hard, but not enough gas in the tank. (WHAT IF….)
    2010…. Lose Perk to injury in game 6, lose game 7 in the last few minutes eventually by 4 (WHAT IF…)
    2011…. Daniels gets hurt, Ainge looks for a BACK UP to Pierce, begins the destruction of OUR team.

    What does all tell us?
    We could easily have won 3 in a row. Last year had more to do with bad circumstances. But last year should tell all of us, Ainge and Ownership one thing. Mid season changes, especially during a lock out shortened season, will do NOTHING to help us this year.

    Why is it that us, the little people, have a better idea of OUR team than Ainge and Ownership appears to?

  • Chris from Danvers

    Great point about the what if….There is a lot more this group could have accomplished.

    That said, having seen the demise of the original Big Three, I would have to agree with Ainge. It was actually depressing to watch the players get to the state they did; Larry limping, Kevin having trouble with his post moves, Parish being beat (even more depressing than if they had traded McHale – which would have been a great deal for the team at the time; same with – though this is hard for me to say because I don't think I would have liked this – if they traded Larry Bird). The old Celtics, from pre Danny's arrival as a player right up until about 1988, traded all the time, so this idea of trading aging stars is really nothing new. Heck, they traded all sorts of players and typically came away the winner.

    Sure, it would be sad, as well as a penultimate statement suggesting this era is over. But, let's face it – this era was supposed to end two years ago. We keep clinging to it – hoping something will happen. But, the sad facts say the team is now trending down.

    If there is a way to truly improve the team with players – this team DOES NOT need lots more draft picks – then I say go for it.

    Just one other piece of food for thought. If you do trade expiring contracts such as KG's and Ray's – to teams so desperate enough to want cap space that they will give away good players, there might be a silver lining. Remember, both KG and Ray want to play next year, both love the Celtics, and both love Doc. What is to say they don't come back next year at a diminished role and diminished cost. This team may be going no where this year, but you want to talk about WHAT IF's – two good draft picks in this year's deepest draft in a decade (which they already have), a few more, younger, strong players (they could have), and Ray and KG back next year at low prices….WOW! I'd go for that.

    • sk35

      One note on the past: The problem is the Celtics team at the end of the original Big 3 era was actually set up pretty well to keep winning. Two things people neglect to mention – 1. is that Len Bias died. If he had lived and been nearly as good as people thought, that team would've been able to remain at the top of the East. 2. Reggie Lewis died. He was ready to take the mantle of leadership (and had done so) and was only beginning to show what he could do. If he had lived, the team wouldn't have dropped off so dramatically. If the Celts had both of those players (there is a good chance they could've picked up Lewis in the draft even after having Bias since Lewis was picked in the 20s and he was from Northeastern – kind of off everyone else's radar), we might think differently about how the Big 3 era ended.

      • Chris from Danvers

        Great point and very much agreed. Along with that, Brian Shaw (good player, though I sort of dislike admitting that) and Dee Brown would have also been with them, too….would have helped bring that team far, I think…..another one of those series of Bad What Ifs.

      • Anthony

        I noted the same points in a previous post. The Celts is probably the most cursed team in the NBA. Who can foresee:
        -Jeff Green heart surgery. How good would the Celt's bench be with him?
        -Missed out on Oden/ Durant draft. Worse possible case scenario in the lottery happened again.
        -Passing of Reggie Lewis. He wasnt even at his prime yet.
        -Missed out on Tim Duncan draft. Worse possible case scenario for Celts in the lottery happened.
        -Passing of Len Bias. He was not only supposed to be the savior but wouldve prolonged Bird/McHale careers.

        With exception to Jeff Green, the other four scenarios involved superstar/ potential franchise changing players. Pierce shouldve had 1 or 2 more championship under his belt. Bird should've ended up with more championships than Magic and the Celts shouldve had a couple of those Chicago Bulls championship had these scenarios not occurred. But you can only work with the hands that you're dealt.

  • bonzaiii

    wow danny boy lay off the booze….can we take this guy seriously anymore? he looks like slob….how about lose some weight and resign danny

  • yourdumb

    Your not trading for love period. We have nothing they want. No valuable pieces for their best player and the best PF in the NBA. As for gordon, they wouldnt trade paul for rondo so wjat would they take for the center piece of the deal they got for their franchise player? We have nothing to trade. Wait 2 years fpr players like love and steph curry and all thoae guys to be free agents and go on a signing spree. Dont trade big three and dont sign any players in the offseason for more than a 1yr deal.

    • janos

      those guys good but Blake look also nice green. is maybe good call on wait, there gas left tank my celtics, i can feel it.

  • dimitricw

    That's great news! I had my doubts but now i'm sure this thing gets blown up. I'm more concerned w/ the future and possibly gettiing a top 5 draft pick (hoping Ainge doesn't draft a Shelden Williams). Ray Allen's injury worries me if he can't be dealt, Beasley and Johnson would work as two young guys w/ potential that could play w/ Rondo and be more efficient. Other players that make sense are Monte Ellis, Josh Smith, and Al Jefferson. I'd also consider Greg Oden