Post-game Reactions

Lost amidst the loss last night was the relative bombshell dropped by Adrian Wojnarowski at Yahoo  of just how close Ray Allen was to being dealt on the Thursday of the trade deadline:

As the NBA trade deadline lurched into its final hour a month ago, league sources say the call Ray Allen long feared had come: Boston Celtics coach Doc Rivers was on the line, telling him he had been traded. Allen had been sent to the Memphis Grizzlies for a package including O.J. Mayo and a draft pick, and the Celtics’ Big Three had come to a most brusque ending.

For 20 minutes or so, Allen had to process the information. They traded me to Memphis? And yet, as the disappointment dissolved to anger, Rivers returned with a messenger’s nightmare: Never mind. The deal fell apart. Take a deep breath and let’s go back to work again.

There would have probably been a lot of salary filler coming Boston’s way as well to make the salaries match, but this is a kind of deal that Ainge may been happy about down the line, unless this one about Pierce that Bill Simmons had previously reported on Grantland:

Before the Big Three could make it past the trade deadline, Allen-to-the-Grizzlies had to fall apart and discussions on a deal that would have sent Paul Pierce to the New Jersey Nets for an expiring Mehmet Okur contract and a lottery pick never reached completion, league sources said. 

I think it’s safe to say Ainge would have been hung out to dry for dealing his perennial All-Star (who was still playing terrific basketball by the way) for a expiring contract who wouldn’t play again this season and a potential top-10 pick.

That’s just my instinct though. What say you CelticsHubbers? Obviously now, it’s clear these deals weren’t good ones to make, but at the time would you have wanted Ainge to pull the trigger on these if he could have?



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Brian Robb

Brian Robb co-founded CelticsHub in 2009 and is the currently editor-in-chief. He is a producer and reporter at 98.5 The Sports Hub in Boston and also contributes to Boston.com and Bleacher Report among other outlets.
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  • Anonymouse

    No, I am not one of those people who can't let go of the Big 3 but these deals don't make logical sense either. OJ Mayo and Emaka Okafor for Pierce and Allen? You will get lottery picks and get some good player but by the time he develops to his full potential, Rondo will be in his mid 30's. Thank God this deal fell apart.

    • mike

      The pierce deal would’ve been terrible, especially with a draft as deep as this one and us already having 2 1st rounders in it. The ray deal i see differently. You’re getting a young good player who has the potential 2 be very good in the right system (hello rondo, doc, c’s org in general) for a player who will most likey be on another team next season anyway. That and a 1st round pick is a no brainer 2 me, even seeing how good the C’s are playing now (without ray by the way).

  • Rav

    Ray for OJ and a draft pick is not terrible (especially considering how the team was looking like it couldn't reach the playoffs around that time). The problem is that I'm not sure we could have resigned Mayo for a reasonable amount.

    Pierce for a mid-high lottery pick wasn't great, but it would have freed up a ton of cap space. If we did both trades, we'd essentially be rolling with Rondo, Mayo, Avery and the Purdue boys, plus NJ's draft pick (~top 7), our pick (~19), Grizzlies pick (~ 20), Clippers pick (~24), and whatever 2nd-rounders we have – in a deep draft. But we'd also have space for TWO max players (assuming we renounce all our other guys e.g. KG, Ray etc.).

    Rondo, two max players and 4 first rounders from the '12 draft would have been a sick team. Dang, DA was puttin' in some work.


    Sending the Truth to basketball hell for an expiring contract and a top-3 protected pick* in a draft with 1 or 2 elite prospects??!? What the hell, Danny?

    * That's what it was for Wallace. Might have been even more protected for Pierce, given his age.

    • dslack

      The pick would have been like #10, too, given the current standings. In other words, not too impressive.

    • Ben

      Considering that Wallace has never and probably will never be half the player Pierce is, even at this stage in Pierce's career (When was the last time Gerald Wallace dropped 41 points in a game?), I don't see how you figure that it would have been more protected for Pierce?

  • dslack

    Well, I think we can kiss goodbye to Ray giving a "hometown discount" to the Celtics this coming offseason.

    And if KG was annoyed enough by this news, he might not be offering any discounts either.

  • Josh

    Danny Ainge is a duesch. Plain and simple. He's a heartless gambling business man. If you ask me, The Big 3 have earned there right to retire as Celtics, granted they take acceptable pay cuts. Hey Danny, sure could use a post player right now couldn't we? Oh ya, you decided to trade Perk, and sign 80 yr old Shaq and the corpse that is Jermaine. Your trash Danny.

    • Ben

      He's not a dousche, he's trying to make the team better for the long haul. We all enjoyed the big three era but in all likelihood, with all the injuries we've sustained this year, we won't go far in the playoffs, and after this season, the only member of the big three that I would really want to see retained is Paul Pierce unless Allen and Garnett are willing to take a signifigant pay cut. Allen looks like he's 37 going on 45 out there, and that's when he can actually make it onto the floor.

      Ainge wouldn't e doing his job if he wasn't exploring all trade options available.

      Also, in retrospect with the freak injury sustained by Jeff Green this year, the Perk trade looks like we got the bad end of the deal, but at the time it seemed like it would be a wash. That being said Green also looked awful in the playoffs last year, but I don't think you can really hate a lot on Danny for trying to improve the team.

  • Ray Allen is a luxury item. He's simply too old and shouldn't play much more than 20 minutes a game. We needed a center or rebounding power forward.

    Unfortunately, Doc doesn't play rookies. If he did, Moore could now be backing up Avery, enabling Ray to have been traded for a power forward or center.

  • High Rollers

    Sounds like press-this-button-in-case-of-emergency deals. No surprise they fell through. I am curious though what precisely caused them to fall through.

  • High Rollers

    Kudos to the players for coming together after all of it.

  • janos

    Son, you are adopt.
    Just kidding.

    Is bad joke play on Ray.

  • CG12

    You never really know what goes on behind the scenes, and it isn't like the Cs would make a public statement to refute Woj. I have learned to be somewhat dubious of his stories. So he had been traded, but then he hadn't? So maybe he hadn't actually been traded, but it just sounds juicier to say it that way? Because if he had actually BEEN traded, then he would have been, you know, traded.

    It is easy in hindsight to make it sound like Danny was trying to make panic trades, but the other team wouldn't let him. Guess what – the trades didn't happen because the teams couldn't agree. That is all we know. Maybe they fell apart because Danny was pushing too hard for a deal favorable to the Cs. Good for him. All this Monday morning quarterbacking is so pointless.

  • Morpheus

    Don't like both trades either way, altrhough in terms of value the Ray trade wouldn't have been too bad, BUT…that Pierce trade??? WTF was Danny thinking. Seriously, Danny would have been a marked man if he traded Paul to Jersey for a bum and cap space??? The fuck outta here Danny, we already got cap space without trading Paul.

    Makes you realise just how professional these vets are, they've been playing their basketball of the season since ASW, as a fan i am so happy we still have PP, Ray and KG playing together, who knows if they'll be back together next year.

    Shock the world Celtics!!!

    Fuck you Danny.

  • GowGow

    If we want the Cs to be contenders next years, the Big Three will have to be splitted. Either we like it or not. And if we are truly Cs fan, we won't like to see anyone from the Big Three being traded, but that's just the way it is and will be.

  • -jp

    Glad the deals fell apart, but its crazy to think we could get a good PF or Center for Ray. Having all the picks sounds good, but the draft is an inexact science where the good players would leave by the time they get really good

    • NickFaldo

      If in reply to what I wrote, yes, you're right. But maybe we could've bundled Ray with a draft pick or player to get a big big. Small ball ain't gonna get it done, unless KG and Pierce both go completely nuts.

  • dasein

    I'm surprised at all the venom Danny is getting here for trades that "sources" say almost happened. Where did innocent until guilty go? The trades didn't happen. In all likelihood Woj doesn't know what really happened and neither do you. Why so much hate?

  • yeah

    Hoping Ray and KG take lesser pay and stick around sooo badly. With Jeff Green back, Avery playing well and all that room to sign even more players, this team could get so much hotter.

  • Kc

    I’d make the Ray -OJ +pick trade anyday.

    I’d never make that Pierce trade.

    With OJ on bench instead if Ray they’d be just as good and healthier.

    All in all I really like these guys and can’t wait to see the last hurrah this year. Allen has to be leaving in offseason after the benching so we may well still sign OJ or similar young 2.

  • skeeds

    Yes, the trade made sense, much more than the supposed Pierce trade. BUT. I'm not a CEO, nor a shareholder or investor or whatever. I am a fan. My "job" isn't to look at deals that way, or be concerned about the future development of potential stars or the "day after" the big 3 era. I couldn't care less about who the draft prospects are, and how we can trade up, or get a young guy with great upside. It'll leave me sleepless in the summer, yes.
    My job is to be a fan. And like one, I can only say one thing.
    F@ck that. And F@CK that Jersey deal too. I'd rather see Pierce and Allen do it one last time, and lose miserably. I'd rather watch KG get owned by the Bulls bigs eventually. And I'd rather see those 3 jerseys retired together, even if it means having to weather 2-3 bad seasons.

    The fact that this player we traded, then untraded, accepted a bench role, and fights through an injury to be ready to play for this team in the playoffs, is exactly why I'd never be OK with trading Ray, ever.

  • sightline75

    Its called the lottery for a reason. You could end up with a 10 year all star, or a dud, or anything in between. I like this team and want to watch them try and do the best they can this year. But, what if you had a shot at number 1? The next PP or KG or Ray or Rondo? Tough decision.

    The Mayo trade is better than it looks, you get a quality 2 guard and a pick in a draft heavy with quality big men. One year too long for Ray, or maybe 2. Ray from 2010 was still a starter, this year he has struggled at times. His new role should ensure we see some big nights in the playoffs as he goes against 2nd units that give him more space.

    Im glad we didnt trade him, but it all seems one year too late, if we had resigned him this year for 3 million and had the extra cap space to pursue a good 2 guard this team would be a nightmare.

    PS: Congratulations to Doc. Losing three players to injury for the season and having 4 others in and out of shape. Bringing in a D-League player, finding a gem in a second year guard and getting the best from his veterans. The job he's done is amazing.

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