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Monday, July 30, 2007
Kevin Garnett to Boston Celtics

A month ago, I wrote about Kevin Garnett using an opt-out clause in his contract as a de facto no trade clause. His goal was to discourage the Boston Celtics--the NBA's second worst team last season--from trading for him. His strategy worked, as the Celtics turned to other trade options.

But since that time, both the Celtics' situation and Garnett's situation have changed considerably. Namely, the Celtics traded for all-star Ray Allen, who joins Paul Pierce to give them two legitimate 25+ per game scorers (Allen averaged 26.4 points per game last year; Pierce averaged 25.0). In obtaining Allen, the Celtics also dispatched Wally Szczerbiak, whom played with Garnett for seven seasons in Minnesota, during which time the two apparently didn't like each other.

If we are to believe various media reports this morning, the Celtics are on the verge of trading for Garnett and signing him to a contract extension (Garnett is seeking a 5-year extension worth $125 million). The Celtics are apparently set to deal Al Jefferson, Gerald Green, Theo Ratliff, Sebastian Telfair, and a 2008 first round draft pick for Garnett, who has warmed to the idea of playing in Boston, particularly since Timberwolves GM Kevin McHale has been reluctant to deal him to a Western Conference team.

With a lineup featuring Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen, and Paul Pierce, the Celtics seem like the best team in the Eastern Conference, and a legitimate contender for an NBA title. They are certainly an older team (Pierce is 29, Garnett is 31, and Allen is 32), but they now have a 3-year window to go for it all. It's amazing how the fate of a franchise can change so dramatically in just one month.


I wouldn't give Danny Ainge Executive of the Year if this trade goes through just yet but I agree that a window for success would be created. On paper, this seems to make Boston a dominant Eastern Conference team.

I do wonder, however, who would play with the Big Three. Make no mistake, losing quality young players like Al Jefferson (just beginning to scratch the surface of his talent and a force to reckon with for the next ten years) and Gerald Green will harm the Celtics of the future. With zero cap space left after this trade, Boston would be left with just Rajon Rondo as a NBA quality point. Kendrick Perkins would presumably be the starting centre but he's still green after years of NBA seasoning. Those two aside, there seems to be no future NBA starter calibre players on the roster. One injury to the Big Three, particularly Garnett, and I have a hard time seeing how the team will win.

That being said, this trade would finally give the Celtics a direction. Instead of a team rebuilding for the umpteenth time in five years they will be an aging contender with two, perhaps three, bonafide Hall-of-Fame quality players. Hopefully, it will work out better than previous Big Threes such as the one in Milwaukee (with Ray Allen!) and Run-TMC.

Anonymous Jason Chung -- 7/30/2007 10:27 AM  

Will there be any depth on this team at all?

Anonymous Chris Smith -- 7/31/2007 5:04 PM  

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