The Boston Globe reports:
Celtics vice president of basketball operations Danny Ainge said today he would consider a major move involving the Big Three if it would help foster the team's transition to the next era.[...]Two tragedies happened that ruined Boston for the 1990s. One was the death of Len Bias a few days after the NBA Draft in 1986. The second was when Reggie Lewis died in 1993.
"First of all it’s a different era," Ainge told the Globe. "I sat with Red (Auerbach) during a Christmas party (in the 1990s). Red was talking to Larry, Kevin, and myself and there was a lot of trade discussion at the time and Red actually shared some of the trade discussions. And I told Red what are you doing? Why are you waiting?
"He had a chance to trade Larry (to Indiana) for Chuck Person and Herb Williams and (Steve) Stipanovich and he had a chance to trade Kevin (to Dallas) for Detlef Schrempf and Sam Perkins. I was like are you kidding? I mean I feel that way now. If I were presented with those kind of deals for our aging veterans, it’s a done deal to continue the success."
Ainge said he does not want a repeat of the 1990s in Boston.
"After those guys retired, the Celtics had a long drought," he said. "But those (types of fruitful trades) aren’t presenting themselves. In today’s day and age with 30 teams in the NBA, 15 teams know they have no chance of winning a championship. They are building with young players. It’s a different era that we live in. It’s easy to say conceptually but you have to always weigh what are real opportunities."
If they didn't die, the Celtics would not have been a bust during the 1990s. Would they have drafted Paul Pierce? Who knows. I definitely do not see Pierce getting moved to another team. He's a lifer although it appears there are teams interested in the Celtics forward.
evin Garnett and Ray Allen come off the books this summer, while Pierce has two years and $32 million left on his contract. No matter what you think Ainge will do, it's clear the team has plans to use the money they save on Garnett/Allen to sign a high-profile free agent. Moving Pierce for an expiring contract and a draft pick might allow them to sign more than one player to a big deal this offseason.It's possible that Rasheed Wallace could make an NBA comeback.