It’s well known around NBA circles that Celtics GM Danny Ainge isn’t afraid to make a trade if he thinks it will make his team better. In fact, the team probably has a few moving companies on speed dial because of this. As the trade deadline for 2012 approached the usual rumors surrounding the Celtics surfaced. The most common one being that the team will trade starting PG Rajon Rondo. This rumor seems to come up every year and he hasn’t been traded yet. The Celtics have been surging in the East recently despite their aging roster and shouldn’t be counted out as a threat to win the Eastern Conference. But there are some moves they could make to improve their team this offseason. The big question is if trading Rajon Rondo will make the Celtics a better team.
Any big trade the Celtics make is probably going to have to involve one of the “Big 3” on the roster, which includes Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Ray Allen. These players were all vital members of the most recent Celtics team to win the championship and the team that lost in the championship to the L.A. Lakers the following year. But, they are not getting any younger and it may be wise for Ainge to pull the trigger and trade one of them while they still have value.
Paul Pierce would probably be the best chip he has as far as trading value is concerned. The only problem is that he is the emotional heart of the team and has been with the Celtics longer than any other star player on the roster. Trading him would be a slap in the face to some of the fans that have supported him on the team for over a decade.
Garnett may retire after this season. It is always harder for a big man to play for a long time in the NBA and Garnett is no exception even with his athletic abilities. He has suffered from injuries in recent years and isn’t the MVP caliber player that he once was in Minnesota. The Celtics may look to trade him if they can get some value in a younger player or some decent draft picks. They need to get their roster younger as quickly as possible if they want to compete in the NBA.
Ray Allen was the subject of trade rumors both this offseason and at the trading deadline this season. He probably will be again this offseason. While he is older, he is in great shape and stays healthy. The one upside for him is that he is one of the best three point shooters in history and that is a skill that doesn’t go away with age. He could have value to a team that is looking for a shooter and a leader in the seasons to come.
Trading Rajon Rondo would be a bad choice for the team. He is probably most talented player on the roster right now and is one of the best defensive point guards in the league. Sure, his offensive game leaves a little to be desired but he won the NBA championship as a rookie starter. He has a rare combination of youth and experience that he can bring to the table as the new generation of Celtics players ushers in. If the Celtics are looking to improve their team they should trade one of the “Big 3” as soon as possible while their value is as high as it will ever be this offseason. Trading a blue chip point guard who has experience on a winning team is not the answer.