As the offseason begins to take shape, there a few assumptions that I think we are fairly safe to make at this point.
1. We've likely seen the last of Ray Allen in Boston. All signs point to him signing with a contender elsewhere and the Celtics trying to use that extra money to fill holes elsewhere. Besides, the Celtics have a starter in waiting in Avery Bradley.
2. Kevin Garnett will NOT be playing for another team next year. He'll either return to Boston or retire. He's just too fiercely loyal and loves Doc too much to go elsewhere.
But what will KG decide? Will he stay or will he call it a career? That's the decision that we're all waiting on and it sure seems like it is the decision that will map out the rest of the offseason.
Garnett’s next move holds the key to the offseason. If they can bring Garnett back on a shorter deal for less money, it will set up the rest of the summer and the future. First, they would then add pieces around the existing core of Garnett-Pierce-Rondo-Bradley to remain competitive now. Second, they would try to keep the books clear for a later date when there are more attractive options available.
So wait, you mean another year of the (modified) Big 3? That's ridiculous, right?
Yes, it's a bit ridiculous. It would be the sixth year of a three-year plan. Ainge, who has often said that he would have broken up Boston's original Big Three before they got too old, is left trying to squeeze every last drop out of his core group. But let's be clear: This won't look exactly the same. The Big Three will almost certainly lose one of its charter members in Ray Allen. Yes, it's not out of the realm of possibility that he returns, but that's money that Boston can spend elsewhere in hopes of providing the necessary tweaks to get them over the championship-free hump of the past four seasons.
So what do you think of a lineup of Rondo, Bradley, Pierce, Bass, and Garnett with Jeff Green, Chris Wilcox, and Greg Stiemsma off the bench along with this year's and last year's rookies worked in? If you look at it that way, you really on have 2 "old" guys you are relying on and the Spurs proved that can take you pretty far.
Of course if Garnett decides to retire, then you are looking at the nuclear option and everything is out the window.
So yeah, Kevin's decision is pretty important.