The Blow-it-up Line-up

I would like nothing more than for the Celts to work a draft day deal that not only keeps the Big 3/4 intact but makes the team better than it was this past season. As most of us admit (at least to ourselves), if Rose hadn't been hurt, the Celts probably wouldn't have even made it to the Conference Finals, and if Bosh wasn't hurt, the Conference Finals probably wouldn't have gone 7 games. Of course, if Bradley, Green and Wilcox had been around, the Celts would have been in much better shape - at least as good as Chicago - but you know what I'm saying. They'd have to improve on their 2011-2012 squad for it to be worth it, whatever that means.

But if there is no draft day deal or other series of moves that keep the team in contention, here's an idea for the blow up:

(1) Trade both picks and Johnson to move up for Austin Rivers - if possible. He's all over the place on mock drafts, but if he lands somewhere in the early to mid-teens, he could be probably be scooped up for the above.

(2) Get ready... Trade Paul Pierce to San Antonio for Kawhi Leonard, Tiago Splitter and Stephen Jackson (who we'd waive or something - bad fella to have around young guys.)

(3) Sign Ersan Ilyasova.


(1) Self-explanatory.

(2) Pierce wants to finish his career in Boston. But he doesn't want to be part of a rebuild. In San Antonio, he'd get to play for a great coach and vie for a Championship with Parker, Ginobili, Duncan and whatever else the Spurs can cobble together with their cap space. If Duncan's re-signed to something reasonable (less than $10 million), they should have some dough available.

What do the Celts get out of this? Leonard and Splitter are both solid role players - already. And both have the potential to be something more. Not something special necessarily, but more than just your run-of-the-mill role player.

(3) Ilyasova played out of his mind last year. Absolutely could have been a contract-year thing - Ainge and Doc would have to feel him out. He's not lightning quick by any stretch of the imagination, but he knows where to be, is an above-average rebounder (especially on the offensive glass), a talented all-around offensive player/dynamite 3-point shooter, and he hustles. He's often compared to Ryan Anderson, another tall white man who shoots 3s. But Ryan Anderson has already reached his potential. I believe that Ilyasova has a ways to go yet - unless he's just being a contract-year scumbag.

The blow-it-up line-up:

Rondo, Bradley, J. Green, Ilyasova and Splitter with a bench consisting of Rivers, Leonard, Bass and Steimsma.

If Rivers isn't NBA-ready (he was barely Duke-ready), Dooling is still around, maybe Moore gets a chance, who knows...

And there'd still be plenty of cap space, so if the right deal came along, the Celts would be in a position to take back salary - if necessary. And they'd have better "chips" than they did in 2007, better chips than the ones they traded for Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett.

Fire away.

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