A lot of people are raring for the day that we can trade our existing assets for the next superstar trio. So let us take a look at who is out there. Before we do that we need to first take a look at our previous Big Three. It is my opinion that the most important piece in the demolished big three is the Big Ticket himself, Kevin Garnett.
Kevin Garnett is a one of a kind talent that can never be replaced. He averaged 22.4 points, 12.8 rebounds, 4.1 Assists in a bad Timberwolves team. Just to illustrate how bad the team was, Ricky Davis was the second best player in the team. Now, that is saying something.
This was his 12th year and I can imagine that the next player we can trade for will be similar or slightly younger. He would probably be from a smaller market team looking to pay younger stars and moving a different direction. This means that the player is already here and is closing in on his prime or is already in it.
Here are some players that would be the best candidates based on their current production. These player lead their team in at least two stastical categories. In most cases, they lead two or three statistical categories. At the very least, they are leading in one category and second or third in two or three categories. Of course, Garnett, in comparison, led the 06-07 t-wolves in points, rebounds, steals, and blocks. He was also second in assists.
When you consider the timing of the trade, the player we are going to trade for will be in their relative prime now. The rationale for such a decision is two fold, because we trade to compete immediately just like we did with Garnett and Ray allen. Second, no team on its right mind would send out a young superstar player in exchange for young players that we will pick in the coming drafts.
Here are a short list of current stars that could be considered for the spot. I have concentrated on shooting guards and big men from teams at the 8th spot or missed the playoffs altogether. The best case scenario would be that we already have two of the big three with us in Rondo and Green and they would take that next step in the 2013-2014 season. Without much further ado, here are the 5 best candidates for the members of the big three:
The Blazer's big man has been on a lot of people's radar because of the youth movement in their team. He leads the trailblazers in points, and blocks. He is also only second to their rebounding specialist when it comes to rebounds.
He should fit well with a core of Rondo and Green. In fact, he would be one of the best pick and roll/pop players to team up with Rondo. He can pop and shoot that jumper effectively. He can also roll strong and use his athleticism to finish strong. He is also very effective in the low block.
I personally, do not like to get Aldridge because of his documented heart condition. He is able to manage it but it remains despite surgery. The possibility of death due to this condition is rare at 0.1% to 0.3%, but with the celtics luck, I am not willing to take any chances. I also can't see him anchoring our defense.
You often hear the name of Greg Monroe, especially after the Pistons floated the rumor of wanting Rondo. I am willing to bet the house that I don't own that when the "Josh Smith at Small forward" experiment fails he can suddenly become available. Next year is his extension and with Drummond untouchable(rightfully so), he could be available if he is offered a max contract.
As a low post threat, he can be very effective. He is very effective off the ball and could be deadly with Rondo feeding him in the post. Rondo's entry pass is an underrated aspect of his game but it is a thing of beauty.
It is not an easy task to pry him out of Detroit without giving up Rondo, especially with the remaining assets that we have. If we can somehow pull it off, that would just be awesome.
When it comes to defense, he is not a world beater, but if you watched the Team USA showcase, you can see that he is a better defender than initially thought. He is always at the right spot at the right time which is a big reason why he leads his team in steals. He is virtually a neutral in the on/off court numbers last year. However, it is a much improved aspect of his game compared to his first two years in the league.
Monroe would be best utilized with a great help defender which brings us to the next person on the list.
First of all, we all know that Josh Smith is a flawed player but his flaws are mostly from the neck up. He takes too much shots, he disappears in games, yadda yadda yadda. I get that and personally I prefer not to have Josh Smith unless we can get Monroe as well, which is impossible to say the least. The only way that is even possible is if we give away Rondo. If that is the case, I am out.
Back to the matter in hand. Why J-Smoove? He is an elite help defender. Here are some figures
Josh smith is responsible for. In his rookie season he had a block% of 6.4% and a career average of 4.8%. To put that in perspective, Garnett's average is 3.1% and the highest he had was 4.4%, also in his rookie season.
Josh Smith's defensive rebounding percentage is lower than Garnett's but the Big Ticket has never worked with an elite big man like Josh Smith has. Al Horford would eat up a lot of the defensive rebounds but he was still able to get a decent rebounding percentage of 20.5% through his career. But, still. I'd say no to Josh Smith. His former partner down low however is a totally different matter.
He is one of my personal favorites. There are several road blocks to getting Al Horford in green. After all, Atlanta GM Danny Ferry committed to building around Jeff Teague and Al Horford once they fell out of the Dwight Howard sweepstakes. How Atlanta's new frontline shapes up will determine if we can possibly get Horford. If they fall flat, then we might see him forcing his way out of Altanta sooner. Everything falls into place, then Danny Ferry may be willing to gift us Horford for a few young pieces.
We could see a dynamic combination of Rondo, Green and Horford. That would be an awesome youngish team to start with.
Remember, Josh smith's good rebounding rates? Al's defensive rebounding rate is much higher at a career percentage of 23.7%. He also has an impressive offensive rebounding rate of 9%. Garnett's highest rebounding rate is only slightly higher at 9.5% and he averaged 7% through his career. Another testament to his understated game is the fact that he averaged 17.4 points a game, leading Atlanta in scoring. He also led Atlanta in rebounding while coming in second in blocks, and third in steals. He is not a "Wow" player but he is definitely a solid piece for a championship team.
These are the big men that would be the best fit for the next Big Three in Boston (in my opinion). Of course a lot of you may not agree. Please comment to let me know who you think we should go for via trade of the young pieces we have.