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"Blow It Up" Just Doesn't Make Sense

First things first. I have not given up on this season. I've come too far with this core group to write them off after 10 games - even if that is almost a sixth of the season. There's still time to turn it around and make one last valiant run. Perhaps the season will play out much like all the recent games. Start slow, then come roaring back in the 2nd half... of course that would mean collapsing at the end, but we'll cross that bridge when we get there.

On the other hand, things look pretty bleak from where we stand currently. So I'll write the rest of this from the standpoint of "IF we are done." You know, if we're cooked to a golden brown on both sides with a large fork sticking out and tasty sides all around the edges... (sorry, I'm hungry, can you tell?)

If we are done, then the urge is to say "blow it up!" I stand here scratching my noggin with my head tilted slightly to the right and a perplexed look on my face. Huh? Why would we blow it up?

Let us start with a vague definition of blowing it up. I guess it means a fire-sale of the best players on your team for whatever you can get to start the rebuilding process. I'm thinking the best recent example would be the Wizards nuking the Gilbert, Jamison, Butler trio. They lucked (or perhaps the "s" version of that word) into John Wall and now have lots of young talent and cap room to work with.

Sounds ok at first blush, but let us dig deeper. They had to fire-sale those guys because they were all on long term deals and it wasn't worth paying them to lose when they could lose with young, cheap players instead. The Celtics don't have any such concerns. All the big contracts are up at the end of this year except for Rondo (our future, ...until he isn't) and Paul Pierce (will retire a Celtic and has buyout options if he hangs them up early). In short, one of the prime reasons to "blow it up" is to get cap space, but Boston will have plenty of space if they do exactly nothing.

In fact, if you go out and trade our expiring contracts (because that's really all they are at this point - nobody is going to see KG or Jermaine O'Neal as the final piece of the puzzle), the best thing we can hope for in return is a good but not quite great talent that is being paid like an All Star for many years to come. You could counter that a deal like that would be better than getting nothing. I disagree. Next summer, if you wanted to get that same player, you still could. With the cap room we're going to have, you don't have to match salaries and you could trade one of our protected 2nd round picks from the Kings (ie. nothing) for that player and the other team would happily pull the trigger so they could unload the salary.

That is the kind of flexibility we'll have in the summer even if we don't land a big name free agent like Dwight Howard. We've already got that built into the plan going forward, so why tinker with it now? The only way you do that is if you somehow can find a way to land a young star for next to nothing right now - and I just don't see us having the chips to get a deal like that done. Not when the Lakers can dangle Bynum at least.

Anyway, let us go back to that Wizards example again. To get John Wall, they had to be really, really bad a couple of years ago. Last year was supposed to be the start of turning it around and this year should have been the next step. Well, last year they won just 23 games, they've added just one more win this season. They've got exactly one can't miss talent on their roster and they've got a number of knuckle heads that have tuned out their coach and don't know the first thing about winning basketball.

As someone that lived through the ML Carr years and blogged through the Pitino and early Ainge years, I am in no hurry to return to that nightmare anytime soon thank you very much. Maybe those Wizards are going to turn it around any day now, but that's what we thought about the Baby Bulls after the Jordan years and it never quite worked out. If we have any shot at rebuilding on the fly (and with cap room this summer, we do) you have to take that chance. Remember that the post 80's Celtics fell off the map (in part due to the death of Bias) but the Lakers were able to re-tool on the fly and start a new dynasty. That is the goal.

So, what is the plan to get there? I don't know really. I'm sure there are plenty of plans in the works. Some of them might even involve trading Rondo or Ray Allen (who might have some value left as a final piece for a contender) or anyone on the roster without the initials PP. If you can find someone to give you the next big thing for next to nothing, by all means pull the trigger. But you don't just fire sale guys for the sake of trading them in a lateral move.

I'm all for building through the draft, but if your plan is to tank and you think this team is toast, here again, why would you blow this up? If anything (and I'm speaking somewhat sarcastically here - forgive the tone) you'd run the "risk" of a younger team catching fire and hurting our precious draft position.


Or we could just let it ride and give these former champions a little more rope. Nobody has to tell them that time is running out. They know it in their creaky bones. If they can give us one last run, they will. If they can't then no harm in giving it a try.

Bottom line is that there doesn't seem to be much to gain in blowing it up, and there is a lot we could get out of keeping things together. Even if it is just an outside shot, we've got guys that have been pretty good at hitting those shots.

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