It pains me to think of breaking up the Big Three, but rumors will be swirling over the next two weeks of potential suitors for Ray Allen, Kevin Garnett, and (gulp) Paul Pierce.
Mitch Lawrence of the New York Daily News is reporting that there might be a KG for Josh Smith trade in the works. He's an intriguing talent with another year and a former teammate of Rondo's from Oak Hill Academy. But like most of these trade rumors, I'm usually left wondering why the other team would do it. Like yesterday's rumor that had Jermaine O'Neal presumably being dealt for Michael Beasley where Minnesota trades young talent for virtually nothing, why would Atlanta give up on a talented young big man? They're not in a win now situation and Garnett doesn't instantly make them contenders.
Ray Allen and/or Paul Pierce to the Clippers makes much more sense. They're the best team in LA and with the season-ending injury to Chauncey Billups, they're looking to fill the 2-guard spot with a veteran to pair with Chris Paul in the backcourt. For the Celtics, there's a cupboard of young talent to raid; it's highly doubtful, but if Neil Olshey was willing to part with Deandre Jordan and Eric Bledsoe, this is one of those phone calls that Danny should make rather than take.
If any of these trades go through, it'll be sad. I've gone on record saying that Paul Pierce should retire as a Celtic and it would be a shame if Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett didn't finish their careers in Boston. They've both expressed interest in doing so, but--and here comes the cliche--it's a business.
With that said, there's always an opportunity for a side deal and something tells me that if Allen and Garnett are traded, Danny tells them something like this, "fellas, it's been a weird season. With the lockout and the injuries, we're just not the same. You guys have given so much to this team and this city. Here's what I'm proposing: take a two-month vacation. Heck, it might be three if everything goes well. Ray, you'll be heading out to LA and Kevin, you'll spend a couple of weeks in Atlanta. Paul, Rajon, Doc, and I are going to be working out these new players and testing their mettle against Chicago or Miami in the first round. And then this summer, I've got two first round draft picks. We might even bring Doc's kid in from Duke. We'll reload while you guys are trying to win another ring and then you come back next season." Handshake. Wink. We'll see you in the fall.