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Might Boston bring back Garnett, Allen? Ainge is open to it.

Jun 11, 2012, 9:54 AM EDT

Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen AP

At the trading deadline, Boston didn’t look right on the court and while the players in the locker room believed nobody else did. Boston general manager Danny Ainge considered blowing it all up with trades.

He didn’t. He and Celtics fans were rewarded with a run all the way to Gam 7 of the Eastern Conference finals.

Now what? Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen are free agents. Should we have just witnessed the last run of the Big Three era, or do you tweak the roster and make a go at it?

I’m nowhere near convinced you can catch that lightning in a bottle again, but Ainge is open to all the possibilities including bringing back Garnett and Allen, he told CSNNE.com’s A. Sherrod Blakely.

While free agency is still a few weeks away, Ainge told CSNNE.com that all of the current Celtics who will become free agents next month are in the talent pool that the C’s will be looking to pluck from in order in constructing the 2012-13 season.

When asked whether he was leaning one way or another in terms of which players he wanted to bring back, Ainge responded, “That’s a tough ‘yes’ or ‘no’ question. We want guys back that we have on our roster now. We’ll have good dialogue . . . and figure out who is coming back.”

It may ultimately come down to price.

Yes, Garnett showed he has something left in the tank, but he’s not coming back to the Celtics at anywhere near his $21 million salary of last season. Maybe half of that, maybe less. But when you get into that range other teams will throw their hat in the ring on a two-year deal as well. Like maybe the Spurs?

Ray Allen has to get bone spurs in his ankle dealt with and Avery Bradley has taken his starting job. How much will you pay a year for an aging sharpshooter who comes off the bench? What about other guys on the roster. Brandon Bass says he’d love to come back but he will want more than the $4.25 million he is about to opt out of. Mickael Pietrus says he wants to return, but there will be other bidders.

Then there is the bigger-picture question — when is it time to blow it all up? You made it within a game of a return to the NBA finals, but if you keep the roster basically intact is that going to happen again? Chicago will have Derrick Rose back next playoffs and they become the second best team in the East, the Heat struggled but looked better in Game 7 with Chris Bosh healthy. The Pacers are improving. Can Boston make this kind of run again with this roster?

Danny Ainge has always said he wanted to make changes sooner rather than later. He needs to do that now — this roster is not winning a ring, not without some pretty major additions. He’s right to say he is keeping all his cards on the table, his options open. But if he wants to bring a ring to Boston this is the summer where the rebuilding starts.

  1. pudgalvin - Jun 11, 2012 at 10:12 AM

    If Derrick rose tears his acl again Boston should be able to make one more run.

    • pudgalvin - Jun 11, 2012 at 2:46 PM

      Awwwww, come on. Nothing wrong with being the 3rd best team in the East.

  2. canehouse - Jun 11, 2012 at 10:19 AM

    So long Boston it was fun to see you go… but even more fun being there in person and watching the classless kg and rondA slither out like cowards and not man up!!! GO HEAT!!!!!!

  3. truthhurtstoo - Jun 11, 2012 at 10:38 AM

    Do IT! Love to hear the fans whine again about (the refs, weather, HEAT driving the lanes, beating in the past 3 playoffs) and any other reason why their team faded badly down the strech.

  4. sham13ert - Jun 11, 2012 at 11:26 AM

    I think BOS could make another run of it with this group. If Garnet and Allen are willing to sign at vastly smaller sums, and Boston is able to turn their two first round picks into something that can come off the bench and take some of the load off of Garnett and Allen, you could have a pretty decent team.

    The other thing is, they have a ton of money coming off the books this year. They have 54 mil in contracts expiring. That still only drops them down to 34 mil, but that’s a lot of wiggle room for a team that spent 88 mil last year.

  5. ebergevin - Jun 11, 2012 at 12:39 PM

    Health becomes the issue here. Ray Allen was ineffective during this run. Garnett being healthy is no sure thing; yes he was healthy this season, but after being hurt just about every season prior to this one – can you really trust him? I mean maybe you take a stab at it and see where you are come All-Star break. If it’s not looking good then it’s definitely time to trade the parts for even less value then they could have gotten this season.

  6. usavebob - Jun 11, 2012 at 12:48 PM

    Boston still has Jeff Green in the stable. If he comes back healthy, he’ll make them stronger.

    • ebergevin - Jun 11, 2012 at 12:58 PM

      Green is free to sign a contract with any team of his choice…

  7. knightrider1755 - Jun 11, 2012 at 1:11 PM

    Blow them up!

  8. joshm5683 - Jun 11, 2012 at 1:32 PM

    One thing all great organizations tend to have in common in any sport is know when its time to cut ties, even if its not a popular move at the time. Look at organizations in the NFL like the 49ers in the 80s cutting ties with Ronnie Lott and Montana, but ushering in the Steve Young era. Granted every sport is different, you can usually hurt yourself in the long run more by hanging on and living in the past with high priced but fading fan favorite veterans.

  9. fanz928 - Jun 11, 2012 at 4:15 PM

    They need a center

  10. drunkenjunk - Jun 11, 2012 at 5:07 PM

    is Jeff Green gonna come back alright?

  11. md23rewlz - Jun 11, 2012 at 11:42 PM

    I guess it comes down to whether they want to make a run (as in run to the playoffs), or a title run. In the East, they aren’t better than Miami. They aren’t better than Chicago. I have no clue if they’ll be better than Indiana or New York next season. So the benefit of bringing back Garnett and Allen is what…ticket sales? Being able to claim that they’re going for it despite being a middle of the pack playoff team? I just think it’s fool’s gold. You can’t seriously expect to just rely on Pierce/Garnett/Allen every year. It’s a formula that inevitably will have a diminishing return because OLD PEOPLE. Isn’t this the perfect time to change directions?

  12. patsfiend - Jun 12, 2012 at 12:34 AM

    Keep Garnett. Keep Bass. Send Pietrus and Allen (respect) packing. Keep Hollins on the bench… I think he has potential, can learn from Garnett, and Rondo seems to like playing with him. With Doc locked in, they ought to be able to lure someone over to the green side of things. Igoudala would look good in green, I think.

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