Skip to content

With Rondo out, Garnett/Pierce era in Boston must come to an end

Jan 28, 2013, 12:41 AM EDT

Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce AP

I don’t like the phrase “blow it up” because that implies something rash and destructive long term. Blowing something up leaves a big hole that is hard to climb out of. That’s not how the Boston Celtics operate. They are one of the NBA’s premiere franchises in part because they get the big picture.

But it’s time to turn the page.

The Kevin Garnett/Paul Pierce era of the Celtics must come to a close.

When GM Danny Ainge re-signed Garnett last summer, when he went out and got Jason Terry and Courtney Lee, it was with the dream of making another run at a title with Pierce and Garnett as part of the team’s core. They had gone seven games with Miami in the Eastern Conference finals last year, they just wanted to take one more step. Instead this season they have looked like a team that is stumbling.

With Rajon Rondo out for this season with a torn ACL in his right knee, any dream they could find their stride is dead. The already struggling Boston offense is going to get worse long term. If they make the playoffs it will be one and done, despite their defense.

But it’s not just this season — the Rondo injury also basically kills next season, too.

Garnett (age 36) and Pierce (35) already are not young and will be a year older. Following the timeline for return we saw from Ricky Rubio and are expected to see from Derrick Rose, we can expect Rondo back around Christmas — but the guy who comes back will not be the Rondo you are used to seeing. Watch Rubio play and you can see he doesn’t move the same yet, he doesn’t trust his knee the same way, he’s not the same player. That takes time. It’s true of every player you see return from an ACL. It will take Rondo much longer to be back close to his old self.

Boston can’t wait a couple years then try to make a run with this group again.

Turn the page.

That means start looking at trades for everyone on the roster. Everyone. The thought of the Celtics talisman Paul Pierce in a Mavericks or Rockets or whatever uniform seems uncomfortably strange, but it has to be considered. Then the trigger pulled when the right offer comes in. Same for Garnett.

Understand, however, that the offers are not going to be great. Nobody gives you quality young players for old ones, not anymore in today’s stiffer luxury tax world. There is no single home-run trade here, not for the assets the Celtics have one the table. Plus, the Celtics are going to want to bring down their payroll now, not add to it (unless it’s the right player).

Boston, don’t rush into a deal, don’t make big move at the trade deadline to make a move. The offers that will come in first will be the vultures looking to pick clean the team’s carcass, Ainge needs to hang up on those calls.

But eventually, maybe this summer, more reasonable offers will come in. And Ainge has to consider them. The team as currently constructed is never going to win an NBA title or get close to it again. If banner 18 is the goal in Boston — and you know it is — you start the rebuilding process.

This is Boston — you can reload faster than most franchises. It’s a big market franchise with a great history and is a place great players want to be. You can make another deal eventually like the ones made to bring Ray Allen and Garnett in back in the summer of 2007.

But that process has to start now. Remember the past, but don’t hang on to it just for the sake of nostalgia.

Turn the page.

Latest Posts
  1. Andre Drummond denies Draymond Green at Team USA practice (video)

    Jul 28, 2014, 10:11 PM EDT

    Andre Drummond, Jonas Jerebko, Draymond Green Andre Drummond, Jonas Jerebko, Draymond Green

    Pistons center denies Warriors forward at the rim with relatively late, but incredibly awesome, leap

  2. Report: P.J. Tucker arrested for DUI, registers .222 blood-alcohol content

    Jul 28, 2014, 9:14 PM EDT

    Memphis Grizzlies v Phoenix Suns Getty Images

    Tucker also re-signed with Suns for $16.5 million this offseason

  3. Report: As NBPA focuses on after-party, agents want union vote delayed

    Jul 28, 2014, 8:47 PM EDT

    Los Angeles Clippers v Atlanta Hawks Los Angeles Clippers v Atlanta Hawks

    National Basketball Players Associate scheduled to vote on Billy Hunter’s replacement today

  4. Derrick Rose: “I’ve become a smarter player, but I’m mad it took me seven years to learn it.”

    Jul 28, 2014, 7:19 PM EDT

    2014 USA Basketball Men's National Team Practice Getty Images

    Mike Krzyzewski said Derrick Rose looked healthy at Tea USA training camp.

  5. Shelly Sterling beats Donald Sterling in court, clears sale of Clippers to Steve Ballmer

    Jul 28, 2014, 6:34 PM EDT

    Donald Sterling, V. Stiviano Donald Sterling, V. Stiviano

    Donald Sterling’s right to appeal restricted, a pivotal and unexpected ruling

  6. Mo Williams agrees to one-year deal to join Timberwolves

    Jul 28, 2014, 5:39 PM EDT

    Mo Williams, Shane Battier Mo Williams, Shane Battier

    Williams didn’t get quite the payday he was expecting as an unrestricted free agent.

  7. Team USA’s system isn’t changing: They plan to use quickness, athleticism to pressure teams

    Jul 28, 2014, 5:15 PM EDT

    The U.S. head coach Krzyzewski watches his team against Spain during their men's gold medal  basketball match at the North Greenwich Arena in London during the London 2012 Olympic Games Reuters

    The USA has superior athletes and should use that to their advantage.

  8. Derrick Rose making vintage Derrick Rose plays at USA Basketball camp (VIDEOS)

    Jul 28, 2014, 4:33 PM EDT

    Atlanta Hawks v Chicago Bulls Getty Images

    Derrick Rose seems to be moving and playing like the Derrick Rose of old.

  9. Report: Timberwolves have talked to Sixers about Thaddeus Young as Kevin Love replacement

    Jul 28, 2014, 3:44 PM EDT

    Thaddeus Young AP

    Thaddeus Young is not Kevin Love but he’d keep the Timberwolves from going into full rebuild mode.

  10. Dwyane Wade says LeBron replaces Kobe as his new favorite opponent

    Jul 28, 2014, 3:03 PM EDT

    LeBron Wade Getty Images

    Wade may be looking forward to going up against LeBron, but I don’t think he’s going to like how the game ends.

  11. Metta World Peace shoved two players during Venice League game in L.A. (VIDEO)

    Jul 28, 2014, 2:27 PM EDT

    Metta World Peace Metta World Peace

    Ron Artest made a brief appearance on a rec league court in Los Angeles.

  12. LeBron’s jersey number decision sends Indianapolis adidas manufacturing plant into immediate action

    Jul 28, 2014, 1:42 PM EDT

    LeBron James LeBron James

    When the game’s best player makes a uniform change, manufacturers spring into immediate action.

  13. Michael Jordan approves of LeBron James wearing No. 23 once again

    Jul 28, 2014, 12:56 PM EDT

    Miami Heat v Charlotte Bobcats - Game Four Getty Images

    LeBron said when switching to 6 four years ago that no one should wear 23 out of respect to MJ.

  14. DeMar DeRozan jumps over Kyle Lowry for exhibition dunk (Instagram)

    Jul 28, 2014, 12:07 PM EDT

    DeMar DeRozan; Kyle Lowry AP

    Insert your own “he only jumped over Lowry” jokes, we’re not going to do that.

  15. All eyes on Derrick Rose as USA Basketball mini-camp begins

    Jul 28, 2014, 11:23 AM EDT

    Derrick Rose Derrick Rose

    Rose is expected to make the roster, but will need to shake the rust off quickly to show he’s more deserving than the other elite guards in camp.

  16. Klay Thompson doesn’t anticipate being traded, says he expects to play with Warriors next season

    Jul 28, 2014, 10:42 AM EDT

    Golden State Warriors v Cleveland Cavaliers Golden State Warriors v Cleveland Cavaliers

    “The fact that I haven’t been traded yet makes me feel comfortable.” —Klay Thompson

Featured video

Why can't Lakers have a player-coach?
Top 10 NBA Player Searches
  1. T. Warren (4617)
  2. K. Love (4532)
  3. L. James (4512)
  4. J. Nelson (3772)
  5. R. Allen (3692)
  1. D. Rose (3191)
  2. C. Anthony (3136)
  3. K. Bryant (3035)
  4. A. Wiggins (2730)
  5. D. Wade (2265)