BOSTON (CBS) – As the Boston Celtics walked off the court for the final time this season following their 88-80, Game 6 loss to the New York Knicks on Friday, questions about the future already began to whirl.
Will veterans Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce be back, or will the Celtics start that rebuilding process we’ve been hearing about for the last three years? And if Pierce and KG are gone, what does that mean for head coach Doc Rivers?
The Celtics face a very important summer as far as the future of the franchise, though none of their options spell out a championship in the near future.
98.5 The Sports Hub’s Felger & Masssarotti kicked off the week talking about the future of the Boston Celtics. Celtics analyst Cedric Maxwell said on Sunday that he believes Pierce, Garnett and Rivers will all be gone next season, so what does that mean for the C’s?
“To cut to the chase I think they’re hosed,” said Felger. “I don’t think they have any way out, unless they trade Rondo, trade everyone and go to last; trade them for pennies on the dollar just to go to last place.”
“But I don’t think the owner wants to trade Rondo,” he said. “If they keep him, I think they’ll be too good (and sneak into the playoffs).”
“The worst case scenario is that everyone comes back,” said Mazz. “Pierce, I think is done as a starting player in the league that you can win a championship with. If they all come back with the same group, I don’t like that. This has gone on too long already.”
“If Garnett wants to come back, he is not toast like Paul Pierce. I think KG still has something left on the floor and value off the floor,” said Felger. “If Garnett stays and you use Pierce and Rondo to get something around those two (Garnett and Rivers), get the last little bit out of KG and then blow it up, that’s the middle play. But is that even a good option?”
There is also a rumor out there from ESPN’s Stehpen A. Smith, who said on Monday’s First Take that there are rumblings the Celtics and Clippers could begin discussing a blockbuster deal that would send Garnett and Pierce to Los Angeles for Blake Griffin, Caron Butler and Eric Bledsoe. In turn, Rivers would follow his two vets out West and man the bench for the Clippers.
Smith said basketball officials he’s spoken with say that chatter will increase over the coming days.
“I would do that,” Mazz said of the trade rumor. “You’re at least getting something back for those pieces. I think they lost that leverage by missing their window at the trade deadline. Ainge let this thing run too long. But, you’re in a situation with Pierce where you either buy him out and get nothing, or you bring him back. You’re better off getting something for him.”
“Is (Danny Ainge) capable of a move like that; that’s what I’m curious about that,” said Felger.
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