[i]Everybody wants to be the Spurs. Even with the remodeling of franchises such as Houston, Boston, New York and others, it’s been two months through the offseason and this much is true: San Antonio is still the team to beat. At this time last year, clubs such as Dallas or Phoenix were said to be the league’s best; the two teams that would ultimately lay claim to the NBA title. But what’s been realized is that staying pat is often times the best thing to do. With job security dwindling at an all-time rate, clubs are pushing full throttle to try and steal the crown. The problem is that the moves are made out of desperation, not from actual need. Take Boston, for example. The acquisitions of Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen undoubtedly make it better. For the next two years, three max. But will the Celtics truly threaten the Spurs, or even the Suns or Mavs? What about the Bulls or Pistons? The answer is no. Boston had a plethora of young talent in its stables. What the Celtics needed was time to grow and nourish that talent; young studs such as forward Al Jefferson and wing Gerald Green. Given adequate time, the Celtics could have been an Eastern Conference force in two years, and would probably have made the postseason next year. Here’s a little secret that Danny Ainge doesn’t realize: the team’s problem was not its youth or lack of veteran leadership. Its problem was coach Doc Rivers, who in all his years as coach has yet to understand the concept of a rotation and continues to blunder late-game situations. Celtic mainstay Paul Pierce may have been upset and threatened to trade had Ainge not pursued the aforementioned All-Stars, but, hey, trading Pierce would have been in the team’s best interest as well. Imagine the quality young pieces that could have prospered alongside Jefferson and Green, as well as Ryan Gomes and guard Sebastian Telfair; all of whom deserved a chance to see what they could do in due time in a conference that is still considerably weak. Instead, what Ainge ultimately bought Boston way maybe one or two 50-win seasons, and a few trips to the Conference semis. Because at this point, the Celts are still in the rearview mirror of the Heat, Pistons, Bulls and Cavs. ...... Everybody wants to be the Spurs but nobody’s figured out how. [/i]
So we are not as good as the Bulls or Pistons. Come-on guy, we have three of the top ten EC players. I agree that Doc Rivers is a question mark. You have been reading our blogs on how we should trade Pierce and commit to the youth movement. The fact is that our ideas of accumulating trading pieces and waiting for the right opportunity to trade for superstars is going to be debated against being patient with the youth movement (Chicago post Jordan era). Chicago kept niether Tyson Chandler or Ed Curry - both hi lottery picks. It looks like they got better with Joakim Noah and admittedly, I'm on record in the blogs as stating my wish to trade down to get Noah. Ainge was put in a terrible spot - take the 5th pick Jeff Green and put Pierce along with other young talent on the auction block. This route would have cost Danny Ainge his job along with Doc Rivers. And our core would have looked something like: Perkins, Jefferson, Jeff Green, Delonte West, and Rondo with Tony Allen, Ryan Gomes, Powe, and whoever we got in the Pierce deal coming off the bench. And that lineup may only get you 30 wins next year and a chance at OJ Mayo. Besides, all those rookie deals expire at the same time and Ainge has that worst dilemma an NBA GM has: who to extend and who to let go. Case in point - I think Orlando made a major GM blunder in letting Darko Milicic go and signing Rashard Lewis to a ghastly 110 million dollar contract. KG extended at a bargain 61 million for Boston. Of our youth, we believe that Al Jefferson will become a major star, eventually. Gerald Green needs to mature, I think he is still two seasons away. West and Gomes are solid rotation guys. Telfair will never amount to anything in this league. Ratliffe and Sczczerbiak were supposed to be veteran fill-ins but were in the infirmery and never produced anything with us. The fact that Danny was able to turn all these quote, assets into Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett is a miracle that will not duplicated in the NBA for a long time. And our window of opportunity is 4 years with Truth, Ticket, and Shuttlesworth. I look forward to coming to San Antonio and taking the trophy away from you next June. If that proves to be the last NBA title Boston wins in my lifetime, it was worth the trade.