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After being continually dominated by larger than life players, from Bill Russell and Wilt Chamberlain to Shaquille O’Neal and Tim Duncan, to all those in between like Karl Malone and Kevin Garnett, the NBA is changing.
It’s turning into a league of a mix between speed and power, style and grace. From the flamboyant and sumptuous way they dress to the gracious and phony way they flop, the players - and the league - are not the same.
(Photo by flickr user iamseandoyle)
Now, every team needs a “Big 3” – look at the four teams in the conference finals, the Spurs had Duncan, Parker and Ginobli, the Celtics had Pierce, Garnett, Rondo or even Allen, and the NBA finals is featuring a matchup of Durant, Westbrook and Harden verses James, Wade and Bosh.
Do “Big 2’s” work? Hell no. Check out Lob City – Blake the Quake and CP3 were swept by the Spurs in the Western Conference semifinals. Well, how about a “Big 1” with a bunch of really good but not quite great players around that superstar? Nah bro, the season was over for the Bulls when Rose tore his ACL, you can't have too much riding on one guy. They got beat by the eighth-seeded Philly Cheesesteaks, who don't even have a superstar.
So the big question is (considering that nobody seems to care about the Spurs and their clear aging as well), where do the Celtics go from here?
What the Celtics have:
1. The best pure PG in the NBA. F*** all the Rondo haters who say this kid can’t shoot – he’s got balls of steal and he’s the best rebounding PG since Magic – and one of the best passers since him, too. Oh, and the C's got him locked up in a contract until 2015.
(Photo by flickr user Aaron Frutman)
2. The Captain. If he doesn’t retire a Celtic, I will lose all faith in humanity. Pierce will be good for 15 points a game for the next five years. Oh, he’s gonna slow up with age? He’s already slowed up big time! He hasn’t just lost A step - he’s lost TWO steps, but he can still shoot and draw contact with the best of them.
3. Two first round draft picks - in a deep draft. At spots 21 and 22, the Celtics could potentially package these picks up with a player for a higher draft pick, but we also have…
4. A depleted team. The only guys that are definitively on contract for next year are #34, Rondo, Avery Bradley and JaJuan Johnson. Brandon Bass has an option and Stiemsma has a qualifying offer.
Garnett’s massive $21.2 million contract is off the books, along with Ray Allen’s $10 million check. However, did anyone know that the Celtics actually paid Rasheed Wallace and Shaquille O'Neal this year? Well, they did. Sheed <3’s Weed got $6 million for not playing since the 2010 Finals and Shaq barely got over a mill, but it was still on the books. Oh, and don’t forget about Jermaine O’Neal, who hopefully will do his knees a favor and just retire already following this slouch of a year he put up for us getting paid $6 million himself.
(Photo by flickr user Keith Allison)
The Celtics now have only $34.5 million on our payroll with a $58 million salary cap. That means they have a lot to play with. Don’t be fooled – although Garnett’s last contract was massive, these NBA contracts have giant interest rates that become enormous over long-term deals, and let’s remember that when those three (truly ugly) dinosaurs joined together in Miami, they took smaller contracts to play on a good team. Garnett was traded here.
What the Celtics should do:
Revamp! Go for it one more time, what do they have to lose? The NBA isn't going to change that much next year considering how much this year's free agent class sucks, so they should surely bring the competitive band back together for another shot at banner 18.
Yes, re-sign KG and Ray-Ray. They won’t want ridiculous money – they’ve both had their paydays – and neither of them will even want anything more than a two-year contract.
Somehow, though, whether it is through free agency or through the draft or a trade, we need a younger center. Maybe a restricted free agent like Roy Hibbert or Brook Lopez, or even MY BOY JAVALE MCGEE!
Then, maybe bring a few of those scrappers like Dooling, Daniels and Hollins back (see video below) and we’ll have a solid squad.
Let’s not forget. Doc’s one of the best (if not the best) coach in the NBA, Rondo is THE best PG in the NBA, The Truth is the motherfucking truth, and Avery Bradley is quickly earning a reputation as one of the best on-ball defenders in the league. We missed him dearly against the younger Miami Heat. This is a good core, and you can't doubt this core's heart. Let's go for it again next year.
FORGET ABOUT REBUILDING!
It’s still #AllAbout18.
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