The more I think about it and the more I hear, I think we need to wait a year to make any more major moves. There doesn't seem to be many stars out there for Ainge to bring in this year. There is Iverson but we don't need another guard, let alone one with enough baggage for an entourage. There is Gooden but he is asking too much. He wants 60 million over 6 years and I don't think he is worth that kind of contract and we would have to give up a couple of very promising players to get him. His effort has been suspect and he is not a very good defensive player. The The Morning Journal mentions that they are asking for West and/or Gomes or Ratliff in a sign and trade. There doesn't seem to be any other veteran players who could really help us available.
KG isn't available this year. McHale has said over and over again that KG isn't going anywhere and KG has said he wants to give Minny another year to build around him. According to Hoopshype, KG will be able to opt out of his contract after this season. It will be possible that he will want out of Minny after this year or that they will be ready to trade him and rebuild. I would much rather wait for a chance at getting KG than taking either Iverson or Gooden.
Bird has said over and over that O'Neal isn't available this year. But I think that especially with Peja packing up and leaving them with nothing from the Artest trade, I think Larry may be ready to re-tool and will trade O'Neal who will have the most trade value on the team. He may even try to trade him at the trade deadline this year. I would much rather have O'Neal than Iverson or Gooden.
Finally, if we wait until next year to pull the trigger on a big trade it will give us a chance to evaluate the players we have on our team. Last year was not an indication of what this team can do. We had injuries to key players all year long. Al's ankles, Perk's shoulders, West's groin, Wally's knees, Dickau's achilles, Tony's knees, and Pierce's elbow all kept the team from playing as they could have if all were healthy. Although, some of the injuries were blessings in disguise as they gave players like Gerald Green and Ryan Gomes a chance to prove that they could play.
Doc was playing Blount big minutes to showcase him for a trade while keeping players like Perk and Gomes on the bench. Then there was the big trade mid year and the chemistry had to build all over again. New players had to be incorporated and it was as if the team was going back to trading camp, although Wally did fit the team very well and seemed to mesh with Pierce right away. However, his knee injury kept him from showing us what he could really do.
We lost an astounding 24 games by 5 points or less. Many of those were by 2 points or less. In my opinion losing that many close games was partly due to youth and inexperience and partly due to coaching errors. Hopefully Doc will learn from his mistakes and do better this year and our youth have another year's experience under their belts and I doubt they make the same kind of mistakes this year. All have been working hard in the off season and I think we will be surprised at how much better they are.
We didn't have a true point guard last year. Delonte did a great job but he isn't a true point. He was learning the position on the job and did as well as anyone could have expected, but there is a big difference between a player learning to play the point and a true point guard. We now have 2 very quick true point guards who can push the ball up the floor and can without a doubt find the open man. That will make a huge difference in the team and the play of everyone else around them.
I say that we need to stay with what we have now and see how they play together. We will know more of what we have and will be less likely to trade away that gem who will become a perennial all star as we have in the past.
Danny hinted that he likes every player on this team. He said that he doesn't feel he needs to make a move and then on the other hand he says he isn't done dealing. I sure hope he gives this team a chance and next year when JO and KG may be available, it will be more evident who we need to keep and who we can afford to trade. Who knows, by that time, Al and Perk may have proven that we don't need a JO or a KG... We have Clifford Ray to develop our bigs and I think that will pay big dividends. By next year, Telfair, Rondo, or Green may be playing so well we won't need to trade for that All Star to play along side Pierce.
So let's wait and give these kids a chance ... or we may end up being very sorry when JO and KG are available and we have traded our chips away for way less. Or even worse, we will be sorry when the young players we give up make us pay time after time long after the player we traded them for is gone.
Very well put, FL. This team has a lot of talent, albeit young talent. We will still have our learning curves and growing pains, but we are a year older (coaching staff included) and the chemistry has had time to develop more. Plus, we have Telfair and Rondo now. I don't know if many fans are aware of the significance of having real PG's running the show. We have playmaking PG's who can create scoring opportunities for their teammates. Among the beneficiaries are Ryan Gomes, Al Jefferson, Delonte, and Wally (basically, guys who can stroke the ball on kickouts and big men who can score quickly on dump off passes in the paint). I'd be interested in bringing in another quality big man, though. But it won't be much of a concern if Dwayne Jones and Theo Ratliff can provide good support off the bench. But Big Al and Big Perk have to stay out of foul trouble and they they need to stay healthy and injury free.