I have been reading all the trade proposals on the Celtics and I have come to one conclusion. Some call for Pierce to be traded. He will be 30 years old this off season and has had injury problems the past 2 seasons. His elbow is a concern since even after surgery on it, he had problems with it for the second straight season. Will this be a recurring injury? Will his trade value and his value to the team just go downhill from here?
Some of the trades call for us to add a veteran such as KG, Marion, Gasol or Jermaine O'Neal to the team. In order to bring one of these players in, it seems that most trade scenarios give up too much. When do you give up on a young player and trade them for a veteran? Portland traded Jermaine O'Neal after his 4th season and he broke out in his fifth season after the trade to Indiana. Dale Davis, the player he was traded for is out of the league while O'Neal continues to be an all star. We traded Chauncey Billups only to see him blossom for someone else while Kenny Anderson, the player we got back, is out of the league. We traded Joe Johnson to Phoenix only to see him blossom there while Tony Delk and Rodney Rodgers, the players we got back in the trade, are no longer in the league. We have seen this play out over and over. Teams give up on young players too quickly and then see them blossom into All Stars for other teams.
Danny has been hesitant to trade our young players for just those reasons. We don't want to over pay for a veteran. We don't want to give up a young player who will be an all star for years after the veteran we get is out of the league. There have been rumors about trading Pierce, but unless we can get equal value, we don't want to just give him away.
So, what do we do? My gut feeling is that we should just stick with what we have. We have a good core of talented young players. We have the 5th pick in the draft. We have some expiring contracts that will allow us to sign our young players as they develop and as their contracts come up. These young players have been maturing and developing before our eyes. We don't need to trade for a veteran, we have been growing our own over the past couple of years. Perk will be in his 5th season. Al, Tony and Delonte will be in their 4th seasons. Green and Gomes will be in their 3rd seasons. Rondo, Ray and Powe will be in their second seasons.
Al Jefferson is well on his way to being a star in this league and will only get better this season. Rondo proved at the end of the season last year that he has what it takes to run the team and he will be even better this season. Perk has been hampered by injuries but I fully expect him to break out this season just as Al did last season. Tony Allen is ahead of schedule with his rehab and I expect him to pick up where he left off last season. Green has all the potential in the world and in year 3 for him I expect that we will see that potential start to pan out. Gomes, Powe, and West will be another year wiser and another year better.
We have the 5th and 32nd picks in a deep draft. Danny has proved that he is good at finding gems in the draft. He had done a great job drafting in the middle to lower first round and even found a couple of steals in the second round. We have the highest pick in 10 years and there should be several players who can impact the team available when we pick in both positions.
Wally is due for a healthy year after two in a row that were plagued by injury. He is still a great shooter and should help to spread the floor and give the team veteran leadership. His contract will expire after next season and so he should be valuable for that if for nothing else. Ratliff may or may not play another game for us, but if not, his contract will be insured and will expire after this season.
We don't need to do anything. We don't need to rush into a trade. We can propose trades to try to get a veteran but we don't have to give up too much to get one. I like the idea of trading Ratliff's contract, the 5th pick, and Telfair for O'Neal or Marion. We don't give up too much to get a quality player back. Or, we can stick with what we have and wait to see what is available at the trade deadline. We might just decide that what we have is better than what is out there to trade for.