The Boston Celtics have acquired their second All Star since the season ended. According to a few sources, Minnesota has agreed to send Kevin Garnett to Boston. The players included aren’t official yet, but it’s possible that Al Jefferson, Gerald Green, and a piece of paper with Theo Ratliff’s signature on it will be included. Other possibilities include Sebastian Telfair and Ryan Gomes. Earlier this year, the Celtics traded the #5 overall pick to Seattle for Ray Allen. It’s clear that Danny Ainge is cashing in his chips in an effort to win now. Ainge failed to (re-)build a winner around Paul Pierce, trying to combine failed draft picks (Troy Bell, Dahntay Jones, Delonte West, Tony Allen) with overpriced veterans (Theo Ratliff, Gary Payton, Michael Olowokandi, Ricky Davis). So instead Danny Ainge has gone “Flip That House” on the Celtics roster, and have instantly upgraded at 2 positions.
As a Knick fan I’m a bit disappointed that Garnett, a top notch NBA superstar, will be playing against New York for a division rival. In a way I wonder why Isiah couldn’t match or top the deal, since we should have more talent than the 24-win Celtics. You seriously have to wonder how much Ainge and McHale’s Boston ties helped to solidify this deal, because you think a few teams (Chicago, Detroit, Toronto) could have matched this offer as well.
However just because Boston has the most potent trio East of the Mississippi, doesn’t guarantee them a spot in the Finals. Garnett, Allen, and Pierce are all on the wrong side of 30, and they missed 66 games combined last year. The one problem with this deal is that it leaves Boston with few pieces left to surround this talent. While top flight talent is one criteria for building an NBA powerhouse, one thing that separates the good teams from the championship level teams is depth. That said there’s just too much talent with these three players for this not to work. As long as all three stay healthy, they can make a serious postseason run. Now that Danny Ainge is all in & his friend just passed him the ace he needed, Ainge needs to finish the job & surround this trio with quality role players for it to work. But at least for him, the hard part is done.