Finally Some Excitement for Celtics Fans!
Posted by r1zzo23 on June 21, 2007
We have watched this team play sub-par basketball for an entire season, even wanted them to lose games in order to give them a chance at snagging a top-2 pick to draft either Greg Oden or Kevin Durant. Everything was in place for a franchise changing player to suit up in Celtic green for many years to come.
And then there was the NBA Draft, perhaps the most anticipated Tuesday night of my life. June 28th, 2007. This was going to be a day I remembered for as long as I lived. This was the day the Celtics franchise got what they deserved. After years of terrible luck (Len Bias, Reggie Lewis, Rick Pitino, Tim Duncan, Chauncey Billups, to name a few), this was the time the tables would turn in our favor. I was getting ready to tell all my out-of-state friends to get off the Celtics’ bandwagon when they got one of these two studs. And then, it happened…
Since we have all awakened from the nightmare known as the NBA Draft Lottery, the rumors have been flying about where to go from here. Names such as Pau Gasol, Jermaine O’Neal, Shawn Marion, Rashard Lewis, Joe Johnson and Kevin Garnett have all been thrown out there. A majority of those players could be had by the Celtics, but at what price? Jermaine O’Neal wants to play with Kobe, so he’s out of the discussion. Pau Gasol’s name hasn’t been brought up, but with Chris Wallace as the new GM (good luck with that!), he may not be going anywhere.
Marion and Lewis’ names have been tossed around in rumors, but no other player has dominated Celtics headlines for the past week like Kevin Garnett. We all know he has an opt-out clause in his contract following next season, so the Timberwolves have got to get something for him. They are looking for some cap space, attractive young talent and high draft picks. Also, sending him to the Eastern Conference would be great! Who better to deal with than the lowly Boston Celtics?
We have the draft pick (#5 this year), a contract that is very attractive to many teams (Theo Ratliff at $11.7 million) and a plethora of young talent (Green, Jefferson, Gomes, Allen, Rondo, West). Now what package would the TWolves demand in return for the Big Ticket? Kevin McHale may have been intoxicated when he proposed KG for a package deal including Theo Ratliff, Al Jefferson, Gerald Green and the #5 pick. Are you kidding me?!?! Theo is a shoe-in for any deal involving a big name player. Gerald Green has all the upside, but opposing GMs will try to get him for cheap for the “bust factor” potentially surrounding him. The #5 pick in a stacked draft is always an attractive piece.
Then there is Al Jefferson. To me, Al is the only”untouchable” on this roster. At only 22 years of age, this kid has got all the tools to become a great player in this league. I know he didn’t carry the Celtics to many wins when Wally, Paul and Tony Allen were injured last year, but with defenses keying on him, he still averaged 19 points and 11 rebounds a game. If he can do that with this team fully healthy, him and Paul would be a dangerous duo. To me, McHale can demand any asset the Celtics have other than Jefferson. You say that’s a deal breaker? Fine with me. If I’m Danny Ainge, I would just walk away from the table as soon as McHale demands Al Jefferson be in the deal.
With the teams going back and forth, how realistic is it that KG lands in Boston? I’ve debated this with my friends for a couple days now. It has made for some great conversation (as well as arguments) about will KG stay for more than a season, how far could a Pierce/KG duo carry us, where will we be when they are both retired and is Al Jefferson a franchise player. Too bad all of this speculation was drastically put to rest in just five words by KG’s agent, Andy Miller. “The Boston trade isn’t happening.” Wow, what a way to kill the buzz in Beantown, huh?
Now what do we do? Over the next couple days, I’ll review some possible deals we could attempt to make, deals we shouldn’t make and who will be selected with the #5 pick of the draft. For now, we can only sit and think “What if?” about having Kevin Garnett playing his home games in the TD Banknorth Garden…