Thursday, January 19th, 2012 at 10:45 am  |  81 responses

Danny Ainge Willing to Trade Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen and Paul Pierce

by Marcel Mutoni @marcel_mutoni

Despite last night’s victory over the Toronto Raptors, things are grim in Boston. Rajon Rondo joked darkly that the W signaled the longest winning streak of the season for the Celtics, and there’s growing talk that the front office could be looking to shake things up in dramatic fashion.

With a 5-8 record, an old roster and growing doubts about the squad’s ability to compete for anything meaningful this season, GM Danny Ainge says that he will not hesitate to pull the trigger on a trade, even if it means getting rid of any of the fabled Big Three.

From the Boston Globe:

Celtics vice president of basketball operations Danny Ainge said [Wednesday] he would consider a major move involving the Big Three if it would help foster the team’s transition to the next era. The Celtics began the season with eight losses in their first 12 games and there has been increasing speculation Ainge would blow up the team’s veteran core of Ray Allen, Kevin Garnett, and Paul Pierce if the team were not competitive this season. Ainge said he would consider trades if they would net younger talent. He has maintained he does not want the franchise to go through a 10-year span of insignificance as it did following the departures of the previous Big Three of Larry Bird, Kevin McHale, and Robert Parish, who remained with the team past their primes.

“First of all it’s a different era,” Ainge said. “I sat with Red (Auerbach) during a Christmas party (in the 1990s). Red was talking to Larry, Kevin, and myself and there was a lot of trade discussion at the time and Red actually shared some of the trade discussions. And I told Red what are you doing? Why are you waiting? “He had a chance to trade Larry (to Indiana) for Chuck Person and Herb Williams and (Steve) Stipanovich and he had a chance to trade Kevin (to Dallas) for Detlef Schrempf and Sam Perkins. I was like are you kidding? I mean I feel that way now. If I were presented with those kind of deals for our aging veterans, it’s a done deal to continue the success … After those guys retired, the Celtics had a long drought,” he said. “But those (types of fruitful trades) aren’t presenting themselves. In today’s day and age with 30 teams in the NBA, 15 teams know they have no chance of winning a championship. They are building with young players. It’s a different era that we live in. It’s easy to say conceptually but you have to always weigh what are real opportunities.”

Danny Ainge’s brutal candor should not surprise anyone. He has always been able to separate sentimentality from the cold, hard reality facing his team (see: last season’s shocking trade of Kendrick Perkins.)

Changes are coming to the Boston Celtics one way or another. Ainge and company just have to figure out if they’re willing to blow this whole thing up now, or wait until the summer when Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen’s deals come off the books.

The end of an Era is nigh.

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  • RunNGun

    Lemme guess… KG back to the Wolves? LMAO

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    Garnett is still a really nice trade piece. Especially considering he has that huge expiring contract.

  • chris

    wow… i mean if the do end up trading any of those guys it has to be for the very best deal possible..they should really evaluate every trade scenario very closely because they dont want another scenario like the perkins-green trade

  • ab40

    why? you can get KG and Ray for the MLE next summer and still go for a big piece. I don’t like this especialy pierce. And why now? it’s a lockout season. Wade is going to be injured for the long haul soon and Rose will be limping when the playoffs come around. I think Ainge is an idiot for bringing this out in the public.

  • huami

    Trade KG and Ray Allen. Retain pierce, considering his loyalty throughout all those losing seasons a few years back.

  • Hulahula

    Rondo,demarcus cousins,tyreke evans….new big three make it happen

  • DerekG

    @hulahula…sounds dysfunctional which usually means good entertainment! I’d watch!

  • http://nba.com/celtics lights out

    trading Pierce would just be evil. KG also means a lot to the franchise, and in some ways, he’s more the face of this big 3 than Pierce. and Ray’s play has been absolutely stellar, so trading him would be ridiculous.

  • Ldub

    Ray Allen to the Lakers to spell Kobe. Pierce can stay. Garnett to the D-League to play with ppl like Ricky Davis, Antoine Walker and Mike James. IDEK if KG could average a dubdub down there. Start over with Rondo. Bring in some pieces next year.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    Ray Allen has been absolutely horrible over the last week.

  • BlackStar

    I rock with the Lakers, but this would be extremely sad to see them separated. But I have to give Ainge credit for being so gangsta with it … Homie is about his business!

  • BlackStar

    I can see Danny Ainge being a rather successful pimp if he wanted to be … “Bit#h, where’s my money???!!! You know I beez about my bidness” …

  • ron

    I can’t imagine if any team would want the big three.

  • Riggs

    @Ldub: Don’t be that guy.

  • ClydeSays

    I wouldn’t put any trade past Ainge, but Ray & KG have expiring deals. It’s not like Ainge is locked in long term. He’ll have A TON of cap space this summer. What are the chances he gets talented young players & picks back in trade? He’d have to find a contender who thinks can can win NOW & that Ray, KG or Pierce would put them over the hump THIS season. Maybe Chi? Dallas? Dunno…

  • vtrobot

    Yeah, even if Pierce would get you the most in return, that would be wrong to trade him. Some Ewing to the Sonics, sh*t. That’s a tough call between KG and Ray. Knowing Danny, maybe they’ll both go. Either of those two guys will still be a big addition to a team. Be more weird to see KG coming off the bench for a contender than it would to see Ray doing that. Should be interesting.

  • http://slamonline.com cold as ice

    well trade bill walker,toney douglas for ray allen. send black jesus to nyk

  • http://nba.com/celtics lights out

    Bill Walker and Toney Douglas for Ray? You can’t be serious.

  • Kadavour

    Ray Allen still has 3 years elite years in him.

  • http://Slamonline.com Caboose

    Pierce and Ray for Cousins, Salmons, Garcia, and Hickson.

  • Showmeyourwits

    As messed up as it is, Ainge has to make some kind of move. They’re too good to be a lottery team, but not good enough to contend for a title which means no elite talent is coming in unless they suck for a year or two. Better to bite the bullet now, and try to get some value for those guys while you can.

    The Lakers need to take heed as well and be proactive by trading Gasol for Kevin Love so they can ensure they’re contenders for at least the rest of Kobe’s tenure.

  • Heals

    Love the cajones Danny. No side-talk just straight shooting. If the guys were playing better it’d be a non-issue. Can only think of a handful of coach-GM combos I’d rather have in charge of this rebuilding project. Interested to see how it shakes out…

  • paul

    If Danny looked at cold-hard reality, he wouldn’t have done the Perkins trade. He’s a maniac who needs to be fired.

  • ainge sucks

    It can be safe to say at this point that if they do blow it up then they wouldnt have had to look for a 2 if they had kept marshon brooks instead of trading him. dude is a beast maybe the next kobe 2.0 ainge screwed up.

  • Anonymouse

    I think Danny Ainge is a very good general manager, but dealing away or breaking the Big 3 like this will not only ruin the team but will also ruin the chemistry between players, make the C’s record worse, and cause major problems in the team in the years to come. I hope he doesn’t do such a thing after looking at the outcome of the Kendrick Perkins deal. The best thing to do would be to resign the players for lower money contract and keep them in the team. If some new star joins the team, he will be able to adjust with the team more easily when the Big 3 will be teaching him.

  • Anonymouse

    It seems that the injury of 2009 has brought down KG’s confidence significantly. Maybe he is afraid he will get injured again or no longer confident in his legs. Before the injury, KG would dunk over every player and do all sorts of things and after the injury, KG barely did any of this stuff. Age does matter but age doesn’t take anyone down like this. If KG is able to gain that confidence again and have good conditioning, he can be as monstrous as he was and lead the Celtics to their 18th Championship this year.

  • Christinsol, Ceus

    Trade Rondo, Allen, to Miami For Mario, Wade in that case both team will benefit from that trade.Miami desperately need of a point guard, and boston could be a title contenter again with Wade.That may never happen but in Opinion that’s a Fair trade.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Bowen’s Bowtie Collection

    Garnetts defense is not close to what it was. Ainge would be smart to keep the team together this season. They will have aplenty cap space. Ray and kevin know they will not get tons of money.

  • jw

    Ray has been horrible for the past weeks. Funny cause you must be a pierce fan. Ray and rondo has been the most consistent of the celtics idiot. Pierce has fell off and so has garnette. Garnette defintely needs to go. Ray is still hitting 3′s, hitting freethrows and moving aroung.

  • http://www.twitter.com/_dfrance dfrance21

    As a KG loyalist its just sad to see his career end this way. I really hope whatever happens that he hands it up after this year.

  • http://www.twitter.com/_dfrance dfrance21

    Hands, hangs whatever.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Slick Ric

    ^yeah, its sad to see kg and timmy look like non-factors out there some nights.

  • http://slamonline.com Tae

    Boston will never be tha same again. Ainge said too much. But im a Lakers fan n i’ve stuck by Gasol no matter wat, but someone up top mentioned K Love for Gasol……im starting to think thats not a bad idea

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    KG has always been a jump shooter. It’s just become his only option as he’s aged.
    On defense he’s still very good, still a great passer, help defender, pick setter. Can stick open jumpers. Can score over cats at times as well. If the Celtics convince him to sign a much, much smaller deal and get some other pieces they’d be fine.

  • GTK

    i really don’t think they can get any young talent but they can most def get draft picks and they really need them with this stacked draft class

  • http://www.slamonline.com Bowen’s Bowtie Collection

    What is slick ric watching? Tim has been very effective as he has gotten older.

  • bull22

    leave this core alone for this season, let it be their final mexican standoff with the nba this year.

  • Sparty’s Law

    I can see KG or Allen potentially getting traded, but no way they trade Pierce without him asking to be traded.

  • Showmeyourwits

    Yeah Tae, I did a Gasol for Love/Beasley/Ridnour trade on the trade machine and it works. On the surface it seems lopsided, but if Love were to express that he doesn’t want to sign an extension then the Wolves would do this trade in a minute. Beasley’s contract is up, Ridnour isn’t irreplaceable, and Gasol and Rubio is a match made in heaven.

  • bike

    Ainge should have waited until the end of the season to say something like this. It’s a short season with a compacted schedule and the older vets are going to take longer to adjust. Still a good chance these guys will turn it around in a month or maybe less. All that matters is they make the playoffs anyhow.
    Speaking straight up is not always the best policy. Discretion often wins out.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Slick Ric

    @Bowen’s Bowtie Collection, obviously you didnt watch tim duncan in his prime, his defense is NO WHERE it used to be.

  • Pp

    If this doesn’t work he would be remembered for this and Boston fans would hate him

  • http://www.twitter.com/_dfrance dfrance21

    @AllenP KG’s one on one defense has been pretty weak the past few years. He has very little lateral quickness. Forwards with decent handle can get by him a whole lot easier than they used to be able to.

  • robb

    Send the three of them to Orlando or something

  • ab40

    wow klove to la for gasol? you guys have some serious pipedreams.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    I agree that he can’t lock down quick threes and fours anymore, but most cats still don’t want to see him. And, he still helps his teammates and provides rim protection. He’s not the beast he was, but he’s not a sieve either.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Bowen’s Bowtie Collection

    Ric, I saw duncan in his prime. Garnetts defense has fallen off harder than duncans.

  • ctk

    Memphis do O.J Mayo for Ray Allen …get the consistent 3pt shooter yall need to space the floor for Gay n ZBo when he comes back
    Bulls Deng-Gibson for KG-Pierce ..Pierce is the second scorer u need ..n he has gave it to Bron when it matters most n he keeps Bron from guardin D.Rose
    offense Boozer defense KG cant go wrong with that

  • http://www.twitter.com/_dfrance dfrance21

    Yeah I’m with you there, help D and talking on d is still there. It just hurt me last week to watch Dirk drive past him to the cup with the game on the line like that.

  • http://Slamonline.com nbk

    KG is still a top 5 defensive 4. And was probably the best in the league last season. He’s a huge trade piece if they move him, I’m gonna be repetitive about that until something happens with that team.

  • Shtrobi-1

    Garnett n Allen for Dwight n Hedo.Orlando can then be major players in free agent market at the end of the year and they get rid of Hedo’s contract and the Celts then have a starting five of Rondo, Pierce, Hedo, Bass n Howie. O’Neal as your backup centre, Pietrus as a sixth man sharing 2 n 3 duties, Dooling as a backup point. Magic can offer those mid-level to Ray-Ray n Garza at the end of the year, at there age the weather and no-taxes will be great on the bodies and they can buy there crib and be ready for retirement.

  • Startown

    As a Wolves fan, why would we give up Love for Gasol? Then we are also going to throw in Ridnour and Beasley? No way, the Wolves are starting to heat up, and although I do not think they will make the playoffs this year, they have a great future if Kahn doesn’t do a stupid trade like the one mentioned above. I think the Wolves fans are sick of trades.

  • http://Slamonline.com nbk

    Kevin Love isn’t getting traded.

  • startown

    nbk…agree, and the rest of the so-called trades, remember age is a factor. Garnett and Ray Allen are old, end of their career, who is going to give up a young star for them?

  • http://Slamonline.com nbk

    A young star? Nobody. But you can still get very valuable pieces, especially considering Garnett’s contract is about to expire.

  • iNeomastiff

    What happened to the Boston LOYALTY! PRIDE! AND what ever they say they stand for ??? ow they going to get ride the superstars!! lol

  • http://www.slamonline.com House

    Good lord I do NOT want Pierce on my Bulls.

  • Showmeyourwits

    If Love refuses the extension and the Lakers make an offer, I think Minny has to take the deal or else they’ll be in the same boat as Orlando is now, but obviously it’s wishful thinking on my part based on rumors after the Lakers got swept.

  • Showmeyourwits

    Celtics are better off not making any moves. Allen/Mayo makes sense but since he’ll be a FA just like Allen after the season why mess with it? KG and Allen off the books basically gives them room for a max guy (Howard?) and a guy like Mayo. If they end up being really bad this year, they get a decent pick in what looks like a deep draft on top of everything. Then come back reloaded with Rondo and Pierce still in tow. That’s what I would do.

  • logues

    yo slamfam: i need some fantasy advice from y’all…. i got offered a trade for kyle lowry and paul millsap for tyreke evans and aldridge. should i take it? the way lowry has been playing and how inconsistent evans has been has me thinking of taking it but i dont wanna get rid of l.a. what y’all think? thanks

  • B Duffy

    Why is Danny Ainge still employed by the Celtics? He is making the biggest mistakes by wanting to get rid of the whole team.

  • ripslam

    By the way, did everyone forget that the Celts traded away Marshon Brooks on draft day? Another genius move by Ainge, dude is gunning for Rookie of the Year at this rate. Not only does he provide exactly what Boston needs (consistent scoring off the bench), but he’d be a nice young player to pair with Rondo in the backcourt for the future.

  • Jerome

    Brooks was a bad move … but breaking up the Big3 would end Ainge’s tenure with Boston. Maybe that’s what Ainge is really after?

  • http://Slamonline.com nbk

    Logues, it would really depend on the rest of your roster. But I Prolly wouldn’t trade Lowry.

  • Gez53kg

    If Danny ainge does trade the big three then he deserves to be sacked cos these players are untradeable
    A true Boston fan

  • http://slamonline@yahoo.com cold as ice

    @LITESOUT ummm yea i am. im not guttin the youth on my roster for a 36yrs old player who is playing gd or decent basketball at his age. if anythin within that time frame his game might decline bar from injury or father time hasnt finally caught up wit ray ray. so boston wants youth u get a backup pg wit toney and sg/sf wit walker. what? im not guttin my depleted roster already for ray. so boston will get have to either take it or find a better offer

  • http://www.nba.com VanCityBBall

    id rather all three of them retire before such a thing could happen (even thought i think paul or KG have a year or 2 left in them)

  • hushabomb

    It all depends on whether Jesus and KG will accept a lesser deal. If they do that. then great, you’ll still have room for a free agent.

    If they don’t, then trade em now cos they still have value.

  • http://dodgers.com Joey E.

    Someone needs to get Paul Pierce’s big-ass a wheelchair.

  • Justin G.

    Gez, if Ainge trades the not so big 3 he’s doing his job. It’s a back and forth arguement going on right now because a lot of people are saying the organization owes it to the player to let them ride out the year or leave how they want. BS! In the same token so many are saying the player doesn’t have to show loyalty to the organization. Sorry, you can’t have it both ways. Ainge’s job is to make the team better to the best of his abilities. I’m pretty sure he knew when he traded for Allen and Garnett that it wasn’t going to last for 10 years. He knew this day was coming and he’s getting ready for it

  • http://dodgers.com Joey E.

    Someone needs to get Paul Pierce’s big-ass a wheel chair.

  • el_larsen

    paul pierce should never be traded !!!he must be a celtic all his career
    ainge should be fired (perk for who?krstic?jeff green?what a brilliant idea!)

  • flipnoyce

    If he didn’t trade Perkins this would have been a different scenario! He needs to be fired. After this season we’ll have all the cap space to rebuild so why rush the situation? When KG’s contract ends go after Dwight hard…..Keep Ray n Pierce. If KG decides to stay for less thats even better.

  • Justin G.

    You people are hilarious. He makes the trades to get Allen and Garnett there and they win a championship while barely missing out on another. He makes one bad trade and you all want him fired. Idiots. You all did notice that he said he would CONSIDER trades right? He didn’t say he was openly shopping them.

  • Dingo Rob

    I like Ainge and his approach, smart business to put this out there. I always imagine them retiring together thinking about it doesn’t seem so shocking. I could see Pierce and Garnett getting moved what’s so bad about that? Their worth is still high and them adding to championship again seems unlikely

  • Yesse

    Well, to keep the franchise competitive. He is doing the right thing. Trade these old guys for young guys with potential.

  • monkeyball

    I doubt anything like McHale for Schrempf and Perkins will turn up. KG and PP are clearly on their last legs. Allen is playing at a high level but he’s always an injury risk.

  • DanielV

    RONDO FOR WESTBROOK hands down!!!!!!!!!!

  • SportsAddict

    You have to GIVE to GET. Pierce, Garnett, and Allen are aging. Ainge wants to surround young athletic players like Rondo and Bass with more young talent.


    well, we can hire RA and KG for minimum contract/MLE next summer

    pierce is franchise player, trading him will be a dramatic move

  • http://yahoo.com RON FOSS

    the big 3 are all in their mid thirties unlike a fine wine they dont get better with time, trade them NOW while they are worth something