We're gonna trade Glen Davis, a better than serviceable big with young legs and someone who isn't afraid to bang inside for a back-up point guard. We're gonna trade Ray Allen, an all-time great and still one of the seven, eight, or nine best two guards in the league for Kevin Martin and Andres Nociono, neither one of which qualifies as being better than good. Ray Allen, I might add, is probably our second best player right now. I'd entertain arguments about Paul Pierce, but any player, no matter how good, who tells me he has a foot sprain and "it ain't gonna get any better" heavily discounts his value to me.
Which is where the fog sets in.
This team is on the cusp.
The cusp of contending and the cusp of descending. It seems clear the Celtics could go one of two ways: struggle their way to banner 18 this year, or begin a precipitous decline into oblivion. Trading Big Baby wouldn't trigger the decline per se. Shelden Williams could probably cover. Trading Ray Allen, on the other hand, most definitely could return the club to the dark days of of the late 1980s and early 1990s. Other than Rondo Gordon Orr, Ray Allen is the only Celtic who brings it every night, not surprising since Jesus is a consummate professional. Assuming you got adequate talent in return (and that does NOT mean Kevin Martin and Andres Nocioni), there's still no way to plug the void of professionalism left by a departing Ray Allen. The guy is basically begging to finish his career here, and there's almost no way you get value in return. I say unless the Heat off D.Wade, you keep Ray Allen.
Which brings us to the Predicament. When you are a player, as was Danny Ainge in the late 1980s, it's easy to tell management, "Christ, you idiots, you need to trade Larry Bird, Kevin McHale, and Robert Parish while you still can, as Danny Ainge told Red Auerbach at the infamous 1988 Christmas party. But once you've assumed the reins of power in the front office, and a fleeting last chance at another NBA championship is fluttering before your eyes, it's a little hard to push the button and blow the team up.
Rasheed Wallace provides the best example.
At this point in time, I'd say that less than half of Celtics Nation would be sorry to see him go, were Danny to send him packing before the trade deadline. But if Danny traded Sheed, are we better off? Sure, our energy level picks up. Our defense improves. But all of a sudden we're a bunch of short MoFos again, and I just can't watch this team get towered over by the rest of the league. Trust me, I'm not the only Celtics fan who feels this way.
And because we'd lack that extra seven footer, our chances of winning banner 18 are reduced to near -0-. Throw in the questionable health of KG's knee, and all of a sudden we're not talking about late 1980s Celtics basketball but late 1990s Celtics basketball. It seems like we get ourselves in this mess a lot. I hope Danny is smart enough to see us through the current state of affairs. But I'm beginning to have my doubts.