Saturday 23rd June 2018,
The Hoop Doctors

Celtics’ Danny Ainge Talks Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and More

Boston Celtics general manager Danny Ainge has no illusions about his current team.

Though the Celtics came back from a 3-0 series deficit to bring the New York Knicks to a Game 6 in the first round of the NBA playoffs, Ainge knows that he doesn’t have a contender on his hands. He also knows that acquiring just one player is unlikely to change that. In fact, he realizes that it’s difficult for the Celtics to become a contender based on where they are now.

Ouch indeed.

Last summer, with the additions of Courtney Lee and Jason Terry, the Celtics were have thought to preserved their title window. Even after an admirable fight in the postseason, it’s become clear they haven’t. And now they’re left as old as ever, weighed down by a number of unsavory contracts and pressing questions.

One of those pressing questions has to do with Garnett’s future. Will he retire or will he play on? And if he plays, will it be with the Celtics? Ainge believes he has the answer to one of those questions; he believes Garnett will play.

Garnett struggled for part of the playoffs and battled injuries toward the end of the regular season. Though he clearly has a lot of basketball left in him, the thought is that he may just call it quits because of the state the Celtics are in.

Much of Garnett’s decision will have to do with Paul Pierce, though. He’s made it clear previously that any decision he makes will be tied to that of what the organization does with Pierce.

Presently, Ainge can make no guarantees about what will happen to the lifetime Celtic.

To be fair, Pierce’s future with the Celtics has been up in the air for more than two years and he’s still in Boston. At 35 and with less than a third of his salary guaranteed for the 2013-14 season, though, the Celtics do have the option of parting ways with Pierce via trade or a “buyout” of sorts.

It was earlier reported that a trade could be in the works between Boston and the Los Angeles Clippers. Stephen A. Smith of ESPN said that a deal had been discussed between the two teams, the framework of which would land both Pierce and Garnett in Hollywood, and send Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan Boston.

To the surprise of no one, Ainge dispelled the validity of such a rumor.

Head coach Doc Rivers was a part of that “silly” rumor as well. Smith had him parting ways with Boston and setting up shop as coach of the Clippers. Although the rumor was considered pure conjecture, it brought into question whether Doc and the Celtics were destined for a mutual severing of the ties.

According to Ainge, the two sides are nowhere near reaching such a point.

Could Boston’s offseason excursions be laced with any more ambivalence? I don’t think so.

As has been the case for the last three offseasons, the Celtics have reached a pivotal point in their development. They can either stay the course and give it one more go at a championship, or concede to age, injuries and the like, and blow their convocation straight to hell.

Which will they choose, and who will still be around after the dust settles?

Save for Rajon Rondo we just don’t know.

The Celtics are still clearly intent on building around Rondo, we just don’t know who they’ll build around him with. Garnett and Pierce, or the pieces they acquire by trading one or both of the two?

Again, we still don’t know.

Which sounds familiar, right? This all does.

The Celtics are asking the same questions, facing the same issues and same quandaries. Nothing’s changed. It’s just a different offseason.

Dan Favale is a firm believer in the three-pointer as well as the notion that defense doesn’t always win championships. His musings can be found at in addition to Follow @danfavale on Twitter for his latest posts and all things NBA.

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