The best thing about the Celtics draft-day deal for Ray Allen last week may be the fact that it left the team with its main chips to deal.
Danny Ainge still has Gerald Green, Theo Ratliff and his expiring contract, Sebastian Telfair, future draft choices and, to a lesser and more unlikely extent, Al Jefferson.
That means the team could make a play for someone like Shawn Marion or Jermaine O’Neal, although the latter may be a dream considering the Pacers insisted on both Andrew Bynum and Lamar Odom from the Lakers.
Still, Marion or Utah’s Andre Kirilenko would sure look good in the green – and the Celts may possess the chips to get a deal done.
The Celtics obviously aren’t done dealing. Their current squad isn’t enough, not yet. And with Ray Allen and Paul Pierce set to turn 32 and 30, respectively, it makes sense to deal for another similar aged and talented (read: all-star level) veteran.
Since they probably don’t have enough goods to get KG or O’Neal, the best veteran options would be Kirilenko and Marion, two 4s who would make the Celts a dangerous offensive team.
Gerald, Theo’s deal and a future first rounder or two would likely be enough to get a deal done with Phoenix or Utah, two teams with an abundance of talent looking for cap relief.
With Rajon Rondo, Pierce, Allen, Marion/AK and Big Al, they’d effectively be starting two 4s and two 2s with a point guard. They would be small, but they could run and score. Think Phoenix but without the elite point guard. Still, that lineup would stretch defenses like never before imagined with the post-80s Celtics.
They’d lack in defense, certainly, with either Marion or AK being the best defensive option available. Allen’s a turnstile, Big Al is still very much raw on the defensive end (ditto with Rondo) and Pierce’s job is to score.
But, two shooters, two elusive semi-big men and scrappy Rondo with the best job in the world – slinging the ball around to a bunch of guys who can fill the bucket. You think that team won’t be exciting?
I think it wins the East. But only if another deal gets done. Let’s hope Ainge can swing it.