These are desperate times in Boston. Yesterday’s loss to Orlando, which included an embarrassing third quarter, may have been the final nail in the coffin. Boston now has just two wins against the other elite teams in the league (Lakers, Magic, Hawks, Cavaliers, Nuggets), and one of those was on opening night.
This is all enough to begin writing the eulogies on the Boston Three Party. CBS Sportsline’s Ken Berger, a respected, plugged-in scribe, wrote after yesterday’s loss that we shouldn’t bet on Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Ray Allen all wearing Celtics green by the end of the season. In talking with a number of league executives, Berger deduces that the Celtics are shopping Allen’s large expiring contract for a young piece that can also help them now.
“[General Manager] Danny [Ainge] has said, ‘I can’t go back to square one where we were prior to the Garnett deal,’” a person familiar with the discussions said. “At the All-Star break, they’re going to look in the mirror and say, ‘Cleveland got better, we can’t beat Orlando, and we can’t even beat the Hawks. We’re not going to win it this year.’”
Berger writes that the Celtics have their eye on Sacramento’s Kevin Martin, who the Kings continue to hold out of trade talks. They’ve also inquired about Chicago’s Kirk Hinrich and Tyrus Thomas, who are both definitely being shopped. Philadelphia’s Andre Iguodala has also come up in trade discussions, though it appears the Phoenix Suns are the ones who really want him.
Jeff Clark of SB Nation’s Celtics Blog had previously been vehemently opposed to trading Allen, but even he believes that the Celtics should pull the trigger if Martin or Iguodala is the prize. That probably tells you all you need to know about the Celtics’ state right now. If Sacramento or Philadelphia would really dump a strong player like Martin or Iguodala merely for the cap relief Allen’s contract provides, the Celtics definitely need to pull the trigger.