If Paul Pierce’s recent offensive outburst hasn’t convinced Celtics director of basketball operations chief, Danny Ainge, that he needs to alter his plan to help the C’s become a more competitive team over the next three seasons, then I am unequivocally calling for Ainge’s ouster.
I know that may sound harsh, but I am getting fed up with Ainge’s inability to come up with a tangible plan to get the storied franchise back into contention before the end of this decade.
To be blunt about it, I think Ainge has had an up-and-down tenure in his role with the Celtics that has both, provided the Celtics with numerous young, talented players but simultaneously, too many young talented players.
I understand that teams want young players who can learn and grow and while that may be fine and well, the Celtics, as currently composed, won’t be a threat to win anything other than a handful of games in the eastern conference over the next half-decade.
Pierce’s recent offensive outburst – not to mention his overall play all season – should be enough to convince Ainge to part ways with one or two of his younger players and put some kind of package together to possibly bring some players in who can help Pierce win now.
I mean it’s not like the eastern conference is actually bursting with powerhouse teams. Besides the Detroit Pistons and possibly the Miami Heat, there isn’t another team in the conference that I don’t think the Celtics could surpass in the next two years with some wise acquisitions.
Ainge, whose tenure has been marked by inconsistency, had better get this one right because whatever decisions he makes this offseason concerning Pierce, is likely to alter the face of the franchise throughout the end of this decade and possibly longer.
Despite the fact that Pierce’s recent offensive outburst has garnered him plenty of national attention, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that Pierce has been carrying the Celtics all season long.
No other player can make the claim that he is leading his team in scoring, (27.2), rebounding.9), assists (4.6) and steals (1.4). The Celtics, who are currently almost ten games under .500, would be contending for the league’s worst record were it not for Pierce’s immense efforts.
“We would be thinking about [Adam] Morrison and J.J. Redick and whoever else is going to be the first pick in the draft,” admits coach Doc Rivers.
Besides, what does it say that no Celtics big man is out-rebounding Pierce? I’ll tell you what it says. It says they are either too young or untalented to get the job done. Really. How many NBA teams have their shooting guard/small forward as their leading rebounder? And what does it say about Ainge’s basketball acumen that he was even considering trading Pierce? Not much if you ask me.
Why would you trade your most valuable commodity – and best player – when your team is clearly in need of more veteran help and not more young players?
Whatever the Celtics – and more importantly – Ainge decides to do this offseason, keeping Paul Pierce and adding some quality frontcourt help should be at the top of Ainge’s priority list. If that’s not the agenda, then maybe Ainge has a plan to give his former teammates, Larry Bird, Robert Parish and Kevin McHale a call in the hopes that the “Big Three” will come riding to the rescue.