Each week, we’ll ask our stable of scribes to weigh in on the three most important NBA topics of the day — and then give you a chance to step on the scale, too, in the comments below.
You’re Danny Ainge. What are you up to in the next week or so?
Steve Aschburner: One thing I’m not doing is trading Rajon Rondo. I get the alleged reservations about the storm-cloud point guard: He’s a shaky shooter and his mood would darken during a rebuild and he might not become a great mentor for younger guys. But he’s too good to give up – Ainge likely would just double his workload trying to find half a replacement. But I am listening to and pulling the trigger on deals for anybody else, including Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett, to get this makeover rolling. If I could entice a contender – Philadelphia? Chicago? the Clippers? – into offering assets for a key piece, better to do it now and get your fan base energized on the future, instead of waiting for that ol’ gang Green to lose four times in seven games this spring.
Fran Blinebury: Probably holding my breath and rubbing my lucky horseshoe and telling myself that if my core stays healthy, we can continue the post-All-Star break winning ways and make one final run. In the meantime, if anybody makes me a decent offer for Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce or Ray Allen, then we begin the rebuilding process right now. But the one player I’m not trading is Rajon Rondo. He’s the kind of player I could spend the next 10 years trying to find. In a point guard league, I’m keeping him.
Scott Howard-Cooper: I am up to 2013 and beyond. Ainge still has a good team, a team capable of winning a playoff series, but not a championship. No surprise. He has made it clear he is looking to the future, not to hold on to something in the present that no longer exists. No sentimentality here. The Celtics are about titles and nothing less.
Shaun Powell: Unless Rondo is a bigger headache behind-the-scenes than we know, I’m chilling if I’m Ainge. Nobody will give up anything of substance for Kevin Garnett or Ray Allen at this stage of their careers, so might as well ride out the Big Three and save your wheeling and dealing for the summer. Rondo is under contract for three more years, so the Celtics can build around him. Unless somebody’s giving up a better player who’s less of a headache, then Rondo’s my guy in the transition to the next era.
John Schuhmann: I’m acknowledging that there’s no way my team is getting past Chicago or Miami, and I’m fielding plenty of phone calls. I’m trading Ray Allen or Kevin Garnett (both expiring) if I can get a decent young player or lottery pick in return, without hurting my financial flexibility going forward. I’m trading Paul Pierce if I can get a young star in return. And I’m trading Rajon Rondo only if I get a bigger star in return. Rondo should be traded only if you’re upgrading, not getting back 50 cents on the dollar.
Sekou Smith: Ainge, who has been fearless about making radical deals in the past, needs to sit this trade deadline out. Stay on the sidelines. Watch someone else totally alter their team with a brave but risky deal and see if they fare any better than you did last year when you sent Kendrick Perkins to Oklahoma City for Jeff Green (other details left out on purpose to prove a point). We all know that you are NOT trading Rajon Rondo, so there is no reason to worry about you doing anything on that front. But just in case your dialing hand gets itchy before the March 15 deadline, just think back to last year this time and remember that sometimes it’s best to let others play in the deep end of the pool while you catch your breath.