Now that KG is in Boston, the question being tossed around is who got the better end of the deal. To recap:
*Boston got a Hall of Fame power forward in his prime to pair with their two perimeter stars.
*Minnesota got a potential All-Star in PF Al Jefferson, a consumate pro in PF Ryan Gomes, an incomparably athletic but way overrated prospect in SF Gerald Green, an $11M expiring contract in C Theo Ratliff, a bust of a PG in Sebastian Telfair (who still has a lot of talent) and two middle-to-late first-round picks.
Boston gets talent that can help them compete now. Minnesota gets some young talent and future salary cap relief. Which team won?
I can’t argue with the win-win response, but that’s kind of weak. Pick a side. There are no ties in basketball. I was thinking Minny, because they got the young talent and cap flexibility, which is exactly what they wanted. But the more I think about it, the more I lean toward the Celtics. They are in position to win now. They put their best foot forward for this season. And they have three bonafide All-NBA caliber players. Not very many teams can say that. San Antonio (Duncan, Ginobili, Parker), Phoenix (Nash, Amare, Marion), Detroit maybe (Chauncey, Tayshaun, R-Wallace when they’re at their best), Denver (Carmelo, A.I. Camby) … now I’m stretching it. Notice the trend there? Three of the four teams I mentioned are in the West.
I say Boston got the better of the deal because they are now one of the top four teams in the East before the season even starts. That’s not debatable (Detroit, Cleveland, Chicago). But I say they are better than Chicago and Cleveland now, which means they are at least even with Detroit.
Some people ask how will they divide the shots. But I say KG doesn’t require a lot of touches, and Paul Pierce can use a break on the gunning. Rivers is a respected enough figure to where he can cut back on their touches without much resistance. Plus, all three have been the man for so long now. If taking a back seat means winning, I think they are all mature enough and hungry enough to swallow it.
Seriously, how are you going to guard this team?
Rajon Rondo is quick as ever and can get to the basket at will. He’s at his best as a distributor, now he has three all stars to set up.
Ray Allen has made a career as a frontline scorer without ever having a legitimate big man to take away the pressure. How good will he be in a two-man game with KG?
The last time Paul Pierce faced single coverage was when Antoine Walker was good. Teams can’t afford to double-team him with Allen and KG on the floor, and he’ll be fresher down the stretch because of the help.
The Cs do need some bench help, and Kendrick Perkins is a stiff , so they need a center. Preferrably a rebounder/defender type. But I do like Tony Allen, though between injuries and legal issues he can’t stay on the court. You may even see Leon Powe get some of Gomes minutes because they’ll just need a rebounder and physical presence, which is his strength. Don’t forget, Boston also has two pretty highly regarded rookies in Big Baby and Gabe Pruitt out of USC. They still have some young players who can grow around the Big Three.
I like Jefferson playing with Randy Foye and Corey Brewer and Craig Smith.
They also have Rashad McCants (talented but a head case), Ryan Gomes, Gerald Green, rookie Chris Richard out of Florida and even Sebastian. That’s a lot of young, promising pieces to either develop or move. They have Ricky Davis, Juwan Howard and Trenton Hassel for some semblance of a veteran presence. They aren’t going to win the Northwest Division, but their future looks promising.
Still, Boston got the better end of the deal. They’re going to win right away, where as Minnesota just has potential at this point. Disagree?