Peter May has a great story on the dilemma facing Danny Ainge: Trade Ray Allen and get some young talent, or let the Big Three ride into the sunset and perhaps enjoy another championship run.
In the piece, Ainge describes Ray Allen as “an asset.”
“Any way you look at it, Ray is an asset,” Ainge said. “He’s an asset to us as a player right now and, if we don’t trade him, for the rest of the season. If we do trade him, he’s an asset in that we will get back equal talent. If he ends up as a free agent, he’s an asset because maybe we can use him in a sign-and-trade deal. And if he just leaves, he’s an asset because his salary comes off our books. We can use some of that to go out and get someone with the midlevel exception.”
May poses the question: Will Ainge make the same mistake Red Auerbach made when he allowed Larry Bird, Kevin McHale, and Robert Parrish to continue their careers in Boston well past their primes?
Ainge said he doesn’t think he’s going to move Allen because nothing has presented itself to make him seriously consider a trade. That might change in the next several days. But even though he looks back and wonders why Auerbach did what he did, he is following a similar course.
Read the story. It’s a great look at whether the new Big Three will end up like the old Big Three — old, injured, and washed up — or whether Ainge will dismantle the nucleus before it gets to that point.
Perhaps neither will happen. Who knows?