How long can the Big Three era keep ticking? Technically it died a long time ago, when Rajon Rondo spun a web of triple doubles in the 2009 playoffs and it became clear the Boston Three Party needed to scooch over to make room for one more. But Pierce is under contract for two more seasons. And if Garnett’s coming back, a healthy Ray Allen would be the perfect sixth man behind Avery Bradley. He really would. That’s what’s so frustrating about Bradley’s injury and Allen’s hobbled body. If they were both healthy, Allen would be the yin to Bradley’s yang. Allen’s silky shooting would perfectly complement Bradley’s athleticism and blood-thirsty defense.
I know Danny Ainge wants to start rebuilding as soon as possible, and has been building a well of cap space specifically so he could start doing that this summer. But Dwight Howard opted in, Deron Williams plays Rondo’s position and no other unrestricted free agent is really capable of altering a franchise. Unless Ainge gets truly creative and unearths a solution which I can’t currently fathom (think: the close call with David West this summer, which I don’t think anyone predicted), the Celtics aren’t likely to reload as contenders overnight.
Assuming Allen and Garnett want to return for one more season, another year of the Big Three might actually make sense. On the other hand, I wouldn’t put it past Ainge to trade Pierce, float Rondo’s name in dozens of trade rumors and see what he can fetch for Bradley while his stock is sky-high.
Note: I’m just joking about Ainge testing the market for Bradley, I think. As second-year players who recorded 11.31 PERs go, I would guess Bradley’s close to untouchable.