Boston Celtics Open for Business After Rajon Rondo Injury?

Updated: January 31, 2013

The basketball world was shocked with the news of Rajon Rondo’s season-ending injury on Sunday afternoon. Rondo’s ACL tear not only dooms the Celtics this season but sabotages next season as well as it is likely he won’t be back to full strength until at least the 2014 All Star break. Does General Manager Danny Ainge continue to try and add pieces with some of the young assets he has or does he trade Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett among others and accelerates a rebuild that was inevitable. Let’s break down Ainge’s options:

Option #1: The Celtics stand pat

If Ainge stands pat the Celtics still could make the playoffs as they have a 3 game cushion on Philadelphia. The only concern is that if Andrew Bynum does come back for the 76ers and/or Detroit or Toronto makes a run, the Celtics could end up in NBA purgatory, a ninth seed and the 13th or 14th pick in the draft. The only way Ainge takes this path is if he believes that Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce can keep the Celtics competitive next year until Rondo comes back and they will make one more playoff run with this core. I don’t see this option happening.

Option #2: The Celtics add another star

The Celtics have been rumoured to be looking into players like DeMarcus Cousins in Sacramento and J.J. Redick in Orlando to add to what they have so that they can make one more playoff run. With Rondo out, you can add players like Kyle Lowry in Toronto to the list. The problem is Ainge does not enough cap-friendly contracts or good enough young players to make a trade for a true star. A Jared Sullinger/Fab Melo/Brandon Bass offer just isn’t good enough to get a player like Rudy Gay or Cousins. Unless another team gets desperate, the Celtics will be hard-pressed to find a championship level addition.

Option #3: Start the rebuild

The Celtics should be able to get good returns for Garnett and Pierce which could start the rebuilding process around Rondo. Could they get a player like Klay Thompson for Garnett? Or Rudy Gay for Pierce? I think this the way to go. Ainge doesn’t have the assets to add enough star talent for one last run. He should build around Rondo, a player that can keep the Celtics competitive most nights when he is healthy.

What do you think the Celtics should do? Let us know in the comments.

Jeff Lingard

Jeff Lingard

A Chartered Accountant living in Peterborough, Ontario, Jeff writes for a variety of websites about different sports but has focused on his favourite league, the NBA, here at Jeff cheers for the Cleveland Cavaliers, Browns and Indians and the Florida Panthers

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