GameDay Boston

Is it Time to Write the Obituary? Celtics’ Options Going Forward without Rajon Rondo

There are 5 stages of grief, Denial; Anger; Bargaining; Depression; and, Acceptance. By now most of you have already gone through the first four and now it’s time for acceptance. It’s time to accept the fact arguably the Celtics best player will not be on the court until at least next October. It’s time to accept that the Celtics’ hopes of holding on to the last spot in the east have diminished greatly. And it’s time to accept that the team we see now may or may not be the team we see end the season.

The way I see it there are 3 things the Celtics could do in wake of Rondo’s season ending injury.

Option 1. Stand Pat and try to hold on to the 8th seed:

This option seems to be the most popular among fans. Statistically the Celtics are better with Rondo off the floor than they are with him on the floor. The Celtics could easily stay the way they are right now and hang onto an 8th seed in a very weak conference. With a 3 game lead on the 76ers the Celtics basically control their own destiny. To do this though they’re going to need consistent and big contributions from guys like Courtney Lee and Jason Terry. Ideally the defense should improve with an Avery Bradley/Courtney Lee backcourt but the lack of playmaking from the guards will force Paul Pierce to take on more a distributor role. In the double overtime win against the Heat the Celtics’ guard combined for 7 assists, Rondo himself averaged 11.1. While it is completely plausible for the Celtics to make the playoffs in a weak conference it might not be the best option for the future.

Option 2. Tank:

Probably the least likely of the three options and least popular but best for the future would be for the Celtics to tank and try to get a lottery pick in a not-so-talented draft. This is an option that would be damn near impossible to get KG/Pierce/Doc to agree with as they’re all fierce competitors who’ve been through losing seasons. Doc himself stated at his postgame press conference that “You can write the obituary, I’m not.” It wouldn’t be an option that would help them finacially but it would at least guarantee a shot at a young prospect.

Option 3. “Blow it up”:
“Blow it up” is pretty vague and could really mean anything. It could mean trading away Pierce and KG(KG has a no trade clause, so it’s probably unlikely) to contenders(which I don’t agree with) or it could mean shopping/trading some of our younger talent. I personally believe this and option 2 would be disrespectful to guys like Paul and Kevin.Blowing it up while might help finacially, as the Celtcs who stand at 72 million in salary would want to shed some cap space. I just don’t think this option would work as guys like Pierce/KG are so much more valuable in Boston than they would be to other contending teams. 35 and 36 year olds probably won’t warrant a 1st round pick and a young budding all star.

Each option has a different ending. One likely ends with an early playoff exit, another ends with the Celtics drafting in the lottery and the last….well I’m not so sure how the last ends. The point is that the do have options and Danny won’t be forced to just go one way.Whatever it is I trust Danny’s judgement and I trust that Doc will coach this team the right way. So I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.