What’s next for the Celtics and Paul Pierce?

This morning, the Celtics were knocked out of the first round of the NBA playoffs, falling 80-88 to the New York Knicks.  The Knicks dominated early on in the match, however the Celtics scored 20 straight points displaying courage and strength.  They didn’t play well, but they fought hard. That’s the green spirit.

So what’s next for the Celtics? There have been speculations that this was Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett’s last game in a Celtics outfit. KG will probably retire because of his no-trade clause and his previous comments on wanting to retire a Celtic.

Paul Pierce on the other hand, is a different story.

Paul Pierce sitting

“I definitely expect to be playing next year,” Pierce said. – But, for which team? That, is the 5 million dollar question on the minds of all Celtics fans right now.

With 2 years of his $15 million contract remaining, the Celtics could buy out his contract for $5 million.  There have been calls for Danny Ainge to trade Pierce and move on from the Paul Pierce era into rebuilding mode.  Ideally, Ainge should build a team around All-Star point guard and two-time NBA assists leader, Rajon Rondo.  Jeff Green also had a solid season after coming back from heart surgery last year, so it would be no surprise if he remained on the Celtics roster.  It would not be surprising if Courtney Lee, Brandon Bass and Jason Terry were traded in the offseason, with all players under-performing this season. Although I am a fan of JET and he has come up big for the C’s in a few games, his contract has been an albatross. There are going to be a lot of changes in the off-season –no one’s place is certain.

Danny Ainge has been around long enough to know what needs to be done.  I would love to see Pierce retire as a Celtic, but I would also like Boston to start their rebuilding phase soon.  With rumours of KG retiring, his predicted departure would free up a lot of cap space. Building around a Rondo-Green core could work if they approach free agency wisely and (hopefully) grab a sleeper in the draft.

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