The Boston Celtics forced the Miami Heat to the brink of elimination. Kevin Garnett channelled his inner “Big Ticket” in the process. Ray Allen and Paul Pierce looked more their age. Through 20 postseason games, KG posted playoff averages of 19.2 points and 10.3 rebounds per night. Allen and Pierce did not help things as much as Celtics Nation hoped they would.
Allen averaged 10.4 points and 4.1 rebounds per game through 18 playoff appearances, and shot a very un-Ray Allen-like 30 percent from three-point range. Pierce averaged 19 and 6 while shooting worse than 40 percent from the floor and 31 percent from deep. The end result could mean the end of an era in Boston.
Paul Pierce is under contract next season for $16.8M and is then due $15.3M for 2014. Garnett and Allen will become unrestricted free agents this summer. The chances that both re-sign with Boston seems unlikely.
On that subject, Alex Kennedy from Hoopsworld has the following:
Allen will likely test free agency, especially since he was nearly dealt at the trade deadline. Sources believe he’ll look to sign a multi-year deal with another contender. Garnett will also receive interest from a number of teams after his phenomenal postseason run. Pierce was almost traded at midseason for a lottery pick, and a similar move could be made before the draft if Garnett and Allen let it be known that they’re leaving.
I do not expect Pierce to retire, but I do not expect both Garnett and Allen to be back in Boston either. For a minimum level deal, I think KG stays in Boston, signing on for one or two more seasons. Ray Allen, I believe, has played his last game for the Celtics. Next year’s “Big Three” will feature Rondo alongside the elder statesmen, KG and Pierce.
Allen will still receive interest from teams around the League. He did not play like Ray Allen this postseason, but he did not play awful. If he is willing to accept a role coming off the bench for a contending team, just about eveybody in the NBA will take a run at him I would imagine. Allen will have his pick of contenders. Garnett looked like he can still start though, and whether he does or not I think he finishes his career as Celtic playing alongside Pierce and Rondo.
Certainly a lot for Danny Ainge to think about though, because change is coming. One way or another.