Celtics general manager Danny Ainge has admitted that he has doubts about Paul Pierce's future with the team.
"I do have doubts," Ainge told WEEI in Boston. "I'm not certain what Paul will do. He may be able to get a long-term contract somewhere else."
If you're a casual Celtics fan you probably see no reason why Danny Ainge should not resign Paul Pierce or Ray Allen. Why would you let them leave? And in a world without big contracts, salary caps, and luxury tax it would be a no brainer to retain them. Hey I want them back too, but giving inflated dollars and years to mid to late 30's basketball players could be a recipe for disaster. Ainge has said that the team overachieved this past season. With an older Big 3, no Rasheed and no Perkins how can one realistically bet on the Celtics winning in 2010/2011? Yes the diehard fan in us always has hope, but that's just the fan in us.
Truth is I believe we'd be champions right now if not for the Perkins injury. Help injured sports players with these sports medicine schools. It would have been one of the most remarkable stories in decades and would have cemented Doc's place in history. Rondo, Perkins, and Baby had improved enough in two years to offset the decline of the Big 3. The Big 3 are not your 2008 Big 3. If Pierce plays like he did in the 2008 Finals we're probably champions. Same for Ray and KG. They all have lost something and its imperative not to overpay them for past glory and sentimental reasons. KG is already overpaid so nothing we can do about that. If Ray and Pierce really want to finish their careers in Boston they should accept fair contracts that won't handicap the Celtics for years to come. If they want big bucks we could be in major trouble.
There are so many teams out there with money to spend that there will be overpaying GM's out there. But be careful what you wish for. At times this year's regular season got ugly. It will only get worse as the Big 3 get older and get outplayed by players making a quarter of their salaries. It's the sad truth about getting old. Yahoo fans will boo the Celtics saying they're not giving forth effort, but the truth will be they just won't have the ability any more. So while casual fans might rejoice if we sign Ray to a 4 yr/35 million dollar deal or Pierce to a 5 yr/70 million dollar deal, contracts like those would kill the Celtics for the next 5 years. Ainge seems somewhat aware of this, so Ray could be on his way out (as has been speculated), but don't be shocked if Pierce decides to cash in AND go to a better situation to win this July.