Danny Ainge had a difficult decision in the weeks leading up to the trade deadline. He had the choice of trading their core players, Rajon Rondo (who is out of the year), Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce and rebuild, or keep their Big Three, stay the course, try to win a series or two in the playoffs this season and go for a championship when Rondo comes back and is healthy next year. He wisely chose the latter.
Just last year, with almost the same team, the Celtics were very close to making the NBA Finals and with a healthy Rondo and Jared Sullinger (who is also out for the year) and with Pierce, Garnett and Avery Bradley, they could do it again. If the trade deadline is any indication, this is their plan and it is a very smart decision. Why break up a team that was so close, when you still have a title shot, as they are the only team, when healthy, in the East, who can give the Heat a real challenge, other than the Bulls with a healthy Derrick Rose. If a team has a chance at a title, even a small one, they should stay the course and go for it, which is what the Celtics have decided to do.
If they stand pat, they will put out a very solid starting lineup of Rajon Rondo, Avery Bradley, Paul Pierce, Jared Sullinger and Kevin Garnett each night, with Jeff Green, Courtney Lee and Jason Terry around them. That is an excellent defensive team and one of the best 1-8 rotations in the NBA. With further development from rookie Fab Melo and a couple of shrewd moves to pick up solid veterans, this could be a team that can challenge in the Eastern Conference. Danny Ainge once again made the right decision and kept his core intact, for now, however knowing, Danny Ainge you never know if he will make a big move before next season starts. But for now, the Boston Celtics should consider themselves Eastern Conference contenders in 2013/14.