Rajon Rondo, the best player on the Boston Celtics, tore his ACL last week and is out for the remainder of the season and presumably the first half of next year, too.
Paul Pierce is a 35 year-old, aging superstar who still has some game left in him. However, his contract and his contributions to Boston are not equivalent, so it is my strong belief that the Celtics need to look into dealing “The Truth,” as he calls himself.
Although the Celtics are not completely doomed without their superstar PG, their chance of making a deep playoff run has been severely reduced. Without their best player, and now having to rely on Avery Bradley and Jason Terry as the primary ball handlers, it doesn’t seem fathomable for the Celtics to be able to beat the Miami Heat or New York Knicks in a series. Sure, they could steal a game or two; they still have guys who can play. However, the truly better team is often revealed over the course of a series, and without Rondo, the Celtics aren’t better than the top teams in the Eastern Conference.
Doc Rivers told reporters after the game in which Rondo was injured: “You can write the obituary, I’m not,” in reference to the idea that the Celtics were now done because of their PG’s ACL tear.
Without Rondo getting Pierce the ball, I doubt that he will be able to be as effective as his 18.6 PPG have shown him to be thus far into 2012-13. Pierce will be forced to become more of a distributor and ball handler, and will struggle to get into a rhythm early in the game.
Therefore, Boston should pursue a trading Pierce.
He doesn’t have a great contract situation, but Pierce is a wily veteran, a cold-blooded competitor, and a winner, and the Celtics (in exchange for him) could receive some nice young players, even a true PG to fill Rondo’s absence.
The Celtics should really look strongly into dealing the man who has been the face of their franchise for 14 years. And although that’s hard for Boston fans to read that, it’s the “Truth.”