Billy King is no Danny Ainge (thank God…)
Posted by Ricky - Sixers4guidos on August 1, 2007
Ok, if you are one of the four usual readers of this blog, you know I am a LONG TIME BIG critic of Billy King. I think he is a bad GM and he’s the main guy to blame for the poor situation Sixers are in.
But we have to give him this: at least he never pulled a Danny Ainge.
This is my comment after the Garnett trade became official. I debated this all day in the Sixers board of philly.com and I want to confirm it here.
In a nutshell my point is: no doubt acquiring Garnett and pairing him with Ray Allen and Paul Pierce makes Boston significantly better. But no way Celtics are title contenders now and not even Eastern Conference Finals bound. At the end of the day if I was Boston’s GM, I wouldn’t have done the trade. Let’s see why.
1) they gave up way too much: “Ryan Gomes, Gerald Green, Al Jefferson, Theo Ratliff, Sebastian Telfair, a 2009 first round pick (top three protected) and a return of Minnesota’s conditional first round draft pick previously obtained in the Ricky Davis-Wally Szczerbiak trade” + cash considerations. Woah !! “The largest trade for any one player in NBA history” writes ESPN and there is no need to doubt it: it’s seven players for one.
2) Ainge is basically admitting that all he did in the previous years was bullshit (something that the whole world of basketball already knew, but let’s stick to the point….). He piled up tons of draft picks, put together a core of young, talented players – and I remember many posters of the same Sixers board saying “look at how good he’s doing in rebuilding !!” – then gave them to a bad coach, and at the end traded them all for two veterans after a 24 W season, and after extending the bad coach.
Now had he kept #5, all their young players, filling the holes at PG and C through the draft or free agency, he would have deserved my respect. Like this, he’s showing that his only strategy (?) is keeping his ass on the chair with desperate, all star-quick fix moves. Something that Billy King, with all his flaws, never did. And, hopefully, won’t do.
(I have to make this clear: as a true, diehard Sixers fan I HATE the Celtics, just as much as I hate the Lakers. I wish them all the worst in basketball. At the same time, as a hoops fan, I always liked and admired Paul Pierce, Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett. So you won’t hear any “Allen is soft”, “Garnett is overrated”, “made it to the second round only once” etc etc crap from me. They all are great players and I do like them period).
3) Celtics completely fucked up their future to have a chance to… nothing, in my opinion. They can’t go anywhere. In two years Sixers will be ahead of them and stay there for the next three-four. If only Billy King doesn’t pull a Danny Ainge, of course.
So let’s pass to the FAQ section:
Are Celtics a good team now? Yes.
Will the big three gel? Yes. I think they will coexist nicely and the “chemistry issues”, “not enough touches/shots/balls” theories are idiotic.
Will they be (very) fun to watch, and fill the seats at the Banknorth Garden? Yes.
How many wins they can get? 45-47 W to me
How far can they go in the playoffs? A second round appearence, perhaps.
Are Celtics good enough to make it to the Finals? No.
Are they title contenders? ARE YOU ON SOMETHING? (in caps it’s my answer, not another question)
Where would you rank the Celtics in the East right now? Around #4-#5, behind Cleveland, Chicago, New Jersey (yes, New Jersey, at least Nets have four players, Celtics have three) and fighting for home court advantage in the first round with Toronto, NY, Detroit.
I think many guys are overrating the Celtics big time now and they are forgetting that:
a) they have Rajon Rondo (…) and Kendrick Perkins (…) as starting PG and C respectively. Trivia question for S4G readers: name me the last Conference champs to have such terrible players in those key spots… I have a hard time recalling one. Also funny noticing how the Celtics passed from a roster with 3+1 PG (Telfair, Rondo, Ray + West) to 1 (Rondo).
b) they have no bench. I mean, it’s not they have a short bench, they haven’t one at all !! Brian “Veal” Scalabrine is currently their best man off the bench, and even considering all the guido connections and everything I have to say that is pretty scaring…
c) their coach is still Doc Rivers (’nuff said)
d) their GM is still Danny Ainge
(Trivia question #2: name the last NBA champ to have Doc Rivers as coach and Danny Ainge as GM)