One of the best stories during the second half of the shortened NBA season is the resurgence of the Boston Celtics.
Thought too old to contend at the start of the season and the championship window appearing all but closed with the age of the core, the Celtics have taken over sole possession of the Atlantic Division and with some roster tweaks, coach Doc Rivers has his club poised to make some noise in the postseason.
While two of the Big Three are free agents at the end of this season, according to Yahoo! Sports, they were almost broken up at the trade deadline.
As the NBA trade deadline lurched into its final hour a month ago, league sources say the call Ray Allen long feared had come: Boston Celtics coach Doc Rivers was on the line, telling him he had been traded. Allen had been sent to the Memphis Grizzlies for a package including O.J. Mayo and a draft pick, and the Celtics' Big Three had come to a most brusque ending.
Before the Big Three could make it past the trade deadline, Allen-to-the-Grizzlies had to fall apart and discussions on a deal that would have sent Paul Pierce to the New Jersey Nets for an expiring Mehmet Okur contract and a lottery pick never reached completion, league sources said.
Its clear that Boston will make some changes this summer as Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett are both unrestricted free agents, although both could re-sign for less money.
Allen has already let it be known that he wants to compete for a starting spot and not get used to his current bench role.
The Celtics were rumored to be trying to move Rajon Rondo for Chris Paul before the season begin and once again during the season.
Boston will have a lot of money cleared up during the summer to go out and entice potential free agents to retool their roster, so it will be interesting to see what Danny Ainge does.