The Big Three — Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen — brought a championship to Boston in their first season, and have kept the Celtics among the Eastern Conference's elite since joining forces in 2007.
But with the C's sitting at 4-8, and each player continuing to get older, is it time for Danny Ainge to break up the unit and start fresh? Things certainly aren't as pleasant now as they were during that championship campaign, when the C's started the season off 29-3, so Boston could enter a rebuilding mode sooner rather than later.
If that's the case, Ainge would then have to decide which member(s) of the trio he'd be willing to deal away. Perhaps the one that would elicit the biggest fan response would be Pierce, who's in the midst of his 14th season in green.
On the surface, trading away the longtime face of the franchise seems bold, but according to a recent Yahoo! Sports report, there are teams calling the C's about the 34-year-old.
Trading Pierce would signify a change in philosophy and would surely break the hearts of many Celtics fans. It's obvious he's not the same player he once was, but sending the nine-time All-Star packing would mean Ainge and Co. are ready to turn their focus to the future.
Pierce is averaging 15.7 points in 32.4 points per game through his first nine games this season, which are both career lows. If the Celtics aren't going to compete this season, perhaps getting some value for an aging Pierce could be in their best interest. It would be the latest reminder that professional sports are, in fact, a business.
Kendrick Perkins said that he expects his former team to make some noise in the playoffs, but as their losing streak continues and their age continues to show, it's becoming abundantly clear that he may be more optimistic about this season than your average Celtics fan.