When Danny Ainge assembled the Big Three back in 2007, it was assumed the Celtics were looking at a three-year window to win a championship. Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen and Paul Pierce decided to get that out of the way immediately. After they beat the Lakers in 2008, every season after that was described as the “last shot” for the Big Three. Four years and another Finals appearance later, and the aging Celtics were able to push the Heat to seven games in the Eastern Conference Championship. Is it now officially over?
From an age standpoint, it seems likely. Garnett and Allen are free agents. Both seem like they intend to play next year, but you never know what could transpire over the course of the offseason. In all likelihood Garnett will either retire or return to Boston for another season. It seems less likely that the Celtics will bring Allen back, especially since he reportedly struggled to get along with Rajon Rondo this season.
“I think there’s no question that the relationship (between Rondo and Allen) was strained over this year,” Sports Illustrated’s Chris Mannix said during an interview with WEEI Monday. “How strained is the key, and it’s still a little bit unclear. There was some friction between those two. I think that could play a role in Ray’s decision not to come back.