Leonard trade shows different approach of Boston Celtics and Raptors
The Boston Celtics future looked bleak at best during the 2006-2007 season. Throughout the season the team endured multiple losing streaks and ended up finishing the year with a dreadful 24-58 record. Paul Pierce averaged 25 points per game for the season, but clearly it did not keep the Celtics competitive.
Over time, it seemed as if Paul Pierce was losing trust in his teammates. The team was devoid of star players, so there was no individual that could take the pressure off of Paul to carry the load offensively.
The lone bright spot during the 2006-2007 season not named Paul Pierce was the play of Al Jefferson. At just 22 years old, the big man averaged 16 points and 11 rebounds per game for the C’s. Jefferson had a polished skill set down in the post and possessed great touch around the rim.
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He seemed to be developing into an all-star caliber player and future franchise cornerstone. At the time it seemed likely that Paul Pierce would be traded because the Celtics franchise looked to be in full rebuild mode.
Boston’s misfortune continued into the 2007 NBA Draft Lottery. Despite having the second best odds to receive the number one pick, the Celtics pick dropped to number five overall.
Instead of drafting a player like Kevin Durant, the Celtics had to settle for Jeff Green. Boston reportedly would have drafted Durant if they won the lottery, which makes their bad luck even more tough to swallow. During the night of the 2007 NBA Draft, the Celtics luck finally turned around.
The Celtics acquired star Ray Allen from the Seattle Supersonics in exchange for Wally Szczerbiak, Delonte West, and the rights to Jeff Green. Boston was extremely persistent in their goal to acquire Allen in the days leading up to the draft. The Celtics ownership was likely disappointed that their pick dropped to number five, and without a chance to draft Durant they decided that it would make sense to use the pick in a trade for an established star.
This move led to the biggest deal made of the summer. After acquiring Ray Allen, Boston traded for Kevin Garnett a month later. The Celtics traded Al Jefferson along with a package of draft picks and players for the Minnesota star. Garnett initially was against a trade to the Celtics, but the signing of Ray Allen along with Boston’s fondness for him seemed to change his mind. A big three was now formed in bean town, and the rest is history.