The Big Three
The Deal: In the summer of 2007, Boston Celtics GM Danny Ainge made a series of moves that returned the Celtics to prominence. On draft night, he traded the No. 5 pick Jeff Green, Wally Szczerbiak and Delonte West to Seattle for perennial All-Star and 3-point threat Ray Allen and the Sonics’ second round draft-pick Glen “Big Baby” Davis. Then, the Celtics traded Ryan Gomes, Gerald Green, Al Jefferson, Theo Ratliff, Sebastian Telfair and draft picks to the Minnesota Timberwolves for former NBA MVP Kevin Garnett.
The Impact: Allen, Garnett and Celtics’ captain Paul “The Truth” Pierce became known as the “Big Three,” and helped to revitalize the C’s and Boston back to the summit of the game. The Celtics went 66-16 in the Big Three’s first season, capping the season with raising Boston’s 17th Championship banner, defeating their rivals Los Angeles Lakers in six games in the NBA Finals. In 2011, Allen surpassed Reggie Miller and went on to be crowned the league’s all-time 3-point King with 2,562 field goals from beyond the arc. In 2012, Pierce –the ’08 Finals MVP– became one of only three Celtics, alongside Larry Bird and John Havlicek, who have scored over 20,000 points in their career with the franchise. The merger of the Celtics trio helped to spawn the current super-team phenomenon transpiring in the NBA as teams across the league, from the Miami Heat (James, Wade and Bosh) to the Lakers (Bryant, Nash and Howard) have adopted and implemented their own iteration of the Big Three.