But there is a difference here, a significant difference from the nuclear winter being forecast in Boston:
Cuban's plan centers on reloading — perhaps with Deron Williams, perhaps with Dwight Howard — with Dirk Nowitzki still in place.
The equivalent in Boston would be doing the same with Pierce.
Nowitzki is 33; Pierce is 34. Dirk was MVP of the Finals last season; Pierce in 2008. Yes, Pierce's numbers have come down in recent seasons, but he still is a go-to scorer, a player capable of creating needed baskets in a league where such players simply have not come free other than during Pat Riley's one-time score in July 2010.
Then there is the timing of this panic, so early in a post-lockout schedule.
First consider life after the previous lockout, when the New York Knicks scrambled to finish above .500 in the shortened 1998-99 season and then went from No. 8 in the East to the NBA Finals.
Then consider the state of the Eastern Conference. Considering Charlotte, Washington, Detroit, Cleveland, Toronto and New Jersey already have reservations at the lottery, it essentially would come down to beating out Milwaukee for the eighth seed. Even at Boston's current depths, that seems not only doable, but likely.
In fact, it would be achievable even in the midst of Ainge's restructuring, but not demolishing.
What would make sense is dangling the expiring contracts of Allen and Garnett to contenders who could ship back either prospects or else similar expiring contracts and draft picks.
Allen to Chicago in a package for Omer Asik would be a win-win for each side, the Bulls getting a better-than-Rip Hamilton sidekick for Derrick Rose, while the Celtics get a taste of the future in the middle.
As for Garnett, the $21 million salary is massive, but Cuban, of all people, has the pieces to potentially concoct something in return. A Garnett-Nowitzki pairing would take plenty of the fright away from starting Brendan Haywood in the middle.
With Rondo and Pierce, Boston still would measure up ahead of the Bucks, and therefore still measure up for a playoff spot.
For now, Ainge needs to take a deep breath before blowing up anything in Boston. With a subtle touch, the playoffs — as well as rapid regeneration — remain not only plausible but eminently possible.
PBT: The Pacers defeated the Heat 97-93 in Game 2 to even the series at 1-1, which now shifts to Indiana.
Video: NBA from NBC Sports
DPS: Is it really all about the rings?
DPS: Dan Patrick talks about Phil Jackson's comments about starting a team with Bill Russell now because of his championships and brings up the great question of, if it's all about championships, how come we don't talk about guys like Sam Jones, Frank Ramsey or John Havlicek who all have multiple rings?
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