Where do the Celtics go from here?

With just five players — Rajon Rondo, Kevin Garnett, Glenn Davis, Kendrick Perkins and Rasheed Wallace — under contract, their best player, Paul Pierce, with an early termination option (ETO), and their head coach considering a hiatus, the Celtics are certainly in a state of flux heading into the summer.

Pierce has said that he’d like to retire a Celtic, so chances are he plays out his contract or the two sides work out a deal. Pierce might lower his annual salary if it means he can sign a long-term contract prior to the new collective bargaining agreement which is likely to be unfavorable to the players, at least in terms of overall salary.

But he’ll be 33 heading into next season. Is he really a franchise player anymore?

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Where do the Hornets go from here?

It was a disappointing season for Chris Paul and Co. as they were unceremoniously eliminated from the playoffs last night in Denver. After last season’s near-miss against the Spurs in the Western Conference semis, along with the addition of do-it-all forward James Posey, many pundits (including myself) thought that they might be the team best positioned to threaten the Lakers’ chances of a return trip to the Finals. But it was not to be.

According to John Hollinger’s PER, Chris Paul had an even better statistical season than last year, when he was in serious contention to become the league’s MVP. David West played his usual 21/9 ball as well.

So what happened?

1. Tyson Chandler wasn’t himself. He battled injuries all year and was even traded to Oklahoma City (and subsequently untraded due to the Thunder’s concerns about his foot). Here are his stats for the last three seasons:

’06-’07: 9.5 ppg, 12.4 rpg, 1.8 bpg, 62% FG%
’07-’08: 11.8 ppg, 11.8 rpg, 1.1 bpg, 62% FG%
’08-’09: 8.8 ppg, 8.7 rpg, 1.2 bpg, 57% FG%

That may not seem like much of a fall off, but three points, three rebounds and a 5% decrease in field goal shooting certainly has an effect. It’s not Chandler’s fault that he had some nagging injuries, but that was part of the reason for the Hornets’ decline.

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