Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Do the Celtics need a big trade to protect their brand?

By Zachary Baru

With non-stop chatter about what the Celtics could do during the off-season, the expectation for something "big" seems to be growing more and more from Celtics fans.  There is, of course, the possibility that nothing at all happens.  No trade, no Kevin Love, just a number six draft pick, and possibly another year of rebuilding.  But could Celtics fans take it, and what would it mean for the Celtics brand?

One thing that Celtics ownership should not worry about is the long-term stability of the brand, which undoubtedly would remain strong.  But should another year of rebuilding occur, attendance could start to dip, similar to 2006-07 levels when it finished at 16,843.

And then there are those ratings.  Especially the radio ratings, for which a new contract was signed during the 2013-14 season with WBZ-FM 98.5 The Sports Hub.  Another rebuilding year would mean a second consecutive year of low Celtics ratings with the new flagship station of the franchise.

Sure there are some draw-backs, but should the Celtics go through the summer without making any big-time deals, another year of rebuilding would arguably be the best option for the franchise, and the brand long-term.  Unless the Celtics are sure they can go deep into the playoffs and make some serious noise, rebuilding just might be the direction to take in a market that demands championships.

Making it to the playoffs and reaching the second round is not enough for fans in Boston, who have high expectations for not just the Celtics, but for all of its franchises.  So can the magic of the 2007 off-season happen again?  Celtics fans will just have to wait and find out.

Should nothing happen, the Celtics brand will not be seriously affected.  Just expect to see some extra black and gold seats at TD Garden.

Zach Baru can be followed @zbaru and reached at

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