There’s no clear path for Celtics

Having now endured the droning debate on whether the Celtics should have wheeled a deal at the trade deadline, this much is chronically murky:

There is absolutely no clear path to building an NBA championship-caliber team.

On one side of the philosophical divide are those who believe the Celtics can draft their way back to glory. Then there are those who want to roll the dice by trading for, or signing, a centerpiece player that is an absolute necessity for winning a title.

It says here that signing one of the handful of game-changing players who test the free agent market is best. After all, it’s not my money, it’s Wyc Grousbeck’s (and his posse of partners).

Of course, no self-respecting free agent will come unless he sees a true chance to score a ring. The Celtics now have a nice core of very good complementary players, which is what a top-shelf free agent wants to see.

That boatload of draft picks (also known as assets) are best used as trade bait. No. 1 picks do not come with any guarantee of greatness. That uncertainty grows the further you tumble from the top. Put a few of those picks on the table and wait for a sucker to toss down proven NBA talent.

But, do not even think about dealing draft picks at the trade deadline, when established talent is priced beyond all reason. Wait until summer. If the ping-pong balls finally fall correctly for the Celtics, they may have the first pick in the draft, the value of which has a cathedral ceiling.

Besides, there was absolutely nothing out there, regardless of cost, that would have put the Celtics on even footing with Cleveland (if it is healthy and happy at playoff time), Golden State or San Antonio.

TIME TRAVEL: Feb. 28, 1966 – “Eight straight for Fran Tate. That’s how it was here Saturday as the veteran track coach led his proud Purple trackmen to a landslide Winter Track League championship, defeating nine other teams. Nashua annexed 62 points to second-place Exeter with 27 and Concord with 22.

“Tate credited his boys with an ‘extra effort’ in coming up with the big victory. ‘The boys worked much harder in preparing for this one and that’s how we won as big as we did’ said the elated coach following Saturday’s big meet.”

Seninor Bill Foucher set a state record in the 45-yard high hurdles and won the 50-yard dash with his best time of the season.

NO WAKE-UP CALL: Thursday night, the University of South Florida men’s basketball team lost to Tulsa, then misplaced two of its players. Awaiting a connecting flight in Houston, guards Troy Holston and Geno Thorpe fell asleep and stayed in deep slumber as the plane boarded and took off.

Interim coach Murry Bartow shouldered the blame, but that didn’t cut it for Holston’s mother. Monique Holston-Greene offered several angry Tweets, capping it with, “Twitter asks what’s happening…. I’ll tell you EXACTLY what’s happening!!! Incompetent ON ALL LEVELS, where is the leadership?”

In a deep sleep, apparently. Bartow may want to wait if he plans on buying a house near the USF campus.

Alan Greenwood can be reached at 594-1248, agreenwood or @Telegraph_ AlanG.