This is the time of year that max-deal and near max-deal players dream off.  Some will need wheel-barrows to take their money home; others, like Glen Davis did last year, will be wondering where the love is.

There are talks about the free-agent big three of, Lebron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh playing together.  Let's not forget that these young stars are still flexing their alpha-male muscle.

This would make it very difficult for any coach to mesh these massive egos while they are still in the throes of youthful exuberance.  We all remember the Jason Kidd, Jamal Mashburn, and Jimmy Jackson fiasco in Dallas.

They were unable to understand that individual talent got them there, but it was teamwork that would keep them in the conversation. 

They all said the right thing but making it work on the court proved to be a difficult thing to do.

Paul Pierce has decided to throw his hat in the fray of this free-agent frenzy; he won't get a long-term extension but he will get a decent contract. 

Free agency can be a tricky proposition because the drive to get more money will for the most part outweigh the chance at championship glory. 

Pierce like every other player understands that the financial landscape will change after this off-season.  He also has given the Celtics a greater chance of getting a star player by opting out.    

Boston now has an opportunity to sign one max-player not named Lebron, Bosh or Wade. There are rumors floating around, that Danny Ainge is intrigued by the possibility of acquiring Joe Johnson.  

Ainge must somehow convince Johnson that a return to Celtic Green can do a lot for his championship dreams.

The problem there is that the Knicks, Nets, Clippers and Miami can offer Joe a lot more money.  The obvious choice after that would be Rudy Gay; the Celtics can front-load the contract giving them the edge over Memphis and the kind of athletic wing that they need.

The Celtics can also make a run at Michael Beasley; the Miami Heat are looking to get rid of this mercurial player.  The talent is there, but the light-bulb is somewhat dim upstairs.  

Beasley was clearly intimidated by Kevin Garnett in the playoffs, but I believe that bringing him to Boston can only help.  

They wouldn't have to start Beasley because of his inconsistencies, and the presence of Clifford Ray, the Celtics big man coach is a plus.

Paul Pierce has publicly stated that he wants to be a Celtic for life, so people shouldn't read too much into his decision to opt out.  

There is a slim chance that he may have cause for pause if a team with tremendous cap space throws a near max deal at him.  The Celtics need to have a plan B if that does happen.

This isn't a case where he is attempting to hold the Celtics hostage like Kobe Bryant did to the Lakers a few years ago.

He is simply looking to cement his legacy by winning another championship with the only team he has ever played for.