Trade Mailman, or become like post-Bird Celtics?

Utah has a problem: Either deal Karl Malone or risk becoming a lottery also-ran for years.

Updated: November 27, 2001, 2:13 PM ET
By Peter May | Special to ESPN.com

They once were the standard of excellence. Now, the Boston Celtics find themselves, once again, as something quite different in the eyes of some. A virus. A staph infection. As in, 'we don't want what happened to them to happen to us.'

It's not like the Celtics are, well, doomed. But the franchise made a series of decisions in the late-1980s and early-1990s which basically made them the team they are today: striving to be mediocre. They decided they would not trade any of the Big Three ...

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