Boston Celtics: 8 Steps to a Full Rebuild
Steps to a Full Boston Celtics' Rebuild
The path of the Boston Celtics seems to be unclear at this point of the season. They are nothing more than mediocre. However, this team does have some good, young pieces that could essentially gel together and form a successful nucleus.
Jared Sullinger and Avery Bradley are the two main players this team should build around. Rajon Rondo is a terrific player, but he and Jeff Green are already 27 years old, and this team should want to get even younger. Sullinger is 21, and Bradley is 23. They have more years ahead of them and much more potential. Also, Kelly Olynyk and Jordan Crawford are also young players worth keeping around as part of the core. Green and Rondo could potentially ring the most value back in a trade. Kris Humphries also has value with his expiring contract.
The Celtics don’t have to pull off any moves this season. I personally would like to keep players like Rondo and Green around. But, for the sake of the future, trading them could be in the best interest of the organization. Brad Stevens has indicated that he has what it takes to be a fine coach in the NBA. He needs a good, young nucleus to grow, nurture around himself. The Celtics are just a few pieces away from being a relevant team in the NBA.
Here is a series of unlikely, yet entirely plausible, scenarios that a rebuilding Celtics team should consider to become younger, and set up for a bright future. All the trades work with the salary cap and could easily benefit both sides of the trades.
8. Trade for Omer Asik
The Houston Rocket aren't going to get a better offer than what the Celtics had offered last week for Omer Asik. Houston will eventually accept to acquire Brandon Bass, Courtney Lee, and a first-round draft pick from the Clippers. Bass and Lee would be extremely helpful for a playoff run. Asik isn't exactly a piece for the future, rather a valuable trading piece next season because of his expiring contract.
Celtics Get: Omer Asik
Rockets Get: Bass, Lee, first-round pick (LAC '15)
7. Trade Gerald Wallace
Gerald Wallace's contract is ridiculous. The Celtics need to do anything necessary to get Wallace off their hands. Perhaps a team looking for a veteran presence would be interested. The Charlotte Bobcats could use someone like Wallace. Ben Gordon's expiring contract would work nicely in return for Boston. Detroit Pistons' Charlie Villanueva also has an expiring contract. Other than that, the market would be very thin. Perhaps throwing a first-round pick would help.
Celtics Get: Ben Gordon
Bobcats Get: Gerald Wallace, Keith Bogans, first-round pick (Bos '16)
6. Trade Rajon Rondo
Rajon Rondo is a special kind of player. However, it is time to move on from the point guard. The Celtics can get back the most value with Rondo's services. A trade that has been thrown out there involves Rondo going to Sacremento for Ben McLemore, Isaiah Thomas, and a couple first-round picks. That is the kind of package the Celtics should be looking for in return for Rondo.
Celtics Get: Isaiah Thomas, Ben McLemore, Carl Landry, two first-round draft picks (2014,2016)
Kings Get: Rajon Rondo
5. Trade Jeff Green for Dion Waiters
Jeff Green is a personal favorite of mine, so seeing him go would be extremely difficult. However, a trade that involves acquiring Dion Waiters might be worth a look. Waiters has a great amount of scoring ability, but can't live up to his full potential with Kyrie Irving being the focal point of the offense. Waiters is much younger than Green, and could be a valuable trading chip, or if Avery Bradley doesn't resign, an important part of the Celtics going forward.
Celtics get: Dion Waiters, Alonzo Gee
Cavaliers get: Jeff Green, MarShon Brooks
4. Acquire Kevin Love
This may be a dream scenario, but I'll put it on the table anyway. If Minnesota doesn't make the playoffs, Kevin Love won't be a happy camper. It may be in the best interest of the T-wolves to get something in return for him before he walks away. If the Celtics pull off the previous trades, they may have the means to acquire Love in the off-season. They would most likely have a top-10 pick among many other future first-rounders, plus a number of young assets. This is where Asik's expiring contract comes in handy.
Celtics Get: Kevin Love
Minnesota Gets: Omer Asik, Dion Waiters, 3 1st-rounders (Bos '14, Bos '15, Sac '16), and if necessary, Ben McLemore or Kelly Olynyk
3. Draft a Forward
With all these trades, the Celtics would be in the lottery. However, considering this fantasy situation, that pick would be owned by Minnesota. Boston would then have the lesser of the Nets' or Hawks' draft picks. That would probably end up being in the high teens, low 20s. The Celtics would have a glaring need at the forward position. Some forward that may be available at the time may be Dario Saric, Doug McDermott, Adreian Payne, or Montrezl Harrell.
2. Free Agency
2014 Free Agents (if previous scenarios occur)
Avery Bradley: re-sign 4 yr $24 million.
Jordan Crawford : re-sign 3 yr $14 million.
Isaiah Thomas: re-sign 3 yr $15 million.
Kris Humphries: don't re-sign and free up $12 million.
Carl Landry: Player option for $4 million; Might not take it due to lack of playing time. Frees up $4 million.
Charlie Villanueva or Ben Gordon: free up $8 million and/or 12 million.
The Boston Celtics will find themselves in a good salary cap situation.
1. 2014-15 Boston Celtics Roster
Imagine a combination of Sullinger and Love? Those two players would benefit very much from each other. Brad Stevens would have a very nice looking roster on his hands. Plus, everyone is under the age of 27. The only glaring weakness would be at small forward.
Kevin Love (age 26), Jared Sullinger (22), Alonzo Gee (27), Avery Bradley (24), Isaiah Thomas (25)
Bench: Vitor Faverani (26), Kelly Olynyk (23), Dario Saric/Doug McDermott, Ben McLemore (21), Jordan Crawford (26), Phil Pressey (23)
With just a few tweaks, this could be a very competitive roster. the moves may be far-fetched, but that's my idea of a rebuild.