The NBA lockout might not show any signs of stopping soon, but that doesn't mean that Boston Celtics fans like me can't speculate on the team's upcoming roster moves. Whether the 2011-12 season is lost or not, the Celtics are facing a serious rebuilding effort. The retirements of the big three, Paul Pierce, Ray Allen, and Kevin Garnett, loom large on the horizon, and the team's championship contention hangs in the balance. With Dwight Howard set to become a free agent next year, he could be the centerpiece of a next gen Cs squad.
Of course, there's no telling just where Howard will end up when the dust settles, never mind the seemingly endless lockout and the CBA. It's clear that Ainge and company will have to make a move to Boston worth his while, and that means a team that will be championship-caliber for the foreseeable future.
Is Rajon Rondo a part of that future team or is he more valuable as a bargaining chip? Despite Rondo's undeniable talent, we didn't exactly see a stellar season from the PG this past year. Despite being an early contender for MVP, he ultimately crumbled during a late season slump. It's not at all clear that Rondo's best days are ahead of him.
A Rondo trade might mean that Ainge is able to combine Howard with Josh Smith. Howard and Smith should have chemistry, both having played together on the Atlanta Celtics before embarking on professional careers in the NBA.
Another possibility (and there are obviously many) is that Ainge decides to change course on Jeff Green, letting go of he and Glen Davis to make room for Howard. This is what I think would be the "quick payoff" scenario, with Howard playing alongside the big three and Rondo. Such a combination might be bound for the Finals from the very beginning, making the most out of the little time Ainge has left with Pierce, Allen, and Garnett.
Got this from Yahoo Sports. http://sports.yahoo.com/nba/news;_ylt=AlXniHsyDqFVef79Fyln5RG8vLYF?slug=ycn-9152387
Trade Rondo, Davis and O'Neal to Atlanta for Smith and Teague
Sign Nick Young
Let KG and Ray Ray walk in 2012 and sign Howard
Trade Pierce(unlikely) to a team like the Clippers for picks
Teague-Young-Green-Smith-Howard- Top 4 in the East top 10 in the League
bostons the type of team ran by guys who want to be top 1 in the league...not top 10
Personally I see Rondo as perhaps Boston's key player going forward, either as the playmaker and star player or perhaps more realistically as the playmaker and top running mate to a true franchise player. Having won that title in 2008, Boston can either have one more shot at it this year or maybe look longer if there is a lockout and nab a top FA or two next summer.
Whilst KG and Ray Allen may not be franchise players any longer they could still perhaps contribute more for a year or two beyond next summer. KG would still be a great defensive force and Ray Allen could be a shooting force at SG or as a great 6th man. If these two could be retained alongside a top FA signing then Boston would still be very revelant going forward.
I don't see PP going anywhere soon, he is on a big deal for the next 3 years and is a true Boston legend so to keep him if he maintains reasonable form is a no brainer for a lot of Boston fans I'd guess.
Boston do have trade pieces like picks due from the Thunder and the Clippers and the rights to Jeff Green depending what they decide to do wth him. Also if you want to be creative they have JO's expiring 2012 deal plus the retired Shaq and Sheed's deals which could be used in a trade. Dallas used Van Horn as part of the Kidd trade when he was retired and the Lakers traded a none active player when they got Pau Gasol I seem to recall. Shaq/JO and Sheed are on the books for over $14 million combined this year or effectvely $6.2 million for JO. With any trade Boston could send some cash for the receiving team to pay Shaq and Sheed for their trouble and perhaps to help buyout JO. So Boston could easily take back a $15 million a year guy for that trade wth a sweetner or two if league rules would allow this.