3 Facts must be accepted:
1) Celtics are not a contending team anymore
2) Dwight Howard is not going to sign with the celtics.
3) Celtics are a championship organization and that will always be the long term goal, which is not the case for some teams who are just happy to make the playoffs.
Celtics are looking at a long and painful rebuilding process to get back to the championship level. they have a fringe all star in rondo, who has unique skills along with serious flaws, they have bird rights to jeff green, a young former top 5 pick who somewhat underachieved and has a heart issue, they have fringe young talent in bradley, johnson and moore, none of whom will ever be a star or all star almost definitiely.. they have 3 hall of famers toward the end of their career, two of whom are expiring contracts, the other is the youngest, and an all star this year and has 2 years left on his deal at big dollars, they have other expriing deals (JO, Dooling) and a couple of role players, bass, pietrus, wilcox.
It is my personal opinion that a championship team requires a top 5, or at worst top 10 player in the game. I am 33 and the only year that I can think of where this did not occur was the 2004 pistons. that group had either all star or close to all star level players at every starting position though.. Opinions on this board will be mixed on where rondo fits in for the nba's current player hierarchy, but I dont think there should be any doubt that he is not a top five player, and never will be.. he is prob not really top 10, and more realistically in that 15-20 range.. guys who are always borderline all star players, never the starter..
While I like rondo as a player, I feel that a team witih him as the best player will never be a true title contender..He is however, good enough that he will keep us competitive for the playoffs, the nba's definition of purgatory, the former washington bullets.. thus, I believe it would be best to not have the rebuilding centered around rondo.. these are the 3 trades I would suggest to expediate the rebulding process.
1) Trade Rondo and the Clippers Pick to Toronto for Barbosa (expiring) and Their First Round Pick.. Celtics do this to get a lottery pick, and have additoinal cap room going forward. Toronto has been out of the playoffs forever, they need a point guard.. They then have rondo, derozen, bargiani, and that foreign center (forget his name) they drafted in the lottery last year as their core and should be fighting for a playoff spot next year..they still get a pick toward the end of the first round as well..
2) After March 1st, Trade J Oneal, Dooling, Daniels to New Jersey for Farmer, Petro, and Morrow. The trade also gives the option for the cetlics to swap first round picks with the nets (which they will almost certainly exercise). This almost assues the celtics of a second lottery pick in this year's draft. They don't take back any salary beyond next year. New Jersey does this to clear 11 million off their cap for next year, giving them the ability to sign howard, williams, and brooke lopez.
3) This one will hurt, but three team trade between the Celtics, Lakers, and Timberwolves:
Pierce goes to the Lakers
Gasol goes to the Timberwolves
Derrick Williams and filler comes back to the celtics (perhaps martell webster and brad miller)
Celtics then have acquired the following assets from the trades: Derrick Williams (second pick last year) and two lottey picks this year, which should both be in the top ten and with any lottery luck could be even higher....they have not taken on any salary beyond the 2012-2013 season.. next year they will be in the lottery as well.. they can bring back jeff green.. They should hopefully be an attractive FA destination in the summer of 2013 with the assets that they have acquired and doc still as coach..