I have a plan.
It's far fetched, it requires a lot of teams, a lot of moves and a lot of stars to align.
I want this team, as constructed, to fight and win and succeed. But part of me wants a super team. This is one possible path:
Trade 1: (Dec15 - Trade deadline)
BOS: C.J. McCollom, R. Lopez
POR: O. Asik
HOU: B. Bass, C. Lee
Rationale: Lets say Houston gets desperate. They need a roster that works. Bass and Lee are two players who could really help that team become complete and two players who have really elevated their game this year. Lee is our best 3 point shooter who is now comfortable off the bench, providing a spark. Bass is the stretch four not named Anderson that really fits next to Dwight and is an effective two way role player. Portland is off to a great start, but they will soon realize that they need the defensive stopper and Lopez just isn't that guy. Asik would be the perfect piece to make them a serious contender. Boston receives an expiring contract and an injured rookie contract. Perfect for getting worse this year to get better next year.
Trade 2: (Dec15 - Trade deadline)
BOS: T. Snell, M. Teague
CHI: J. Crawford
Rationale: Jordan Crawford has been the biggest surprise on the Celtics so far this year. He is an effective stop-gap at the PG position. The Bulls desperately need to fill that hole and last year was proof that they can still contend without DRose and they are way too talented to "tank". Crawford is a Nate Robinson with better passing skills. The Celtics get back a young 1st round pick and a player who is soon to become a D-league nobody.
2014 NBA Draft:
Celtics 1st pick: Parker (best-case), Embiid (middle), Seldon (worst-case)
Hawks 1st pick: Saric
Rationale: I just like these guys. Danny has a proven track record of selecting very talented players with his picks. This is just a guess, but I think after the above moves the Celtics pick will be in the 5-10 range and the Hawks pick could be in the 15-20 range. The next move is what really determines who is picked.
Trade 3: Summer 2014
BOS: Kevin Love
MIN: Olynyk, Snell, McCollom, Saric, Bogans (exp), 2015 Celtics 1st
Rationale: This is reaching for the stars, quite literally. Love is untouchable. But at this point, the Celtics have so many assets and such flexibility that they are in position to make a ludicrous offer. Lets say the Wolves (who are currently sub .500) miss the playoffs yet again. The conference is growing stronger, they have a top10 player, but the surrounding cast is just not enough. They fear Love will walk at the end of the deal. Danny comes along and offers what is essentially four recent first round picks and one future pick. These guys along with Shabazz and Dieng are all on rookie deals. This gives the new org in Minny a lot of flexibility to extend Rubio and jump-start a rebuilding process. Wipe away the misery of Khan and start a new era. This is a strong offer for two years of Kevin Love.
Beginnings of a 2015 Celtics Roster:
The Celtics contend in 2014-15 with a starting lineup of: Rondo, Bradley, Green, Love, Sullinger. I think Sullinger continues to improve and will eventually becomes Aldridge-like. Imagine that front-court of Green, Love and Sully. All three of these guys are offensive weapons with range. Sullinger has the post game, Green has the drive and Love is the all around star. Sully and Love, both highly intelligent players, dominate on the boards. Rondo dishes out dimes left and right to four strong shooters. Avery now becomes the clear 5th option on offense and flourishes in that role. Stevens is the key. He had so much success without the traditional 'big man' and he emphasizes three point shooting. Look around the league, the best teams are not dominated by big man post play. I think having two stretch PFs with excellent rebounding capability is playing towards the future dynamic of the NBA. Plus, I like (potentially) having a developing big in Embiid off the bench. A big who has already shown he can run, pass and score near the basket. Best case its a top forward in Parker or Wiggins. Worst case, its Seldon who has a fiery game as a combo guard (just what we need).
As for a bench, the Celtics would have about 10M in cap space for smaller FA signings, plus the MLE to add to their bench. They'll still have Favarani off the bench and could re-sign Lopez. They could even go sign Jordan Crawford to a deal with his free agency. There are possibilities, but I just can't really elaborate further.
The point, of course, is to get a contending starting lineup for next season. Just think about the possibilities with Rondo, Bradley, Green, Love and Sullinger... its all about selling high on our current role players in order to get assets to convert into a star. Celtics would easily be a top 4 team in 2015.