I've thought this for a while, but have yet to see it be expressed by anybody else on here, so might as well get my hands dirty, and say it myself.
With Rondo returning next season, that means we will feature a starting backcourt of Rondo and Avery Bradley. While the Celtics have had great defensive success with this tandem at times, the offensive output of these two has never been overwhelming.
Watching the Knicks series was painful, at times the C's just could not put the ball in the basket (See 1st quarter of Game 6). Bradley struggled throughout the series, with the exception of the fourth quarter of game 6, to score our run the offense reasonably well. Also his prolific defense was lacking, and allowed Raymond Felton to get to the basket at will. Now I understand, Bradley was asked to do a LOT, more then he could even, and it's not fair to judge him on this season alone.
But we're talking about a guy who averaged 9.2 points on 40% shooting in the regular season, and has averaged 6.9 points in his career. Even with a healthy C's lineup, we're living in fantasy land if we expect Bradley to be averaging 15 points a game. I'd expect to see more of the same from this season to next, perhaps a slight improvement, but nothing Green-esque.
This is what I see to be one of the C's problems, apart from lacking a true Center, we don't have a true scoring guard. I don't see us dealing Rondo, so he'll stay and give us his 13ppg or so. With Bradley's 9 that gives us 22 points between our two starting guards. To put that into perspective, the mediocre Toronto Raptors got almost 30ppg out of starters DeRozan and Lowry. While still getting scoring out of the SF (Gay) and PF (Bargs) positions like the C's do.
Why do I bring this all out, because the C's need a perimeter threat scorer. It's not Rondo or AB. Green is a slasher/drive player, while capable of hitting the outside shot, he's needed going to the rim. Pierce can play outside, but not at SG as we proved this season. Lee gives us the same thing Bradley does, with less defense, so we lose by starting him over Bradley, and Crawford and Terry while proven scorers have yet to prove they can be consistent while shooting a decent percentage playing for the C's.
Personal opinion, we move Bradley for the center we need. Bradley is young, has a good contract, and could bring in a decent starting quality center. Might need to pair some players to make the contracts work, but I'd rather have a solid NBA quality starting Center over another Jason Collins which is all we can afford right now (cue Mozgoz cries.)
As for a scoring shooting guard, need a three point shooter, who can provide some of the defense we lose with Bradley leaving. J.J. Reddick comes to mind. Ben Gordon might be available. Marco Bellineli could be a poor man's option if need be. Kevin Martin perhaps if he test's FA. Nick Young if given the minutes might also be able to produce around the 15ppg level especially with Rondo dishing. Out of all these options, J.J. Reddick is the most possible to me.
I know, we lose some perimeter defense by letting go of Bradley, but there are ways of filling that. Lee has shown he can defend players well, and hustle on defense. Tony Allen is set to be a FA, dare I dream? And the reality is, we can afford to lose Bradley's 1.2 steals per game. Take his steals average away from this year, we average 7 steals a game, and the guy who replaces him will get some, so maybe we average 7.5 steals. Add in Lee's increased time, and I think we can make it up. Add 5 points to Bradley's 9ppg, and we're scoring 101.5 ppg, and not 96.5, which brings our point differential up from -0.2 to +4.8. Yes that number drops because we're lacking some of Bradley's defense, but not by more then 3 points.
All of this points to me that we need a SHOOTING guard, someone who can score on a regular basis. Without that, I 'see the Celtic's struggling again next season to score. Especially with Paul and Kevin getting a year older. What do you guy's think?