What would next year's Celtics look like?

Jared Wickerham

We don't know what the details of the deal are, here's a brief look ahead at what the Celtics might look like next year without KG, Pierce, or Doc.

Disclaimer: There's a lot of moving pieces in the trade talks and all of this could fall apart quickly - so this could be an obsolete article in short order. However, I can't help but jot down the names left on the roster and wonder how good they could be.

Let us start with the basics. If we trade Kevin Garnett and allow Doc Rivers out of his contract, chances are very, very good that Paul Pierce will move on in one way or another. As of now, the only piece we are sure would be coming back (again, assuming the trade went through) would be DeAndre Jordan.

So let us look at our new starting lineup, shall we?

PG: Rajon Rondo
SG: Avery Bradley (back to his natural position)
SF: Jeff Green
PF: Jared Sullinger
C: DeAndre Jordan

That very well could be a "fun" starting five. It could also be a very average or potentially bad team in the record books.

The good: They would get good rebounding from the 4/5 spots. They would generate turnovers via Bradley and Rondo. Put those things together with some very good transition players and ... dare I say it? Lob(ster) City!

The bad: Who scores on that team? Rondo can get his own shot off and Jeff Green could bump up to 20 a night with high usage and maybe Sullinger gets a few points just by scrapping. But when they aren't running, I don't think Bradley and Jordan are going to be reliable scoring threats. Also, can they play defense, especially without either Rivers or Thibodeau or especially Kevin Garnett around?

So it might depend on the other shoes to drop.

The bench is anyone's guess, but it sounds like Brandon Bass is sticking around (if they are rebuilding, it makes more sense to start Sullinger going forward). Jordan Crawford has another year on his deal. We've got our 16th pick to use and hey, there's always Fab Melo! Will Lee and/or Terry still be here? And of course there's any additional pieces coming back to the Celtics - either as part of the Clippers deal or a theoretical Pierce deal. And if they free up enough space, maybe a free agent?

Also, there would be another coach, but nobody knows exactly who that would be (several writers dismissed the notion that it would be Del Negro - who's name presumably only popped up because he shares an agent with Doc Rivers).

For now, it might be best not to dwell on the specifics until we know more details. So what do you think of that potential starting five? How many games could they win? Would they be a lottery team or perhaps (in the weak East) would they be a middling 7 or 8 seed?

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