First let me say that I have been critical of Rajon Rondo, first for his lack of leadership - inability to transition the ethos from the BIG Three and Doc, particularly Kevin Garnet. Secondarily, which might not be his fault, for not be the best fit in Doc Rivers motion offense which is predicated on ball movement.
We should know shortly what Danny thinks as he progresses through free-agency, and possibly hear some thoughts from Rajon himself to all the wheeling and dealing and talk of rebuilding and tanking. My contention, is that the personality we have is stubborn enough to say the team is REBUILT by assembling his modified team from junior high.
Point is I personally think that all the talk of tanking, three-five years of rebuilding, hiring a young novice coach is nonsense, if Rajon Rondo is still on the team. Rajon is either the Franchise that we build around or he is a Cancer that you get rid of quickly. But if we do not answer that question in the affirmative, the organization is kidding themselves, more even more than needing to move on from the Big Three or Doc. There is no in--between when dealing Rondo.
The league has has prickly personalities - Sith Lords - lead teams to elite status: Isiah Thomas in Detroit; Micheal Jordan in Chicago; and Kobe Bryant in Los Angeles. Everyone cannot carry saintly charisma like Magic Johnson, Lebron James; Tim Duncan; or insane Intensity like Kevin Garnet. While the latter did not mind having super-friends to actually be the alpha dogs, like Dwayne Wade or Paul Pierce, the former, had very skilled players who did multiple things great around them like Scottie Pippen, Joe Dumars, and Pau Gasol, who it is argued would not be Hall of Famers had it not been for their leaders. We are learned a lot this playoff on who the real alpha dog was in OKC, maybe, between Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook; with Westbrook being Rondo-like. It seems clear to me the Doc and the Big Three was an entirely different culture that Rajon was merely or was asked to be tolerant to. That era is over and it has been and will be debated if his impact on it was that great on it. Although Danny tried to push Rondo - being the best player and the leader - it is obvious that Doc, KG, PP, and Ray we reluctant cooperators.
Whether we have some of those players on our team or can further develop into such players like Avery Bradley, Jared Sullinger, or Jeff Green remains to be seem. We know Bradley fit the new Rondo Culture - the gambler on defense to the lock down defender, and the corner shooter/slasher. And we know Bradley can do this at a Pippen-like elite level. The question is what are the other parts that fit the Rondo Era. These are the questions that have to be answered by the organization. It was instructive of how Danny described how Kelly Olynck was not a star but complementary to Sullinger and Rondo - a lottery pick being complementary to Rondo/Sullinger ethos. The point is Kelly was not the best athlete, the best project, and some will debate the best available in terms of chips or assets.
In my view, looking at Bradley, and what he means to and his fit with Rondo, answers what direction you go. Bradley is not your classic off-guard, and it seems that he is a huge chip, if you were not building the thing around Rondo; you would go for a classic off-guard in in the 6'5" range (now that could be Marshon Brook, but who knows).
I am not sure that he can be a Sith Lord like Thomas, Kobe, or Jordan, unless he has an strong coach like Chuck Daley and Phil Jackson. This means that a coach like George Karl or Stan Van Gundy - a strong personality - should still be in play. This is not that Doc was not strong enough, but from a cultural perspective he was wedded to the the Big Three.
This is why going after a talent like Josh Smith, LaMarcus Aldridge, Al Jefferson, Paul Milsap; or even taking a risk on Andrew Bynum makes sense; these guys are potential all-stars that would not mind subordinating to a talent like Rondo. Rondo could make Smith or Aldridge, like Steve Nash made Amare Stoudamire and Schawn Marion. Atlanta was asking Josh Smith and be the most talented player. Regardless of what anyone may say about Josh as the alpha dog is as talented possibly more that say Lamar Odom, and it seems that Phil was able to get his special talents out of him.
Point is I have been re-thinking my take on Rondo under a completely different paradigm and how players that fit his temperament, like Josh Smith and a few other talented free agents floating on the market. Now it remains to see if Danny and the organization indeed are building the thing around him for the next three years.
I think it is very instructive that in 2017 the Celtics had the ability to swap the pick with Brooklyn. This implies that Danny thinks that by that time KG, Pierce, Joe Johnson and Brook Lopez come off the books and if they Nets have not done anything they could be in blow it up mode and the Celtics might actually have a better record, and potentially have a lottery pick. It is also interesting that around the same time Rondo's contract is up, along with Jeff's and Sully's rookie deal; which means Danny could be running parallel strategies to give a Rondo-Era a chance and put some talent around him - Josh Smith. It looks like Danny Ferry, by drafting a point guard (Dennis Schoeder) is blowing the whole thing up down in Atlanta meaning is he letting Jeff Teague go, possibly. So if he does not do a big deal or see anything he likes he could be joining Charlotte, Orlando, and Philly in the 2014 lottery;and if you look at his the amount of salary cap he needs to spend to just meet the 90% rule of the collective barginning agreement, he might be a willing trade partner.
Point it with the weakness in the Eastern Conference, other teams are in a better position to tank if not just stink, and having Rondo, Green, Sully, and Bradley, without giving their era a shot is foolhardy.