It has been a while since we've brought up trade talk and while there's no particular reason to do so now, the situation remains largely unchanged. The roster is still unbalanced and there are too many guys that make more sense on contenders than in a rebuilding situation. This is summed up nicely by Rob Mahoney in his offseason recap for SI.
There’s nothing wrong with keeping some veteran players on mid-level contracts, but players such as Lee and Bass could theoretically be flipped for assets that might make more sense to a rebuilding team, as is true of Wallace’s hefty deal and Humphries’ expiring contract. All of which is to only say that Boston’s work isn’t finished yet. The Celtics still have players to move and prospects to acquire, meaning that the team’s greatest misstep this summer is merely that those subsequent moves have yet to be completed.
When the Celtics waived Shavlik Randolph and traded Fab Melo to sneak under the luxury tax threshold, it provided them the option of simply standing pat for the rest of the year. I do think that is a legit option, but I think it might be a bit of a negotiating stance as well. Nothing loses leverage like desperation, and if the Celtics were in a position where they had to make a deal or risk facing the tax, that's gonna cost them in any trade negotiation.
By making those moves and getting under the line, they are free to sit back and wait for the market to develop as it will. Teams will show up to training camp to discover that one of their players is hurt or out of shape or simply not ready for prime time yet. At that point, Brandon Bass, Courtney Lee, Humphries, and maybe even Gerald Wallace will look a lot more attractive.
Furthermore, if the roster is unbalanced, so be it. Stevens will still find a way to give those guys some playing time which (in theory) could give them a chance to boost their stock around the league further. In the meantime, as the article above mentions, the young coach and his young team will be working in an environment of high hopes but low expectations and pressure.
Danny Ainge will have until February to work on another deal or two for the future or perhaps even to springboard the team into that future at an accelerated pace. One thing I know is that Ainge isn't done. He's still got work to do but he's not in any particular hurry to get it done.