DISCLAIMER: A lot will need to go right, but I believe every step in this rebuild is realistic and achievable.
The story begins
On draft night, knowing that they're selecting 4th overall, the Celtics pull together a deal that rivals the one made a year earlier sending out their 2008 stars for a fresh start. All have pegged Parker, Wiggins, Embiid to go in the top three and there are no surprises. Anticipation and excitement around Exum, a clear 4th overall pick, are at an all time high, but the Celtics have other plans. They want to make fireworks.
A month earlier, in the race to the postseason, a few crucial and history-altering events took place. The white hot Suns led by Dragic and Blesoe tandem fight their way back into the playoff race, bumping out the perennial Grizzlies. Memphis, being a small market team with an analytic front office knows that they have limited options with the cap and their competition is outgrowing them a the stacked Western conference. They need to make moves.
In the East, Orlando is looking to complete their rebuild. They were good, they got worse and their down year in 2014 paid off. They nearly won the lottery and are poised to select 2nd overall. Their needs are clear. They need a point guard and a shooting forward and they desperately need someone to lead the team along with Oladipo into the future.
The draft begins and its Orlando's turn. Emiid being selected first overall, lands their target, Andrew Wiggins in their hands. But, they still haven't addressed their point guard needs. Oladipo is not a PG.
As the Celtics select Exum 4th overall in the draft, the announcement is made. Fireworks ignite. Its a blockbuster.
Bill Simmons' eyes bulge out of his head and his voice elevates to that of a 4 year old girl as we are told that Boston is involved with a three team trade that sends Exum to Orlando and Afflalo to Boston. But who's the third team?
The Grizzlies have decided to cash in on Gasol, and with the entire NBA salivating over the Kevin-Love-lottery, everyone overlooks the possible availability of Marc Gasol. The trade goes down as this:
Boston: Afflalo, Marc Gasol
As the dust settles, the reality of it all is clear. Boston has pulled off another masterful trade that brings in a catch-and-shoot 3pt specialist and a defensive-minded center. Boston is now a contender.
And, as a side note, the Celtics select, with their Nets pick, a slipping Rodney Hood at 16.
In the following weeks, some ancillary moves are made. Somewhat surprisingly, Humphries is offered a new deal (somewhere in the range of 2yrs $16M) to stay in Boston. Avery Bradley sees a lukewarm market for his services and also resigns with the Celtics for 4yrs $20M. At this point, the Celtics are absolutely over the cap and are flirting with luxury tax which ownership is willing to pay.
However, one final move is made. The MLE, in its glorious fashion, is used to bring home the Truth. Paul Pierce, a Celtic martyr.
The Celtics now enter the 2014-15 season with a revamped roster consisting of:
Afflalo, Bradley, Johnson
Green, Pierce, Hood
The Celtics are now well on their way to a chance for Banner18