And now I will waste everyone's time with a work of pure sensationalism and overreaction for fun.
Let's say that Kevin Love is not traded to the Celtics. Let's say that the Celtics can't get any value for the picks that we have. Let's make wild speculation that Rondo is impatient with the rebuilding process and isn't on board with the current administration. Let's say that he (quietly) asks Danny Ainge to finally find a new home for him.
Given that set of circumstances, I could imagine Danny pushing his chair back, taking a deep breath, and opening a box with a big red button in it, pausing for effect, and slamming his palm on top of it. (Cut to mushroom cloud)
The Celtics didn't win the lottery, if they can't have Love and Rondo then their chances of bouncing back into contender status seem slim. There's a chance (however small) they might just go all out into Sam Hinkie tanking mode next year. So I thought I'd take a look at what that might actually look like.
The goals are to pick up as many high draft picks as possible, add talented young players on rookie contracts, and lose a lot of games. Kind of like what they did this past year, only a lot more deliberate.
Step 1 is trading Rondo for a haul. The Rockets are sure to be interested but I'm not sure if they have what I'd want to get the deal done. Instead, I'd sell Rondo on a future in Sacramento (or at least sell Sactown on taking him without a guarantee that he'd re-sign). Let's go back to that rumor from a few months back (via Marc Spears):
Source said Kings and C's discussed a deal involving Isaiah Thomas, Ben McLemore and a pick for Rajon Rondo, but Rondo wasn't interested in re-signing with Sacramento and the Kings strongly value McLemore.
Ok, step one done.
Next up, the supporting cast veterans.
Who wants a stable, veteran power forward? Anyone? I tell you right now that if Ainge could get a first rounder for Brandon Bass it would be done by now. So you have to get creative and call up someone desperate.
Hey Knicks! How about Brandon Bass, Gerald Wallace, and Joel Anthony for Amare Stoudamire? New York gets 3 productive players and the Celtics shave a year off of Wallace's deal, lining up for huge cap room in 2015.
Ok, let's pause for a moment and sift through the carnage.
Remaining "depth chart" looks like this:
PG: Isaiah Thomas, Phil Pressey
SG: Ben McLemore, Chris Babb
SF: Otto Porter, Chris Johnson
PF: Sullinger, Olynyk, Stoudamire
C: Seraphin, Faverani, Colton Iverson
Ladies and gents, the best Summer League team money can buy!
On Draft Night we'll have the #6, #8, and #17 picks to work with. We'll still have all the Nets picks and next year's Clippers pick as well. If Ainge can trade up into the top 4 maybe he can get a future star. Otherwise you just take the best talent available and hope to develop them.
The Celtics would still hold the rights to Avery Bradley but they'd either let him walk for nothing or try to work out some kind of minor sign-and-trade deal where we take an expiring contract and a future protected pick or something like that.
I'm pretty sure the above team (plus 3 rookies) would be looking at the lottery (unless Stevens goes full mid-major-in-Final-Four mode and grabs the 8th seed). We haven't had a lot of lottery luck but stud center Jahil Okafor would be sitting there at number 1 if we landed it. We'd also have a bajillion dollars in cap room next year to play with however we wanted. Danny would once again have options galore.
Does any of this put us closer to winning a Banner? Is this the kind of fireworks that Wyc Grousbeck was talking about? Would the fans be happy with these moves? Inquiring minds want to know.
I will now enter the witness protection program and never write on the Internet ever again.