Rondo - Presley
Bradley - Bayless
Green - Pierce
Love - Sullinger
Asik - Olynyk
I'm of the opinion that Sullinger and/or Olynyk will be any deal to get Love, but it isn't out the realm of possibility that we hang on to both of them. Is that a championship calibre team? I'm not completely sold, but that is right up there with Indiana for the second best team in the Eastern Conference at least.
Rondo is going to be much better next year. It takes a full year/season for an athlete to get back to 100%. Rondo's numbers actually weren't too shabby this past season despite it being obvious he was never playing particularly hard. Rondo's a smart cat and I am firmly of the belief that he knew full well that this season was a lost cause with no chance of a championship. With that in mind I also am firmly of the belief that he took it relatively easy- he did NOT want to go through what Westbrook and Rose did with repetitive set backs. People forget Rondo is the best rebounding and best passing guard in the entire NBA and with a legitimate (not Curry, but we no longer cringe whenever he shoots it) 3 point shot now Rondo is on pace for the best season of his career. He's never going to shoot 20 times for 20 points but I think 16-12-5 with the occasional 15-20-14 triple double outburst is going to be what we'll see.
Bradley and Green last year were put in roles that they simply don't belong - leading scorers. While both can create their own shot and both have very underrated 3 point games, they are simply not go to scorers. In this current carnation of the team they can slide back into more natural roles as defensive stoppers with the ability to chip in 15 points a game. Both are capable of being in the top 98% in defensive efficiency when not taxed with trying to score every possession and carry an offense.
Love is a scorer. He is a guy you can give 20 shots and expect more points than shot attempts. Whether it being down low or is a pick and pop shooter, he is capable of giving you points in bulk along with finishing defensive stops with a high rebound rate. Furthermore and I'm sure Celtics fans can painfully remember ala 2010 Finals, it doesn't matter how good your defense was if the opponent gets an offensive rebound for a putback. Love does this as well as anyone in the league. Defense has never been great, but between Rondo, Bradley and Stevens, I think he is more than capable of simply not being a liability on the court on that end. His massive scoring and rebounding production more than makes up for his defensive issues.
Asik is a painfully obvious paring to add with Love this offseason. Ainge has constantly harped on the need to add a rim protector and Asik is by far the best available one. I've always been a fan of Asiks game since his days in Chicago and he's improved drastically since. Rebounding monster who can give you 20 rebounds any game who plays great defense both in the post and as a rim protector and rotating on defense. Athletically challenged, but won't demand shots and will make his own with offensive rebounds. Asik combined with Love would make instantly make us one of the best rebounding teams in the NBA.
The bench looks pretty solid as well. I would like more consistent three point shooting from the guards, and Pierce is on his last legs, but the second unit has three good ball handlers and all five are excellent passers. Obviously not going to be mistaken for the Spurs bench, but it's a second unit that is as good if not better than anyone elses in the Eastern Conference. KO, Sullinger, Pierce and Bayless all have the ability to go for 20 any given night and Presley is one of my favorite young players in the league and a great passing point to backup Rondo.
So what do you think?