The national basketball association is a star driven league. The team with the best player on the court is most likely to win a given game or series. This attribute is well known and well documented. However, it is also not an absolute and does not live in isolation devoid of other influencing factors.
For example, three stars matched up against one super-star (best player in the league) can be victorious. Just look at the 2008 Celtics.
Another example, five All-star caliber players that fit perfectly matched up against teams with star players can be victorious. Just look at the 2005 Pistons.
One thing that is often overlooked in the star-driven-league mentality is the influence of injuries. Doesn't matter if you have the MVP on your team, if he's hurt, you're not going to get where you want to go. Just ask Chicago.
All of this brings me to my point, which is the possibly undervalued idea of building the (by far) best bench in the league. I think the Celtics have a lot of the right pieces, they just happened to be thrown into starting roles this season.
Where would this bench line up in the NBA? You have 5 scorers who in total produced 60 points on average throughout this past season. Thats a lot of scoring. Plus you have to very good defenders in Avery & Brandon on the floor. Olynyk stretched the floor, and Bass has been able to guard 5s when asked. The question then becomes, who do you replace on the front line in order to make these 5 your bench guys.
Right now there is Rondo & Sullinger as your two starters currently on the team. Could Ainge pull off the necessary trades to bring in a starting SG, SF and Center? It could be done.
One possible set of trades that I could see happening is this:
1. Trade Wallace & Celtics 1st pick (Exum) to Orlando for Afflalo
2. Sign & Trade Humphries, Clippers and Philly pick to Houston for Asik
3. Trade the 2014 and 2016 BKN picks with Bogans non-guarenteed to Utah for a S&T of Gordon Hayward.
You can argue with these moves, but that's not the point. The point is that the Celtics frontline for 2014 would be:
AND, almost as importantly, the bench would be:
Whatever the plan is, I think the Celtics have the pieces to build one of the deepest teams in the NBA. This depth could be the difference between an early playoff exit next year or a deep playoff run.