This is a roster of trade chips. Yes, they are human beings and they are Celtics so we will root for them and enjoy watching them develop and grow. But the cold reality is that at some point a good number of them - maybe even most of them - will be moving on to other places. Either by trade, free agency, or whatever (retirement? falling out of the league?).
Avery Bradley is the latest question mark because he did not come to an extension agreement with the Celtics by last night's deadline. This wasn't unexpected since the Celtics still hold the right to match any offer he gets next summer and maintain cap flexibility all year long. Still, you have to wonder if he's more likely to be traded at some point this year so they don't have to overpay to get value for him.
To a lesser extent the same could be said for Crawford, Brooks, Bogans, and Humphries. All are unrestricted free agents after this year none seems to be in the long term plans. So if they have any value at all (even as expiring contracts) then Ainge would be wise to see if he can move them.
A large chunk of our salary cap (over $30M per) is tied up over the next few years with contracts for Gerald Wallace, Jeff Green, Brandon Bass, and Courtney Lee. Nobody would be surprised to see a couple of those guys go via trade - with Bass seeming like the most likely to go. However, one or more of them might be around for a long time simply because we won't find anyone to take their salary for a reasonable package in return.
Then there's the "kids." Sullinger, Olynyk, Pressey, and Faverani each seem to be long term guys, especially since they are cheep and/or cost controlled for the time being. But you never know who a team might demand to be part of a trade package.
Finally there's Rajon Rondo, who will be part of a whole lot of trade rumors this winter (or at least speculation) but might end up outlasting them all. He's by far our best player and his unique skillset is both attractive and off-putting to teams. Other teams have reservations and questions about Rondo that drive down the price they're willing to pay to trade for him. I think that Ainge really does understand his value and won't sell him for 75% of his worth just to move him. With all that said, Rondo will be a free agent two summers from now and you never know what can happen.
The Celtics own a lot of draft picks over the next few years. Right now, the guy that the Celtics select with the last of the Nets picks (from the Pierce/KG trade) is probably sitting in middle school classes. He's probably got posters of current players on his wall. Maybe even one of Rondo. But who will be there to greet him in Boston 5 years from now?
Just food for thought.
(Bonus question: who will be the first to become an ex-Celtic?)