The Celtics aren't the only team looking to dismantle their roster and build it back up with fresh faces. The Phoenix Suns (under the leadership of former assistant GM Ryan McDonough) are rebuilding and the Philadelphia 76ers (under new GM Sam Hinkie) are pretty unabashedly tanking and adding future assets along the way.
The Suns big move was to deal Luis Scola, but that's not all they did.
In golden boy GM Ryan McDonough's first month with the Phoenix Suns, he has already pulled off three very well received trades (including trading up one spot in the NBA draft). In doing so he has effectively turned Jared Dudley, Luis Scola, and a 2014 second round draft pick into Eric Bledsoe, Caron Butler, Miles Plumlee, Gerald Green, Malcolm Lee and a 2014 first round draft pick. But he's not done yet.
Look for them to try to move Marcin Gortat and (if they can) Michael Beasley. The former seems much more likely than the latter and they may have to waive Beas with the stretch provision if they really want him off the roster badly enough.
For those asking about Gortat for the Celtics, I don't really think that's in the plans unless they plan on being a contender sooner than later. He's in that Brandon Bass class where he's too good for a rebuilding team and a good fit on a team that just needs a few good support pieces to their established core.
Meanwhile in Philly, they let Andrew Bynum walk as a free agent and they traded their only All Star for a couple of picks on draft night.
The Sixers traded Jrue Holiday, an all-star point guard, and acquired the rights to rookie center Nerlens Noel in a deal with the New Orleans Pelicans on draft night. They also received the Pelicans' 2014 first-round pick, which is protected from picks one through five, for Holiday and a second-round pick (42d overall) in this year's draft. The Sixers acquired Royce White, who has an expiring contract, and the rights to Turkish star Furkan Aldemir in a trade with the Houston Rockets for future considerations.
Their next move appears to be to use their cap space to make deals to acquire additional future assets. For example, if the Celtics wanted to "dump" a salary without having to cut young players off the roster, they could make an unbalanced deal with a team like the 76ers.
The 76ers wouldn't want any part of Gerald Wallace because of his age and the 3 years left on his large deal. But I'd imagine they'd listen if the Celtics were to sweeten the pot with one of our future first round picks or a promising young player like Bradley or Sullinger. My guess is that none of those scenarios are on the table since the Celtics are in acquiring mode as well.
It is more likely that the Sixers could take a guy like Courtney Lee in exchange for nothing (or perhaps a future, heavily protected 2nd rounder, which is essentially nothing). The nice side effect is that a trade like that would give us another one of those traded player exceptions. The downside is giving up a player of Lee's potential for next to nothing.
I'd prefer to dump Jordan Crawford on the Sixers or another team with some kind of cap space. In essence we could trade him for nothing. We could include in the deal enough money for a team to pay his entire salary and then the team would have the choice of having him for free or waiving him at zero cost. I suppose a team would need some incentive to do so, so maybe you could include a 2nd round pick or the right to swap 2nd rounders in the future.
Anyway, it is interesting to see other teams with similar goals going about their business. No team is the same and the Celtics certainly have a different situation, but the general plan is the same. Trade current veteran stars for draft picks and promising young players. Acquire future assets at the expense of near future success. Draft position is a byproduct of this plan, if not an intended consequence. Who will build the best future team? That remains to be seen.