The plan all along was pretty clear. Try to recreate the summer of 2007 with Rondo being the Paul Pierce piece and someone like Kevin Love being the KG. That didn't fly and it seems less likely that another player of that magnitude will be available soon. So the team is shifting gears and (according to multiple reports) looking to trade Rajon Rondo.
The key element here is that there has apparently been a change in thinking behind the scenes that is affecting how the Celtics approach the next two months and beyond. Sources are telling the Herald that the reality of the marketplace seems to be setting in as regards to Rondo, leading to the belief the Celts could get less than they hoped — or maybe nothing at all — for the four-time All-Star point guard on the last year of his contract.
We knew this was a potential issue. If the rebuild lasted longer than expected, Rondo might not want to stick around this summer. So the team could lose him for nothing (again, if Rondo is willing to give up a lot of money in guaranteed salary).
Bulpett also sites sources that indicate that the Celtics aren't sure if they want to offer him the max this summer. This is a point that Bill SImmons has been insisting for months.
So it sounds like they are going to try to move him, but they won't do it for pieces that bog down the cap in future years. There will be no more Gerald Wallace contracts coming this way. Bulpett makes it clear that the Celtics would rather let him walk than take a bad deal.
But all that is just leverage at this point. This is starting to have the air of inevitability to it. When Woj, Stein, Bulpett, Grande, and others are all reporting the same thing, I think you have to believe it.
As Grande pointed out in his interview on Celtics Beat, there's a good chance that the package that the Celtics get in return isn't going to be what fans (like me) would consider "fair value." That's a big reason why I never wanted to trade him in the first place, but if the Celtics feel like they have to, then that's where we're at. We will likely be getting a solid young player, at least one first round pick, and cap filler. Not exactly the fast-track building blocks to contention, but it is better than nothing I suppose.
If Rondo is gone, then I would expect the team to move on Jeff Green and Brandon Bass before the trade deadline as well. Then the focus will be completely on young player development, scouting the college game, and counting the days till the lottery.
When Pierce and Garnett were traded and Rondo was not, there was an underlying feeling that the other shoe had not yet dropped. We might be seeing it drop in the next few days or weeks.