After years and years of Rajon Rondo rumors, a deal was finally completed Thursday night that ended his career in Celtics green. It is the end of an era, and sets the Celtics on course for a complete rebuild.
We have covered the trade in great detail, but now let's take a look at what the future holds. Who's next?
According to Adrian Wojnarowski and Marc Spears at Yahoo, it could be Jeff Green.
"Boston has been consistently shopping forward Jeff Green, trying to acquire a package that includes a first-round draft pick, sources said."
The Celtics seem to be holding out hope for a first rounder, but Chris Mannix at SI seems to think that is a pipe dream.
Mannix on @Toucherandrich on getting a 1st round pick for Green: "That's wishful thinking. More likely to get spare parts"— Jay O (@MrTrpleDouble10) December 19, 2014
Jeff Green is having a career year. He is averaging 19.6 points a game on 45.4% from the field and a true shooting percentage of 56.5%. Green is an attractive target and almost a third of the league has been rumored to be interested. However, interest does not always lead to big offers, as Mannix opined yesterday.
Boston still interested in moving Jeff Green, though there is less urgency there. Early offers have not been compelling, per a source.— Chris Mannix (@ChrisMannixSI) December 18, 2014
The Celtics are in no rush to trade Green, and they shouldn't be. Danny Ainge believed this was the best time to trade Rondo, but that doesn't mean it's the right time to trade Green. There are no teams offering Danny's asking price yet, but as we get closer to the deadline, maybe a team will find Green's 20 points a night enticing enough to up the ante.
We have covered this before, but Green's contract situation makes dealing him a little tricky. He either can opt out this summer and be a free agent, or opt in and wait until the summer of 2016 to be a free agent. Green without question would get a big deal this summer, somewhere in the neighborhood of Chandler Parsons' 3 year $46 million deal, so it seems opting out after this year would be his best option. At the same time, with the cap rising after 2015-16, it's not out of the realm of possibility that Green would wait to sign a long term deal that summer. A team trading for Green would obviously want to know Green's thinking before they decided to make a move.
Green will probably be dealt, but I don't expect a deal any time soon, as Danny Ainge has until February to make his pick of the best offer. Hopefully as the season rolls along, a team with a need on the wing will offer up a first rounder for Green. If not, the Celtics might have to accept a couple 2nd rounders and a young player, which I think they would. By trading away Rondo, the Celtics appear to be headed back to the lottery, so they might as well get something for Green rather than letting him walk for nothing.
While it might take until February for Green to leave Boston, Brandon Bass should probably already have his bags packed. Bass has been the consummate professional here in Boston since he arrived in Decmeber of 2011 in the trade for Big Baby. He has been a great role model for young players and hasn't complained about his minutes decreasing this season or the fact he signed to play for a contender in 2012 and instead has been playing for a team in rebuild mode.
At this point, trading Bass has less to do with the return and more with opening up minutes for all the big men on the roster. With the acquisition of Brandan Wright, the Celtics now have four young bigs that they have to find playing time for. Tyler Zeller will miss playing with Rondo, but he has shown that he is certainly a rotation big in the NBA. Kelly Olynyk and Jared Sullinger have shown improvement this season, and the best way to continue that improvement is to give them more minutes.
I think the Celtics will aggressively search out any return for Bass. He would be a great fit on any team in pursuit of the playoffs, as he is productive whenever he is on the court, has a tremendous work ethic and won't create waves in the locker room. The Celtics won't get much back for Bass, but creating the playing time is paramount. He should be easy to move as he only makes a little under $7 million and his deal expires after this year.
Those are the two main guys who I see the Celtics moving in the next couple months. That doesn't mean, however, that it couldn't be someone else on the roster that is the next to go.
Marcus Thornton would be a great scorer off the bench for many teams, but he will be tougher to move with his deal at $8.5 million. The Celtics would love to rid themselves of Gerald Wallace's contract, but it seems unlikely any team would take on his deal at this point. Evan Turner has had some nice moments this season, but it might take teams a little more time before they are ready to pull the trigger after seeing what happened in Indiana last year. Jameer Nelson signed to play for a playoff contender in Dallas, so he will surely be less than thrilled to join a rebuilding Celtics squad. He could certainly also be on the move at the deadline.
No one, not even Danny Ainge, knows what this roster will look like by the end of the season. All we can do is trust the GM to make the right moves. He did it in 2008 - let's hope he can do it again.