2013-2014 NBA Season Preview: Beginning in Boston, Where The Celtics Are Starting Over

The Boston Celtics are back and looking to add...

The Boston Celtics are back and looking to add to the 16 NBA Championship banners hanging at the TD Banknorth Garden. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

With NBA camp set to break in a little over a month, this is the perfect time to look into Jockstrap Journal’s crystal ball and predict how much success each team will have. This will be an ongoing series, with new team stories and reports as camp approaches. We begin with the Celtics…

Key Additions: Keith Bogans, MarShon Brooks, Kim Kardashian (Kris Humphries, above), Gerald Wallace’s abysmal contract, and Brad Stevens.

Key Subtractions: Kevin Garnett, Jason Terry, Paul Pierce, and Doc Rivers.

Key Draft Picks: Kelly Olynyk, Phil Pressey, and Colton Iverson

3 Stars: Their 3 biggest off-season headlines.

3rd Star: What to do with Rajon Rondo?

2nd Star: Celtics hire Brad Stevens to replace Doc Rivers.

Coach Brad Stevens

Coach Brad Stevens (Photo credit: bradjward)

1st Star: Celtics trade Garnett, Pierce, Terry to Nets in attempt to blow up the old team and rebuild.

Notes: The Boston Celtics had enough with the seasoned vets and decided those elders had overstayed their welcome. Out with the old and in with the new. There is quite a bit of nostalgia when you have to blow up a championship and give up the captain of your team (Paul Pierce).

While some will question Danny Ainge’s loyalty for his players, he traded away his team’s core for good reason. For example, take a look at the Dallas Mavericks, a team that desperately needs to blow it up. Mark Cuban’s extreme love for Dirk Nowitzki has put the franchise in a state where they are neither a good nor a bad team, thus will waste the remaining of Dirk’s prime in NBA purgatory. “Not bad enough to take but not good enough to make a serious run” is a bland state to be in. The Mavs are exactly what the Celtics were close to becoming until Ainge decided to blow it up. The Celtics in return now have four first-round picks to work with in the coming years and oodles of cap space. However, if the Celtics want to really go all-in with this rebuilding, they are going to need to ditch Rajon Rondo.

3 Potential Rondo trades

Trade 1: Rondo and Gerald Wallace to the Dallas Mavericks for Shawn Marion’s expiring contract, Shane Larkin, Ricky Ledo, and two first-round picks.

Why this trade works? The Celts get a blue-chip point guard in Shane Larkin who they can develop with the rest of their young players. They also receive Ricky Ledo, a player with superior offensive talent and could be one of the draft’s hidden gems. The Celtics also receive some cap relief by exchanging Wallace’s awful contract for an expiring and they pick up two picks in the process. Dallas receives the point guard they have yearned for since 3 years back, when they had a Jason Kidd who could walk on his own. With Rondo, the Mavericks’ backcourt of Rondo and Monte Ellis could be very dynamic.

Trade 2: Rondo and Gerald Wallace to the Rockets for Omer Asik, Patrick Beverly, Chandler Parsons, and two second-round picks.

Why this trade works? The Rockets get an all-star point guard to feed the ball to Dwight Howard and James Harden and form a scary big three that can contend for a title. The Celtics get a formidable big in Asik, a solid third guard in Patrick Beverley, and Chandler Parsons, who is already a stud. While many Rockets fans love Parsons, the fact is that he is a free agent next summer and you will not be able to afford the massive offer sheet he will inevitably sign. Here, the Rockets actually get value for Parsons.

Trade 3: Rondo and Gerald Wallace to the Detroit Pistons for Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Tony Mitchell, Rodney Stuckey’s expiring, Charlie Villanueva’s expiring, and a future pick.

Why this trade works? The rebuilding Celtics get two formidable prospects coming out of this years draft (KCP and Tony Mitchell), ready to marinate in Brad Stevens’ system (and they will marinate). The Celtics also receive two contracts that will total to about $18 million in expiring contracts, which allows the Celtics to splurge next offseason (in a legendary free-agent class I might add). Give me a call Danny Ainge, I’ve got some suggestions!

Outlook: The Celtics are by no stretch of the imagination a contender this season. However, if they hold on to Rondo and follow Brad Stevens’ lead, the Celtics will not be that bad this season. While this season might seem bleak, the future is bright with Stevens as top dog. Can you name one player other then Shelvin Mack and Gordon Hayward on Stevens’ back-to-back final four teams? Well neither can I. With buckets of money ready to be spent next offseason and a lottery pick in arguably the deepest draft class ever, the Celtics’ rebuilding stage may not take that long after all.

Predicted Record: 35-47, missing playoffs.