The Celtics are in a complete, total and very public rebuild.
Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett, two mortal-lock Hall of Famers, were traded to Atlantic Division rivals, the Brooklyn Nets for some fill-in pieces and a bushel of first-round draft picks.
Doc Rivers, the head coach of this incarnation of a Celtics dynasty, wanted nothing to do with the rebuild and was traded to the Los Angeles Clippers for a future first-rounder.
The only things remaining in Boston are President of Basketball of Operations Danny Ainge, the parquet floor and Rajon Rondo, although more on him in a bit.
"It's a challenge and I welcome that challenge. I'm re-energized to do it again," said Ainge. "Being through it, I think the experience will help me. It's almost like I'm walking with a limp and I need surgery on my foot, and right now we're going through surgery. You hope that everything's going to be better, and I'll be able to play again."
One of the first steps in the rebuilding process was to bring fresh-faced Brad Stevens as head coach. He put Butler on the map, taking the mid-major school to consecutive national championship games and now has the task of restoring glory to the proud Celtics franchise.
"It's an honor and a privilege to be here," said Stevens.
He will need everything he can get from Rondo in order for the turn around to move at the correct speed. Problem is, Rondo is coming off surgery from a torn ACL in February and his return date is in question.
"It sounds like it would be unlikely that he would be playing at the very start of the regular season," said Stevens.
Without Rondo, the Celtics will field a roster of young players and underachieving veterans. The postseason, where the Celtics have been the last six seasons, including a NBA title in 2008 and a Finals loss two years later, seems out of reach.
In Rondo's absence (his spot should be filled by Avery Bradley), Jeff Green will handle the scoring load. First-round pick Kelly Olynyk should see plenty of action and Gerald Wallace, who came over for Pierce and Garnett, is a capable pro.
This roster has some pieces for the future, but this will not be a banner season for the men in green, a team used to hanging banners.
2012-13 Results: 41-40, 3rd in Atlantic; lost to New York in East quarterfinals.
ADDITIONS: HC Brad Stevens, C/F Kelly Olynyk, F Gerald Wallace, F/C Kris Humphries, G MarShon Brooks
PROJECTED STARTING FIVE:
PG- Avery Bradley SG- Courtney Lee SF- Jeff Green PF- Brandon Bass C- Kelly Olynyk
KEY RESERVES: F Gerald Wallace, G MarShon Brooks, F/C Kris Humphries, F Jared Sullinger
FRONTCOURT: Green had a pedestrian regular season last season, but really excelled in the playoffs. During the postseason, Green averaged 20.3 ppg, which was up almost 8.0 ppg from the regular season. He can score and shot 45 percent from three-point range in the Celtics first-round playoff exit at the hands of the New York Knicks. He is above-average, but, for a team rebuilding, he is scheduled to make $27,855,000 over the next three years. That's a pretty steep price for someone with a heart condition.
Bass is a banger with a very good mid-range jump shot. He is filling time for Olynyk, who may translate into a power forward at this level.
Olynyk was taken 13th by the Dallas Mavericks and traded to Boston. His offensive game should transition smoothly to the professional level as he can score many different ways, both with his back to the basket, or facing up. Olynyk notched 25 points in his summer league debut in Orlando. His defense will be a problem. He's not quick enough or strong enough.