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Boston Celtics 2013 Draft Preview
By Jim Brighters, NBA Editor
(Sports Network) - The Boston Celtics have a lot of players under contract and not enough talent to advance in this season's Eastern Conference playoffs.
They're in full rebuilding mode and it starts at the top.
The Celtics "traded" head coach Doc Rivers to the Los Angeles Clippers. Technically, the exchange of Rivers for a first-round pick was compensation.
With Boston in rebuild mode, will the Celtics dismantle everything?
Much of Boston's offseason plans revolve around what to do with Paul Pierce. The future Hall of Famer can be bought out of his $15,333,334 contract for just $5 million.
It may be good business to shed that kind of salary burden, but Pierce is sill a productive NBA player and an all-time Celtic. If the team moves on Pierce, Kevin Garnett could easily retire since most people believe Garnett's future is tied to Pierce.
Trading Garnett is an option. There were heavy rumors of a deal with the Clippers in the works during the season and prior to the Rivers move. The NBA won't allow a trade between the Clips and C's for Garnett now.
The other trade chip at director of basketball operations Danny Ainge's disposal is Rajon Rondo. The All-Star guard tore his ACL late in the season and has a reasonable contract. Rondo's been the subject of trade rumors for a while. He's an All-Star talent, and if the Celtics are going to rebuild, Rondo could fetch the most in return.
As for the draft, the Celtics enjoyed a great one last year. They took big men Jared Sullinger and Fab Melo. Sullinger cracked the starting lineup, then cracked his back and missed most of the season. Melo spent a good chunk of time in the D League, but both could get more minutes if Chris Wilcox isn't brought back.
The C's will still need size. Gonzaga's Kelly Olynyk could slide down to 16th, or Duke's Mason Plumlee. Louisville's Gorgui Dieng was the Big East Defensive Player of the Year and could be available.
If Boston guts the team, this pick will fall under the category of "best available player."
Players under contract: F/C: Kevin Garnett; G: Rajon Rondo; F: Jeff Green; F: Brandon Bass; G: Courtney Lee; G: Jason Terry; G: Avery Bradley; F: Jared Sullinger; C: Fab Melo; G: Jordan Crawford; F: Terrence Williams; F: Shavlik Randolph; F: D.J. White; F: Paul Pierce (player option)
Free Agents: F: Chris Wilcox
Draft History: 2012: Jared Sullinger (21), Fab Melo (22), Kris Joseph (51)
2011: MarShon Brooks (25), E'Twaun Moore (55)
2010: Avery Bradley (19), Luke Harangody (52)
2009: Lester Hudson (58)
2008: J.R. Giddens (30), Semih Erden (60)
Draft picks: 1st round (16th overall)
06/24 10:18:38 ET