ithith Rondo’s return will be welcomed by the Celtics.
The summer represented the end of an era for the Boston Celtics, and as they begin a rebuilding process they will be keeping an eager eye on Rajan Rondo’s recovery.
A year on from Ray Allen’s departure for the Miami Heat, the exodus of the veterans continued this offseason with Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Jason Terry also leaving in a trade deal to join Eastern Conference rivals the Brooklyn Nets.
In addition, the Celtics also lost coach Doc Rivers as he ventures to the West Coast with the Los Angeles Clippers, and is replaced by Butler College’s Brad Stevens who will enter his rookie season under pressure to live up to his expectations.
While Boston have acquired the likes of Gerald Wallace, Kris Humphries, Keith Bogans, MarShon Brooks and Kris Joseph as well as drafting the talented Kelly Olynyk, it will be a difficult transitional period as they build for the future.
General manager Danny Ainge also obtained three future first round draft picks in the trade deal with the Nets, and there is a sense that they will take whatever they can this season.
With Rondo ruled out with his knee injury until mid-way through the season, much of the early responsibility will fall on the shoulders of Jeff Green and young stars such as Avery Bradley and Olynyk to deliver immediately.
There is unlikely to be much pressure on the Celtics as a whole in terms of challenging the top teams in the East, although they will still be eyeing one of the final play-off spots.
Much will depend on what Stevens can extract from the talent he has at his disposal, but it is clear that it will be a struggle for them to recover and move forward after such big losses.
As a result, expect the Celtics to perhaps do better than expected but it will take a significant effort all round if they are to extend their year into the post-season.