Boston Celtics: Forecasting the C's Rotation Next Season

Nikhil BaradwajSenior Analyst IJuly 3, 2012

Boston Celtics: Forecasting the C's Rotation Next Season

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    The Boston Celtics will once again be in contention for an NBA championship next season, after they reportedly retained Kevin Garnett for the next three seasons.

    KG was outstanding during the postseason, where he averaged 19.2 points and 10.3 rebounds per game in the rugged Eastern Conference.

    With the Bulls likely being without Derrick Rose for at least half of the season and the Pacers possibly losing Roy Hibbert to the Trail Blazers, the Boston Celtics look to be the second best team behind the Miami Heat.

    That is not a bad place to be, considering that Boston was one win away from ousting Miami from the playoffs all together.

    Here is Boston's preliminary rotation for next season, with free-agent signings being taken into consideration.

Starting PG: Rajon Rondo

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    No real surprise here. Rajon Rondo elevated himself into the top three point guards in the league with his outstanding postseason play this past season.

    Rondo averaged 17.3 points, 11.9 assists and 6.7 rebounds for the Celtics during the postseason, while also getting four triple-doubles.

    With Rondo likely figuring more into the Celtics' plans for the future, look for all of those Rondo trade rumors to dissipate.

    Look for the All-Star point guard to possibly contend for an MVP trophy if he can at least average 15-11-6 and if the Celtics are among the top teams in the East.

Starting SG: Avery Bradley

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    Avery Bradley began to turn it on after the All-Star Break for Boston and took the reins as the starting shooting guard from Ray Allen.

    However, the defensive stopper was hobbled by a dislocated shoulder, which kept him out of the majority of the Philadelphia series and all of the Eastern Conference Finals.

    A healthy Bradley gives the Celtics the perimeter defender that Boston need to beat the Miami. In addition, his offensive game is improving and will definitely benefit from Rondo's elite passing.

Starting SF: Paul Pierce

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    "The Truth" returns for yet another season with the Celtics, as he comes off another All-Star season.

    Paul Pierce averaged 19.4 points, 5.2 rebounds and 4.5 assists, giving the Celtics the wing scorer that every championship team needs.

    Look for Pierce to shoulder more of the scoring load this season, with the possible loss of Ray Allen to free agency. The Celtics will need it if they want to win the East once more.

Starting PF: Jeff Green

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    Jeff Green, the biggest question mark in Boston's starting five, will need to re-establish himself as one of the better stretch-4s in the league.

    With Green coming off heart surgery, expectations will be low early on for the Georgetown product, but he needs to produce for the Celtics.

    Look for Green to start off slow in the early going but to become better as the season goes on, as he plays his first full season with Boston.

    According to CBS Sports, the Celtics intend to re-sign him.

    UPDATE: With Jason Terry close to signing with the Celtics, look for Boston to keep Brandon Bass because they will not need to sign-and-trade for Mayo. Bass would start at the power forward and Green would come off the bench playing mostly at the 3 and a little at the 4.

Starting C: Kevin Garnett

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    If the Celtics did not re-sign "The Big Ticket," it was likely time to rebuild. That is how important Kevin Garnett is to this roster.

    With KG anchoring the paint, the Celtics are one of the elite teams in the league, because of his inside-outside game and great defensive skills.

    Garnett took it to another level during the postseason, averaging almost 20-10 and keeping Boston in contention.

    He will also serve as an outstanding mentor to young big men, Jared Sullinger and Fab Melo, as they adjust to playing their first seasons in the NBA.

Sixth Man: OJ Mayo

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    This is likely the first shocker, because OJ Mayo on the Celtics would signal the end of Ray Allen's tenure.

    While I do buy that Allen will look long and hard into the Celtics two-year, $12 million proposed deal, he will ultimately sign with the Miami Heat.

    Now, how are the Celtics going to get scoring off the bench? Enter OJ Mayo.

    For this deal to occur, Boston will likely sign-and-trade Brandon Bass to the Grizzlies, therefore netting the USC product.

    Even though I would prefer the Celtics re-sign Bass and go for a cheaper scoring option, it seems as if the Celtics are very interested in Mayo and would strongly consider a sign-and-trade.

    UPDATE: According to Marc Spears of Yahoo Sports, Jason Terry is closing in on joining the Celtics. This likely ends Boston's pursuit of OJ Mayo, making the sixth man for next year's team Terry.

Role Players: Mickael Pietrus, Keyon Dooling and Chris Wilcox

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    Mickael Pietrus and Keyon Dooling were both integral parts of the Celtics magical run to the Eastern Conference Finals and will likely return.

    Both players are strong three-point shooters, while Pietrus is also a above-average defender. He has also stated that he wants to return to Boston.

    Wilcox was sidelined with a heart ailment, which kept him out of the playoffs. The Celtics need cheap big bodies, and if he is healthy enough, Boston should sign him.

Purdue Teammates: JaJuan Johnson and E'Twaun Moore

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    Both drafted in 2011, E'Twaun Moore and JaJuan Johnson did not play much during this past season.

    With Jared Sullinger, Fab Melo and likely Jeff Green into the fold, Johnson might struggle for playing time. In addition, Moore does not seem to be NBA-ready.

    Both of these players are the least likely to be on the Celtics in 2012, but their contracts are cheap enough for Boston to keep both.

Rookies: Jared Sullinger, Fab Melo and Kris Joseph

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    The Celtics either struck gold or completely failed with their first-round selection of Jared Sullinger. If he stays healthy, Boston likely netted a top-10 talent, late in the draft. He is good enough that he makes Bass expendable.

    Fab Melo is a major project because he is very raw offensively. KG will mentor Melo for the next few seasons, and the Brazilian big man will likely not figure much into the Celtics' 2012 plans.

    Joseph might be the biggest wild card of the group. At one point, he was considered to be a first-round talent, but Joseph is already 23 years old and does not have much room for growth.