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The Celtics' moves in free agency depend largely on whether or not they choose to bring back the core of Garnett, Pierce and Rivers, which we'll obviously discuss later, so it's difficult to create a plan for free agency with their futures still in question.
Should the three return to Beantown, that would leave the Celtics with some pretty limited options. Guys like Will Bynum, Marco Belinelli or Leandro Barbosa would all make inexpensive, low-risk additions to the roster.
In the frontcourt, Boston could gamble on a mercurial talent like Andray Blatche or a battle-tested veteran like Kenyon Martin or Samuel Dalembert. None of them are going to transform the team, but their size and rebounding abilities would help plug the Celtics' hole in the paint.
If the C's opt to blow up the roster and rebuild, they have some far more intriguing options. They could pursue a top-shelf big man like Al Jefferson or Josh Smith, or target an up-and-coming wing player like O.J. Mayo or Tyreke Evans, who could potentially grow alongside the team's young core of Rajon Rondo, Jeff Green, Avery Bradley and Jared Sullinger.
Given the team's lack of size and athleticism, pursuing Josh Smith may be the best option if they decide to rebuild the franchise. He has the highest ceiling of any top-shelf free agent available besides Chris Paul and Dwight Howard and would give the Celtics a dominant athlete and finisher to run the floor alongside Rondo, Bradley and Green.
Smith is not always a brilliant decision-maker, but he has a phenomenally versatile skill set on both ends of the floor and is coming off of a 2012-13 season in which he averaged 17.5 points, 8.4 rebounds, 4.2 assists and 1.8 blocks per game on 46.5 percent shooting from the floor.
He still needs to cut down on the jumpers, but there is no denying what Smith would bring to Boston as an interior scorer, rebounder and shot-blocker.
Plugging Josh Smith at the power forward spot would solve the C's issue at the 4 for years to come and give them a formidable forward tandem of Green and J-Smoove to build around. If they could snag a decent young center either through free agency or a trade they could be set up to contend again sooner than anyone expects.