By first allowing Doc Rivers out of his generous $21 million contract, then trading Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett to the division rival Brooklyn Nets, the Boston Celtics have officially entered a harsh rebuild that some might say is long overdue.
Armed with nine unprotected first-round draft picks over the next five years and several young assets still on their rookie contracts, Boston has decided to forgo playoff basketball in the short term for possible championship contention a few years down the line.
Thus, the Celtics have effectively removed their name from the free-agency hunt. Boston won't be interested in adding long-term money to its books, especially when it comes to paying big-name, big-money players who've never even made an All-Star team, like Josh Smith, Al Jefferson or Paul Millsap.
Due to either their inexpensive cost or obvious upside, here are five players who could help Boston rebuild more quickly than anyone thought possible. They're ranked in no particular order.