Rajon Rondo isn't untouchable.
Beginning the long journey back to contention, the Boston Celtics don't have to hold on to their leading man.
Retaining the 27-year-old gives them someone to build around, but also comes with its stipulations. Working his way back from a partial ACL tear, Rondo isn't necessarily the face of the future.
In less than three years, he'll be 30. What if the Celtics aren't ready to contend by then?
Assuming he's healthy, he'll still be dropping dimes at a high level in a few years. The bulk of the prime of his career, however, will have been spent enduring losing, a not-so-glorious sensation he's never been consistently exposed to.
Staring an extensive rebuild in the face, Rondo and the Celtics could decide to part ways. According to Ken Berger of CBS Sports, teams have already come calling in hopes that's what Boston will decide to do.
But Danny Ainge won't simply give the four-time All-Star away. He capitalized off the Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett's departures to the best of his ability, and if it comes to that, he will do the same with Rondo.
Boston isn't in a position to furnish its roster with a superstar not prepared to stick out the next two to four years either. A natural desire to win could steer the Celtics toward trading Rondo.
And if they do, there will be a covey of teams ready and willing to usher in a Rondo era of their own, in hopes that he could transform them into the most dangerous of title contenders.