With the Boston Celtics eliminated from the postseason earlier than expected at the start of the year, the franchise could now be scrambling to throw together a competitive roster for the 2019-20 NBA season.
The Celtics are not in the worst shape because of the collection of young players they possess, but their situation is far from ideal.
Because they are searching for improvements, the Celtics have been linked with some of the league's top players in trade discussions.
While the Celtics are one of the top teams being mentioned on the rumor mill, they are not the only ones discussed. Issues in Houston have been reported on at length since its elimination from the NBA playoffs, and they have continued recently.
Latest Trade Buzz
According to The Athletic's Jordan Brenner, Bradley Beal is reportedly a prime option for the Celtics if Irving leaves.
Most reports have Irving headed to Brooklyn after he opted out of his contract with the Celtics, which means they should be in the market for a new star guard.
Beal is stuck in a tough situation in Washington, as the Wizards are clinging to some hope that they can contend for a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.
But with John Wall out long term with an Achilles injury and Washington already showing that it is willing to do away with a top player in Otto Porter, a trade for Beal might come at the perfect time for Boston.
Beal is coming off his best season in the NBA, as he averaged 25.6 points, 5.5 assists, five rebounds and 1.5 steals per game.
The increase in production plus Beal's overall skill set make him an ideal trade candidate given the situation in Washington.
In order to pull off a deal for a superstar of Beal's caliber, the Celtics would likely have to give up one of their young stats to make the trade worth it for the Wizards.
While it might cost Jaylen Brown or Jayson Tatum to get a trade for Beal done, the Celtics wouldn't have to give all their young core.
The other glaring need on Boston's roster at the moment is at center.
According to A. Sherrod Blakely of NBC Sports Boston, Oklahoma City's Steven Adams is on Boston's radar, but it is unclear where that potential move falls on their list of priorities.
Oklahoma City could command a solid haul of players and picks back for Adams so they do not disappear from the Western Conference playoff race.
Currently, the Celtics have Robert Williams, Guerschon Yabusele, Daniel Theis and Grant Williams as their paint players.
If nothing comes together on the trade or free-agent markets, the Celtics could cobble together a frontcourt unit based on potential, but no long-term experience.
That is why Adams, who averaged 13.9 points and 9.5 rebounds per game last season, is such an intriguing option to the Celtics.
Not only would New Zealander bring an experienced hand to the paint, he would take some pressure off the scorers in other parts of the court.
But the decision-making process for the Celtics involves how much they would be willing to give up in a potential deal for Adams.
It would make sense from Oklahoma City's perspective to demand a package built around either Brown or Tatum, but Boston might not be willing to part ways with the young players.
The reported dysfunction inside the Houston locker room has been reported on at length since the Rockets exited the postseason at the hands of the Golden State Warriors.
Paul hit back at those rumors Sunday, as he told Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle that he never asked for a trade.
"I never asked for a trade," Paul said. "I never demanded a trade.
"I'll be in Houston," Paul said. "I'm happy about that. I'm very happy about that. I'm good.”
It makes sense for Paul to stay in Houston with the Western Conference becoming more of a wide-open race due to the injuries suffered by the Golden State Warriors.
As long as Paul and Harden stay healthy, they would once again have one of the top teams in the West and could go head-to-head with Davis, LeBron James and the Lakers.
From Houston's perspective, it does not make sense to trade Paul unless his relationship with Harden is damaged beyond belief, and if you go by the guard's comments Sunday, that is far from the case.
Follow Joe on Twitter, @JTansey90.
Statistics obtained from Basketball Reference.