How the Celtics can fill the void left by Rondo's injury

Rondo’s absence has left a big hole in the Celtics’ roster and the question on everyone’s mind is: What do they do now?

Free agents:

ESPN’s Jackie MacMullan brought up Keyon Dooling's name as a possible replacement in the short term, but said Danny Ainge has already nixed that idea. She also suggested bringing Delonte West back into the fold, as he is currently a free agent, but shot that idea down citing his past issues with Doc Rivers and why he wasn't already a Celtic.

Other notable free agents who could be serviceable are Mike Bibby, Ben Uzoh, Jonny Flynn and Gilbert Arenas, but again, these guys aren't on teams for a reason.


Yahoo! Sports’ Adrian Wojnaroski made a strong argument against “blowing up” the roster by pretty much saying Ainge can’t because no team is going to offer anything useful for aging stars Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett. He rightly points out that in today’s NBA, teams don’t trade valuable future assets for stars in their mid-30s just so they can get that much closer to winning a title.

Trading Rondo for a slew of young players and draft picks is one thing, but for guys eyeing retirement it is quite another.

With that in mind, the Celtics can still make some smaller trades to try and bolster the roster for this year and make a real push in the playoffs. One name that has cropped up is Kyle Lowry.

The 26-year-old point guard is averaging 13.5 ppg 5.8 apg 4.5 rpg with a PER of 21.32 for Toronto. There has been much talk around the league that the Raptors would like to move one of their two point guards and are leaning towards keeping Jose Calderon.

Lowry is only under contract until next year, so if Rondo’s recovery takes longer than hoped the team is still in a good spot. The issue, as most issues with Boston involving a trade, is what Boston would have to give up to get him.

A straight up trade for Brandon Bass would work financially, but from a basketball perspective it makes no sense for the Raptors to even take that phone call.

A package of Courtney Lee and Fab Melo also works and is at least a conversation starter as Lee can fill in as a defensive minded shooting guard for the Raptors as their rookie, Terrence Ross continues to grow. But Lee and Melo are still not enough. Toronto would have to get a draft pick or two to sweeten the pot, and even that doesn't seem like it will rent Lowry's services.

Avery Bradley or Jared Sullinger could get the deal done, but that's mortgaging the future for a guy you don't plan to keep very long.

Use what you have:

The most likely option, for the immediate future anyway, will be to give one of the other Celtics guards a bigger responsibility. Doc and Ainge have both said Leandro Barbosa will see more minutes, but my money is on Lee. He can play defense and has been known to make a jumper here and there. Avery Bradley as the point guard just doesn’t sit right. His ball handling isn’t the most beautiful thing to behold and he works much better as a cutter instead of a facilitator.

Whatever Doc and Ainge decide to do, the one thing that is certain is Rondo’s injury has left a major gap in this roster that needs to be addressed. I don’t envy their task in trying to fill it.

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