What do we do now? Mannix thinks Celtics have been on the right track

Photo credit: Greg M. Cooper/USA TODAY Sports
When you're on the verge of entering the 7th year of a three-year plan, hearing the same question over and over again might become mind numbing. However, this is the year when the most difficult decisions will be made due to factors such as Pierce's contract, Garnett's surgeries/potential retirement and Rondo's return from ACL injury that come into play. There'll be talk of rebuilding through draft (which I believe would be the worst decision a big market team makes), blowing it up, letting people go and signing free agents... However, what Danny Ainge has been doing so far is smart: Try to get something for your superstars, and if not, just let them play to a crowd. Chris Mannix of SI agrees with that notion:

“I would do exactly what Danny’s been doing to this point,” added Mannix. “If you can trade one of them and get a lot in return, get something that you know is going to help reboot your franchise, do it. If not, hold onto them and just play this thing out, wait for their contracts to expire and play with the flexibility then.”

If you haven't noticed, the Celtics have already been rebuilding: Rondo-Bradley-Green-Sullinger is a young and athletic starter pack with very good potential. You'd have to mine a bit further, get a good big and you have a contender for at least the ECF, and nobody knows what the future holds for the Heat (they'll have a huge headache to deal with come 2014-15 thanks to the new CBA, their Big 3's contracts and LeBron's rumored return to Cleveland). If Garnett and Pierce return to play their contracts out, this team can still provide entertainment value given the state of the Eastern Conference. If you get anything of value in return for their contracts, even better for rebuilding:

You can’t tell me that if Boston had [Rajon] Rondo and [Jared] Sullinger and got something from Darko Milicic this year, that Boston wouldn’t be beating New York right now and moving on. I firmly believe that. (...) I think Danny should keep doing what he’s doing. I think you go out there, you shop Pierce, you shop Garnett, you see if you get a Bledsoe-Jordan type of offer for them that you can pull the trigger on and that Garnett would [willingly] accept.
Barring that, you bring these guys back. You hope Rondo is healthy. You add to your roster with good draft picks, which Danny’s been pretty good at over the last couple years, and you add some minor free agents, like they’ve done with Jason Terry and Courtney Lee and going back a way, James Posey.

As Bohemian and Mike Dyer explained in detail yesterday, that is what the Celtics can realistically do anyway. The Celtics are sort of in a win-win situation due to their successful recent draft picks, yet unfortunately they can only reap the full benefits of that in a few years time.

Until then, we can only hope to have a Cinderella story, and if not, watch this team fight and give us good memories.