Examining what became of the 2008 squad

In 2008, the Celtics were on top of the NBA world. The previous summer, Danny Ainge gambled by trading a myriad of prospects away for Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen, hopeful that the duo could combine with Paul Pierce and Rajon Rondo to bring a title back to Boston.

The moves obviously paid off as Boston won the 2008 championship and were arguably one or two injuries away from securing a second ring. But as the core of that championship group aged, Ainge made yet another bold move - to completely blow up the group that brought banner No. 17 to Boston.

The entire starting five of that team is now gone, as is their head coach. Five were traded (Allen walked as a free agent in 2012) as Ainge turned his eye toward the future and launched a full-on rebuilding movement. It's yet to see if that decision will yield results, but the Celtics now have a number of promising young players and a treasure trove of future draft picks.

Thanks to Chris Forsberg at ESPN, we can track exactly how each member of the 2008 starting five left Boston and what the Celtics got in return. Here's a player-by-player breakdown:

Kendrick Perkins

What remains: Tayshaun Prince, MEM first-round pick, LAC second-round pick

Perkins was the first domino to fall in the rebuilding process. On February 24, 2011 he and Nate Robinson were shipped off to Oklahoma City in exchange for Nenad Kristic and Jeff Green. Kristic played just 24 games in Boston, but Green hung around for three years before being traded himself a week ago. Green brought back a protected first-rounder from the Grizzlies, Tayshaun Prince and Austin Rivers, who was almost immediately repackaged for Shavlik Randolph and a second-round pick from the Clippers.

Perkins is a solid rotation player who has been the constant subject of trade/amnesty rumors. The Celtics hoped Green would provide some scoring punch for the aging Pierce/Allen/Garnett trio, and once that group was gone he was expected to be a key piece in the rebuilding movement. While those visions never truly materialized, Green is a talented wing whose play teased of something greater. He may have never realized his full potential in Boston, but getting some picks and cap relief back for him is a start.

Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett

What remains: Gerald Wallace, BKN 2016 and 2018 first-round picks and the right to swap in 2017, James Young (2014 first-round pick), Tyler Zeller, Marcus Thornton, 2016 CLE first-round pick, five second-round picks

The Celtics officially closed the door on the Big Three era by trading two of the foundational pieces in June of 2013, sending Pierce, Garnett and Jason Terry to the Nets in exchange for Wallace, Kris Humphries, MarShon Brooks, Keith Bogans, Kris Joseph and three future first-round picks.

This is where things get very complicated, and Forsberg's chart does a good job of sorting it all out. This trade has morphed into several others over time and has eventually netted Young (a promising rookie fighting for more playing time), Zeller, Thornton (who himself could be traded soon), three first-rounders (plus the right to swap with Brooklyn in 2018) and five second-round selections.

The full value of this trade won't be recognized for years. Waving goodbye to a franchise icon and another player instrumental to the 2008 title wasn't easy, so Ainge and company will have to nail the upcoming draft picks. But with Brooklyn coming apart at the seams (17-24 despite owning the league's highest payroll), those selections figure to be high in the draft. Turning those picks into foundational pieces is priority No. 1 in Boston's ongoing rebuild.

Doc Rivers

What remains: 2015 LAC first-round pick

Once Allen left and the Celtics entered rebuilding mode, it became clear that Rivers wanted to remain in a winning situation. Boston released the coach from the final three years of his deal in exchange for the Clippers' first-rounder in June of 2014. Los Angeles is an annual playoff team, so the pick is almost assured to be outside the lottery. But getting another asset in exchange for a coach heading out the door isn't a bad move.
Rajon Rondo

What remains: Jae Crowder, 2016 DAL first-round pick, 2016 DAL second-round pick, 2016 MIN second-round pick, 2017 MIN second-round pick

The last key component of the 2008 title team packed his bags when Boston dealt him to Dallas on Dec. 18. While Crowder is now a starter and has some promise as a 3-and-D player, Jameer Nelson and Brandon Wright have already been shipped off for more future picks. There are a bevy of protections on the Dallas pick and the Mavericks are too good to imagine that pick will be very high. But in a contract year, Rondo was likely headed out of Boston one way or the other. The Celtics at least assured themselves of getting something in return for him.

It's impossible to predict now how all these moves will pan out and whether or not they were the right decisions. But the Celtics now have several talented youngsters and enough draft picks to build a roster or repackage for a star. The rebuild is officially underway, and now Ainge must make it pay off.

Photo credit: Brian Babineau, Getty Images

Click the pic to view the full size version. Source: Ryan Bernardoni