It's hard to assess the moves the Celtics are making. My basic reaction, so far, is that it looks like Brad Stevens is asserting himself. He wants tough, scrappy players who are not committed to a particular position. I don't see any vision beyond that. It's hard to tell how Rondo may fit into this. It really looked like Rondo was going to be traded, but somehow that didn't happen. I've seen a joke floating around on twitter that Rondo is headed to the HOF for surviving more trade rumors than any other player in history. That seems to get at the heart of the matter.
As far as I can tell, Danny has no vision whatsoever. Everything he does is either patchwork, or it's rolling the dice. He clearly has a love for players whose career path is troubled for some reason. That is probably the most appealing thing about Danny. So he does seem to have a passion. But vision? I'd say that there is no evidence that Danny has any vision. Danny's guiding light seems to be a negative one: that loyalty to players is a bad thing.
So, with Smart, we get a little bit of what Danny loves ( a player with a chequered background) and what Brad loves (a tough kid who is active and is not committed to a position). I could see a backcourt of Rondo, Bradley and Smart being dynamite. I don't believe, though, that the Celtics brass has any such vision. As I said, I think Danny has no vision, and Stevens barely has any. Rondo seems to have tried to articulate a vision, but this seems to have gone unheeded. If the Celtics were intrigued by a scenario where three ferocious guards keyed the team, as in AB-Rondo-Smart, that might be a fun idea to build a team around, but indications are that Rondo is probably on the Ainge Express and Bradley is not going to be resigned. One might even say that the Celtics come off these days as rather cheap. One might go so far as to say that it looks like we might be tanking again. Is that the vision then? Another tank job?
A few years ago, Danny's main idea seemed to be to become like the Heat. Now Stevens' guiding idea seems to be to be like the Spurs. You would think we didn't have one of the most brilliant pgs in a long time on the team. Can't we come up with some kind of creative ideas for the team considering who we have running things on the court?
I still expect Rondo to be traded. Sacramento looks like the best place for him to go. If he stays in Boston, maybe he will be motivated by the arrival of Smart to raise his game the way his fans have been expecting for years. Maybe that was even the idea behind drafting Smart. Right now, I just hope Rondo keeps working harder than ever before, on every aspect of his game, without regard to where he may be going. Heinsohn mentioned again that one of the keys is that Rondo needs to play more uptempo. I think that is something that should be part of any vision for next year, if Rondo is involved. Wherever Rondo ends up, he should play more uptempo.