Entering the 2012 version of the NBA draft tonight, the Boston Celtics have more work to do than they have in some time. The emphasis Doc Rivers and Danny Ainge must put on finding new faces for their franchise is more important now that the era of the big three in Boston is over.
While the Celtics don't have a top 10, or even a lottery, pick they are fortunate to have multiple picks in the first round of what is considered to be a deep draft. Surpassed that, the Celtics don't really need to be picking in the top five because they are looking to build a supporting cast for Rajon Rondo rather than rebuild the whole roster.
Rondo and Avery Bradley are the two remaining starters from last season who are guaranteed their spots in the starting lineup entering this year. Paul Pierce will also likely be a starter, but he could be traded or turned into a sixth man.
Bradley and Rondo are the team's cornerstones for this rebuilding process and will be set at both guard positions.
Depending on the development of E'Twuan Moore, a guard who the Celtics drafted last season in the second round, the Celtics may feel comfortable to be set with their front court completely for this draft. They certainly don't need to draft a point guard, as Bradley and Rondo can playing the postiion, and Keyon Dooling could be retained as a backup at shooting guard.
Along with Moore, Jajuan Johnson, the team's first round pick from a year ago, is hoping to play a greater role this season and he showed flashes in his limited action last year. Johnson is a prospect at power forward who the Celtics like, but if they don't bring back Brandon Bass and/or Jeff Green, then there is definitely a need at the position.
The Celtics two greatest needs are obvious however.
Royce White has already been linked with the team as a small forward to ultimately replace Paul Pierce. White is considered a perfect fit with Rajon Rondo as he is a very athletic player with the ability to run the court and get to the rim.
White would offer the Celtics a new dimension to Paul Pierce who is essentially a spot up shooter at this stage in his career.
A small forward would be nice, but it's possible that the Celtics add two players who can fill their greatest need. As soon as Kevin Garnett was forced to play center last season, and despite his success at the position, it became clear that the Celtics needed new talent in the paint.
For all Garnett's talent, he was/is not the long-term answer and Greg Stiemsma is a role player opposed to a long-term prospect to start. Much like they had with Kendrick Perkins, the Celtics need to acquire a presence inside who can dominate the paint and shore up their defense.
Picking at the stage they are picking, the Celtics won't get an instant difference maker at center on both ends of the court, but they could easily find a defensive stalwart to anchor their own paint. Don't be surprised to see a player like Fab Melo going to the Celtics in the first round of this draft as he offers the team a talented big to complement what the Celtics already have in place.Cian Fahey writes for the Guardian, Irishcentral, Steelersdepot and FFBLife. You can find him on twitter @Cianaf.