In response to davidap's comment:
Yes, if Rondo accepts less money, but not for 11m per year because according to the rules, Rondo has to get a salary increase. Right now Rondo's getting 11m per year.
Then make it $11.5 million per year. If he wants too much money to make it possible to sign two max bigs, then go with someone else at point guard. Interior toughness and size are generally what win in this league. Sign two elite 4/5's and the Celtics would be in excellent shape.
Again, the Celts can sign 1 max player but not 2. Unless if you're willing to go with Rondo, 2 max players, and the rest of the roster with minimum salaried players.
In a league built around superstars, I'd be fine with a team full of minimum salaried players (plus draft picks who don't have to be minimum salaried) because there are lots of veteran ring chasers of decent quality who sign for the veteran's minimum. I bet one or both of Pierce and Garnett would re-sign for one year at minimum dollars if they got to play a final season with Gasol and Love.
Guess you just don't like Big Al. But if KG and Pierce will not return, the Celts will more or less have 13m in cap space to spend on a free-agent. We'll see what happens.
I don't see Garnett walking away from $20+ million, no matter what he claims about Pierce's status. I also doubt the Celtics will let Pierce finish his career elsewhere. Ainge can talk all he wants, but ultimately it's ownership's call and ownership has been very supportive of Pierce and the idea of him being a Celtic lifer.
Jefferson is a fine player. He's not an elite player. He doesn't make the Celtics better in the present. He makes them worse in the future because he kills their cap flexibility. In the off-season of 2014-2015, there's a chance to re-do the entire roster. Whether that means Rondo plus one max player, or two max players minus Rondo, or lots of people taking discounts, or however it shakes out, at least there would be a plethora of good options. Signing Jefferson or Millsap or anyone of that caliber now eliminates those options.
Don't forget that Love and Gasol will be available, at the earliest, on July 1, 2015. By that time Pierce will be turning 38 and KG will already be 39.
If KG and Pierce return then the Celts will not be able to do anything this coming season. The Celts will basically have the same team from last season.
Signing Al Jefferson doesn't necessarily mean he kills the Celtics' cap flexibility. For example, Pierce got paid 16.79m last season, his salary next season is 15.3m, so the Celtics can do the same and make Big Al's contract cap friendly in 2015. That's is of course if the Celts sign Big Al.