The window that was closing on the Boston Celtics might have slammed shut on Sunday with the announcement that point guard Rajon Rondo will miss the remainder of the season with a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee.
The Celtics were the frontrunners of the current super-team era in the NBA when they added veterans Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett to a roster that already included Paul Pierce and Rondo. In their first season together, they captured the 2007-08 NBA championship.
They would go on to make the playoffs every season together and play for one more NBA championship, a seven-game loss to the Los Angeles Lakers in 2010.
Pierce has continued to be a productive player in the league, now playing in his 14th NBA season. The veteran forward averaged 19.4 points per game last year and, in 44 games this season, has produced 18.7 points per contest.
Garnett is known as one of the toughest players and best trash talkers in the league but by the numbers, he continues to be a top producer. Last season, he averaged 15.8 points and 8.2 rebounds per game and this year those numbers have dipped slightly to 15.0 and 7.3, still strong numbers for a player in his 18th pro season.
While they were having success, other teams around the league began to emulate the blueprint that brought Boston back to the top of the NBA.
The Miami Heat added LeBron James and Chris Bosh to go along with Dwyane Wade and captured the NBA title last year.
During the off-season, they even added Allen from the Celtics to help with their title defence.
The Los Angeles Lakers have a star-studded lineup that boasts Kobe Bryant, Dwight Howard, Steve Nash and Pau Gasol.
Other teams, such as the Oklahoma City Thunder and Los Angeles Clippers, have begun stockpiling young players through trades and drafting.
With all of the teams that have built up around them, the Celtics have reached a crossroads with their aging lineup. With the Rondo injury, is it time to trade Pierce, Garnett and anything else of value on the roster for younger players and draft picks? Or should they hold on to their franchise cornerstones to take another run at the title next season?
It's Your! Call.