Paul Pierce is still the captain. Kevin Garnett remains the heart the Celtics. And Rajon Rondo is clearly the C's most dynamic player.
But who's leading this team?
All three players will in some fashion defer the leadership title to one of their teammates. But if you've paid attention to this team's evolution the past couple of years, it should be pretty clear that this is Rondo's team.
We're not talking about his team in the future. This is Rondo's team ... now.
That doesn't make Pierce and Garnett irrelevant in terms of their role with the franchise. What it does, more than anything, is clarify the direction that the C's are trending towards.
Look no further than the moves made by the Celtics this summer: Youth. Athleticism. Versatility.
You see a strong mix of all those traits in the players Boston added this offseason. But what you don't see is the addition of the aging veteran to a prominent role.
Because the C's core group of Pierce and KG are aging veterans.
Aware of this, Boston added talent and depth at those positions so they wouldn't be as dependent on those two to carry the team like they've done for so many years.
That's why they gave Jeff Green a four-year deal worth 36 million. They did that with the knowledge that he will someday replace Pierce at small forward and that his strength -- running the floor -- plays well off of one of Rondo's best qualities.
Boston drafted Fab Melo because he has the potential to be a game-changing defender in the middle like Garnett which would allow Rondo to get out and run more in transition.
The Celtics drafted Jared Sullinger because he has the potential to deliver points in the paint a la Garnett, while Brandon Bass can help spread the floor, like Garnett, with the pick-and-pop game he runs with Rondo.
You go down the line of new additions, and they all in some way benefit the play of Rondo.
Both Pierce and KG will continue to have prominent voices and a presence inside the locker room. But Celtics coach Doc Rivers has said many times that this is Rondo's team, and the way the Celtics are constructed, it's pretty clear that's never been more true.