Danny Ainge has stood here each of the last four seasons.

The Celtics president of basketball operations’ choices date back to the summer of 2010, when coach Doc Rivers signed a one-year contract extension and followed up with a five-year extension the following spring. Paul Pierce signed a four-year contract extension in 2010, and Kevin Garnett signed for three more years last summer.

This was an overall attempt to prop open a window that was expected to close three years ago.

But the Celtics’ six-game elimination by the Knicks in the 2013 Eastern Conference quarterfinals, and Pierce’s obvious deterioration, show it may be time for Ainge to finally move his ancient core in preparation for the future.

Pierce and Garnett sound open to a move. Garnett made it clear his preference is to play with Pierce, wherever the Celtics captain may land (think: Clippers if he gets bought out). There will be several intriguing free agent possibilities this summer, but none of the difference makers would be available without clearing the salaries of Pierce and Garnett.

Rivers, who has also left the door open to leave with three years left on his contract, probably isn’t looking forward to an immediate future without both players, and in the long run a return to re-building. A big strike in either the trade or free agent market could change that.