Executives from around the NBA are understandably reluctant to talk much about the Celtics’ current situation. All of them know they, too, may one day find themselves between the proverbial rock and hard place where the Shamrock AC now resides.

Given the opportunity to speak off the attributed record, however, can loosen one up. And, quite interestingly, in an entirely unscientific survey by the Herald here at the NBA combine, there were mixed outlooks for the Celts as they dive further into a summer of heavy decisions about their roster.

We expected only doom and gloom — and there was certainly a great deal of that — but there were also some who expressed the belief that the C’s are not so deep in the hole.

So where one general manager shook his head and said, “Oh, they’re screwed,” another stated strongly, “As long as you have assets, you’re never screwed. The Celtics have players that other teams want. They’ve also got some guys that would be really hard to move, but when you’re talking about Rajon Rondo and even (Paul) Pierce and (Kevin) Garnett, those are people who can make a team better. Now the question then becomes who you can get back for them and will those new guys make the Celtics better.”

One GM asked about Rondo said, “I haven’t heard his name being put out there like I have in the past, but if they’re ever going to try to overhaul that team, they’re going to have to at least be willing to discuss him (in trades). The thing is, with Rondo coming off an ACL (tear), teams will be looking to get a bargain, and Boston can’t go there. They’re better off letting him come back and show everyone what he can do again.”

The brightest forecast came from a veteran executive, who put the club in context with most of its Eastern Conference competition.

“Look, they didn’t have a great playoffs when you look overall. They played really well in stretches against New York, but they just couldn’t sustain it,” he said. “Now take that team you saw in that last game and add an All-Star point guard (Rondo) to it. Now add a kid like (Jared) Sullinger, who as a rookie — a rookie — gave them an inside (element) that they really missed when he got hurt.