BOSTON (CBS) — With Rajon Rondo now a member of the Dallas Mavericks, the Boston Celtics will rely on their younger players to step into a bigger role the rest of the season.

While they may be 10-15 and now without their four-time All Star point guard, it’s an opportunity those players are very excited about.

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Celtics assistant head coach and former Boston three-point dead eye Walter McCarty (and All Time Tommy Point leader) joined 98.5 The Sports Hub’s The Adam Jones Show for Monday night’s edition of Celtics @ 7, and said the mood around the team remains positive even after last Thursday’s trade.

“Our players feel really good about the situation and know it’s an opportunity for other players to step into that leadership role. We’re excited about it, the team is excited about it, and we’re looking forward to getting on a nice run,” said McCarty, who played eight seasons with the Celtics during his 10-year NBA career. “To be honest, all the players understand it’s part of the business… I think the guys are reacting really well; the way they’re coming together, working in practice and just spending time with each other, trying to make this team better and create some togetherness.”

While McCarty applauded Rondo’s leadership skills, he said some of Boston’s young players — Jared Sullinger, Phil Pressey and Avery Bradley, just to name a few — should be able to take their game to the next level now.

“I think he’s a really good leader, but he leads a different way. He’s the guy with the biggest name, and when he goes out and plays people follow him. For us, we have a really young team and we just need to play different with our younger guys,” said McCarty. “I think he did a great job and I appreciate all the work he put in.

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“He’s a good leader, I just think we needed to refresh this team. We needed something new and to give these guys an opportunity to step up, play heavy minutes and get them ready to be leaders someday,” he continued. “With Rondo being here, I don’t think that allowed them to grow into the type of players they can be. They now have to learn how to do different things and bring different things to the game. I think Avery Bradley will be a better passer and play-maker — just different things we didn’t see because the ball was always in Rondo’s hands.”

McCarty also touched on rumors that head coach Brad Stevens may potentially head back to the college ranks, and was adamant that Stevens won’t be leaving Boston anytime soon.

“He’s not going anywhere. He’ll be here as long as Boston wants him,” he said. “Someone is bored I guess, and started talking about Indiana. Brad is happy here, and he’s going to do the best job he can each day as the Celtics head coach.”

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