Our last article took a look at the unfortunate scenario in which Danny Ainge decided to retire, leaving the Celtics in the dark regarding their management future.
How about this time, we take a look at some of the different scenarios that could potentially go down during one of the most anticipated days in Celtics recent memory: The 2017 NBA Draft.
While many people would argue Markelle Fultz is a lockdown for the first pick in the draft, a lot of different things could change the outcome of the night, and General Manager Danny Ainge has been known to make big picks and players available for trade if it means bringing in some franchise altering talent. So, without further ado, let’s get to it.
1. Nothing New Here
The first scenario is the obvious one, and we need to take a look at it because it’s the most likely outcome. It has been said that Markelle Fultz is a franchise point guard, equipped with the many skills that are valued in today’s NBA. Long, great court vision, and seemingly endless potential, Fultz would be an amazing talent to pair with both youngsters and veterans alike. Usual comparisons of the kid could range from a more athletic Kyrie Irving to a less athletic but more crafty Russel Westbrook, so the Celtics have to be careful if they decide to pass up on a talent of Fultz’ caliber.
2. The Celtics trade down
It’s obvious the Celtics should not be enjoying the luxuries of top draft talent the way their current roster is performing, but hey that’s the magic of having a mastermind at General Manager. If the Celtics decided to trade down during draft night, it’s a long list of suitors they will have for the top pick in the draft. With the best prospects both guards, the Celtics have the luxury of trading down and nabbing a talented player while also gaining some valuable assets (yet again). In this scenario, the Celtics trade the Brooklyn pick they acquired through the pick swap this year to the Phoenix Suns in exchange for the 3rd overall pick and 2 future first rounders, and pick Josh Jackson. Jackson, who is an emerging player in college hoops, would provide the Celtics with a controlled contract that would make Jae Crowder expendable, ensuring the Celtics have trade options available for a big man in the weeks following the draft.
3. The Celtics take a dive.
If this turns out this way, there’s not much we can do about it. The lottery has simply not been too kind to the Celtics the few times the franchise had a chance at the top pick in the draft, and in this scenario the Celtics take a heavy dive into the 4th pick in the draft. With both top guards off the board, the Celtics opt to bring in intriguing slasher Dennis Smith Jr, who has the potential to be pretty good in today’s NBA. If the Celtics decide that the athletic point is not the best fit to pair with Isaiah Thomas, they can opt to trade Smith’s rookie rights to another team for a big man or a potential offensive-minded wing.
4. The Celtics get the top pick, and trade it for an established superstar
This is the most fun of all the outcomes, as it brings in one of my favorite players currently in the NBA: PG13. Paul George is a masterful scoring forward that can easily take the game over on offense. This, combined with the fact that George is a great presence defensively, makes him the perfect fit for the Celtics at the 3 option next to Avery Bradley and Jae Crowder, where they could potentially employ a deadly small ball lineup: Isaiah Thomas, Avery Bradley, Paul George, Jae Crowder, Al Horford. That is about as great a small ball lineup as you are going to find folks, and until the day George signs a contract with another team I will keep bringing him up as someone the Celtics should target.