The Celtics tied up their series against the Chicago Bulls at 2 a piece, as Isaiah Thomas and Gerald Green have ignited the Celtics scoring in tremendous fashion.
But I think there’s a topic out there few people are talking about, and that’s the question of what to do if this team once again falls short of a meaningful run in the playoffs. Should the Celtics keep their core together even if they end up falling to a team like the Wizards or Bucks in the second round? Or should they perhaps make some moves before their trade chips go bad?
Here’s my take on what the Celtics should do if they fall earlier than they should:
In this scenario, the Celtics receive the second overall pick in the 2017 draft, as the Lakers once again are given their desired superstar of the future in Lonzo Ball. The Celtics should take, guess who, Markelle Fultz. In my eyes, Fultz has the physical tools and potential to become one of the league’s premiere scorers, something similar to what James Harden has accomplished. Because of this, and the fact that he supposedly has the work ethic of a madman, should be enough to entice the Celtics to pick him 2nd overall. With that out of the way, I think they then trade Isaiah Thomas and potentially Jae Crowder for a big man, (To be determined later), to pair with Al Horford. This would allow Al to play his natural 4 position, which I think would increase his numbers and impact on the game dramatically.
This will also open the door for our other cornerstone to come in and play consistent minutes: Jaylen Brown.
Although Brown still has a way to go in regards to how he impacts the game, confidence is not something the 20 year old lacks. His shooting has improved dramatically, as well as his ability to finish through traffic, especially in transition. He’s a guy I’m hoping can become a second scoring option, and his athletic ability is something the Celtics have historically lacked.
And the final piece to the puzzle? Gordon Hayward
Why wouldn’t the Celtics go after my man PG13 (Paul George)? It’s simple really: He’s going to be a Laker, and there’s no point in giving up valuable assets in order to acquire his rented services unless Danny Ainge believes he can sign the forward long term. As much as it hurts me to say it, George is simply no longer an option at the moment.
The Celtics should throw max money at the impressive forward in Utah, tempting him with his old coach and a winning culture who would embrace his scoring abilities with open arms. And hey, max money doesn’t sound too bad either right? Hayward has increased his statistical impact every year since he has entered the league, and he has become one of the most consistent scorers in the NBA, granting him All-Star Reserve status, which should not be taken lightly.
Not only this, but perhaps the Celtics can work something out with Utah in order to acquire their star big man as well, but that would be a bit unlikely considering the Celtics have little to offer for a player of Gobert’s caliber. So the Center spot is the only spot the Celtics would be concerned with moving forward, and I’m sure Danny could make some magic happen for a serviceable big man.
Imagine a lineup that looks something like this:
PG: Markelle Fultz
SG: Jaylen Brown (Sophomore Version)
SF: Gordon Hayward
PF: Al Horford
C: Mystery Man (Rudy Gobert?Cody Zeller?)
Not only would this team be ready to compete with anybody out there right away, they might have enough firepower to take down the Cavaliers and gain some very needed playoff experience. With future stars in Markelle and Brown learning from proven veterans/stars like Horford and Hayward, the Celtics have a fantastic mix of veterans and young talent that can compete at the highest level for years to come.