This trade actually makes a lot of sense.
According to multiple reports, Danny Ainge and the Boston Celtics are seriously contemplating a trade of their 1st pick to the Philadelphia 76er’s in exchange for the 3rd pick and future draft picks. Obviously, the immediate winner here would be the Sixers.
But how would all of this shape out in the long run? Would Boston come out as the true winner?
The 2017 NBA Draft is absolutely loaded with talent. Markelle Fultz, Josh Jackson, and Lonzo Ball headline just about every article. It is not a stretch at all to say this may be the most loaded draft since 2014.
But, all in all, what does this talent mean for Boston?
After all, most of the top players coming out of college this year are point guards, and the Celtics aren’t necessarily struggling at that position. In the 2016-17 season, Isaiah Thomas proved to be a solid leader in Boston’s backcourt. They don’t necessarily need another guy at the point. For that reason, the Celtics may find someone just as useful with the 3rd pick. Besides, there will be plenty of big men in future drafts to choose from, so it only makes sense to keep their options open.
Boston’s main focus this offseason isn’t getting fresh, young talent. Rather, it’s adding a decent free agent to the mix to help them out now. They paid more than their fair share of dues over the last couple of years in waiting for their current core to develop. Now that they have developed, Boston earned the top seed in the playoffs and made it to the conference finals for the first time since the Pierce-Garnett-Allen days.
The Celtics haven’t been keeping it much of a secret as to which free agent they are targeting. Paul George and Jimmy Butler have been the subject of plenty of rumors, but the most obvious free agent on Boston’s shortlist is Utah’s Gordon Hayward. IT followed Hayward on Instagram recently. Brad Stevens coached Hayward in college. And, recently, Robyn Hayward (Gordon’s wife) posted a picture on Instagram of their daughter wearing Boston-esque apparel. Sure, none of this necessarily means anything alone. But when you add it all up, it looks like Gordon Hayward will be on the east coast next season.
As Cleveland remains the team to beat in the Eastern Conference, it is only logical that the Celtics would pursue a proven veteran as opposed to relying on another young buck to take them to the promised land. The Cavs’ roster is stacked, and the only way to beat them is to have a stacked roster of your own.
Danny Ainge is somewhat of a hoarder in the NBA executive world. He’s good at what he does, but it sometimes takes years for such hoarding to pay off. Take, for instance, how they got this coveted 1st pick. A lot of it may have had to do with poor planning on Brooklyn’s behalf, but more of it had to do with the foresight of Boston. They traded a couple aging veterans in Garnett and Pierce for a future picks. The Nets may have found such a trade enticing as they got a few future HOFer’s, but those guys were way past their prime. Boston set themselves up for a few amazing picks in the coming years whether they made the playoffs or not.
Maybe Ainge has his eye on a prospect not quite available in this draft. After all, future drafts will see guys like Michael Porter Jr and Mohamed Bamba—two bigger guys that might be just what the Celtics need.
No matter their reasoning, the Celtics may be better off trading this pick with Philadelphia. After all, the Sixers are desperately trying to expedite their process and become real contenders in the Eastern Conference. They’ll get what they need with the 1st pick, and the Celtics will get what they need for the future. Either way, both teams win in this trade. And, hopefully, basketball fans will also like it—such a trade may ultimately lead to more parity in the NBA.Filed under: Sports, NBA Basketball, Boston Celtics, Philadelphia 76er's