Last night news came of the Celtics agreeing to ship the number one overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft to the 76ers.
The news, though not too surprising, is pretty big seeing as how the draft is only a few days away.
The Celtics traded away the pick for the 76ers #3 overall pick this year, and a first rounder in either 2018 or 2019 (Lakers pick in ’18 if between 2 & 5, if not then Kings pick in ’19). The 76ers plan to take Washington Guard Markelle Fultz with the newly acquired pick.
So what does this all mean for Boston’s future?
Well firstly, you gotta believe in Danny Ainge. It seems as though he’s done nothing but make smart moves for this franchise over the years. The notorious Brooklyn trade a few years back should ring a bell (it’s also what brought us here). So you’d have to think he’s got something up his sleeves after making a big move like this, right?
As the Celtics continue to load up draft picks, they become a much more valuable team without a doubt. Draft picks are the NBA’s poker chips, and Boston is sitting on a nice hand (not a big poker guy so hopefully that makes sense).
You wouldn’t be crazy to think that they could easily pull off a monster trade and land a big name superstar by dishing out some picks and a few role players. Jimmy Butler could be a player to keep an eye on. After talks about him being traded elsewhere fell apart earlier this year, the Celtics may now have a legitimate shot at him. The Bulls witnessed this past year that Jimmy might not be the player they should try and build around. Rather, it wouldn’t be surprising to see them hit the floor and begin the rebuilding stage sooner than later. They are an old team with nothing more than an aging D-Wade (who isn’t a guarantee to stay) an injury prone Rondo, and a bunch of average players. They proved their plan to start getting younger by making some trades during the season, but I think there’s even more to come. The C’s giving away a draft pick and a role player or two for Jimmy would be a good trade for both sides. You heard it here first.
This of course, might not be the case if a certain bad, badddd man decides to leave good ol’ Utah and make his way to Bean Town this summer. Yes, I’m talking about Gordon Hayward. This, which could definitely be a possibility for the Celtics, would open up a plethora of options. To sign Hayward, the Celtics may have to lose a few role players, but fans shouldn’t forget about all those picks. They could either gamble on some young talent down the road and hope that they could build a team around IT and Hayward, or they could trade them away for another superstar/ a few above average players and shake up the NBA with a “win now” and “let’s beat the Cavs” mentality. The possibility of another Boston big 3 is certainly in play. Either move would probably be a good one, but we’ll have to leave that up to Mastermind Ainge.
Paul George also recently announced that he plans to become a free agent after this season, however his preferred destination is reportedly LA, which makes sense.
The Celtics could also try and make a run for PG13 next summer but it might be stretch. It would definitely be an attractive situation for George, especially if the Celtics retain some picks and inform George they would build around him, but I think they have a better shot at landing someone else simply because PG seems pretty set on his move to LA, where he is originally from.
Speaking of LA, another big name, but certainly a high risk for the Celtics: Blake Griffin. The Clippers are ready for this, and I think the Celtics are too. It’s time for the Clippers to regroup and get a tad bit younger, and that starts with moving Griffin. We all know about the injuries the Clippers seem to pile up season after season after season. And majority of the time, it’s Blake. That’s why this move would be a high risk for Boston, but it could be just what they need to push their way through the east if it works out.
There are certainly a lot of roads the Celtics can take now that they are running the table (another poker reference). I think I forgot to mention that the Celtics could also just keep all those picks…preposterous I know. However, all those picks will, and always will look very nice to any team, which means anyone could truly be on the trading block. The next big step for the Celtics however comes on June 22nd when they need to decide what to do with the #3 overall pick. Chances are, they keep it and draft either Kansas star Josh Jackson or Duke F Jayson Tatum, but we’ll see. There is definitely still enough time to make another big trade, but the Celtics seem as though they’ll likely play it safe, and they’ll probably explore trade options surrounding their newly acquired 2018/2019 picks, and what they have left from that ever so lovely Brooklyn deal.
Kyle Hirshkind is the managing editor for Full Press Coverage's New York Jets channel. Originally from Long Island, New York, Kyle has been an avid Jets supporter for 20+ years.