When Danny Ainge dealt away loved stars in Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Rajon Rondo many Celtics fans felt angry. Fast forward a number of years and they sit in enviable position. No they aren’t where Golden State are but they have the potential to contend given their assets. But after dealing away the number one pick to Philadelphia for the number 3 pick and a future first rounder what are they exactly looking to do?
Right now Boston isn’t going to the Finals, let alone compete with Golden State. So do they keep their picks and wait for the demise of LeBron in the East or go hard after a free agent in this year’s pool? They have that many picks that they can almost do both. Reports suggest that the Celtics are more keen on Josh Jackson or Jayson Tatum than they are with Markelle Fultz so it makes sense to drop down and gain an extra pick as a result.
However if they want to land a big fish such as Paul George or Jimmy Butler they would most likely need to part ways with this year’s pick, a first rounder next year and probably a solid wing player in the mould of Avery Bradley or Jae Crowder. Myles Turner is the future in Indiana. They see him as the cornerstone for them to build around, and after George told them he’s headed for L.A after next season he is certainly attainable. Cleveland may be a stumbling block as they have an all-star to offer in Kevin Love and what seems like a willing third party in Phoenix to offer the difference. Love to Indiana and George to Cleveland makes more sense for both sides, as does Butler to Boston with draft picks to Chicago.
Jimmy Buckets sits in Chicago, a team that needs a serious injection of quality youth meaning they might be willing to deal their best player for the right price. They need to realise where they are at and attempt a re-build of sorts. This could work well for Boston as they have the pieces that the Bulls want or need. With Butler’s capabilities on both end’s of the floor and intangible toughness, it may also see him as a better fit in green.
But it begs another question, does an acquisition of Butler or George put them in serious contention for a Finals berth? Probably not, but if they can also land Gordon Hayward in free agency suddenly the landscape changes. Hayward has made indications that he is headed towards Boston and could give the C’s enough starpower to make a genuine run.
Lose potential picks to win now or continue to stockpile picks and young talent to build a winning team for the future. It’s hard to gauge from their latest trade what they are looking to do, their next one will tell all. Whatever the case is it’s an exciting time to be a Boston fan.