How would Isaiah react if we draft Fultz?

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How would Isaiah react if we draft Fultz?

Post by Shamrock1000 on Wed May 17, 2017 4:50 pm

Seems that nothing in life is simple. I have been so giddy about getting the number one pick, I haven't had a chance to think how it might affect team chemistry. In the back of my mind, I knew Isaiah might not be stoked if we draft a PG. The following article more carefully considers what happens if we draft Fultz..

http://www.sbnation.com/2017/3/30/15120940/isaiah-thomas-future-boston-celtics-nba-draft-lottery-2017?yptr=yahoo


The Boston Celtics, despite earning the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference and playing in the conference finals, have the No. 1 pick in the 2017 NBA Draft. Thanks to an infamous trade with the Nets four years ago, the Celtics have the right to swap picks with Brooklyn this year. The Brooklyn pick was guaranteed to be in the top four due to the structure of the lottery. The Boston pick will be No. 27. The swap is going to happen.

The only drama left was determining how high a pick Boston ended up received. The Celtics had a 25 percent chance of picking No. 1, a 21 percent chance of picking No. 2, an 18 percent of picking No. 3, and a 36 percent chance of picking No. 4. They earned the No. 1 pick.

Markelle Fultz — a point guard — is the consensus No. 1 overall pick at the moment as he’s been there for much of the past year. None of his rivals for the top spot made the Final Four. As scouts go back and look at his season in Seattle again, odds are a consensus builds around him.

Fultz is seen as a franchise cornerstone, the type of point guard you expect to some day give a max contract and pencil in as one of your All-Stars as you’re competing for championships. He’s a John Wall, a Kyrie Irving. He might be better, but we need to see him in the NBA to know. You don’t pass him up because you have an All-Star point guard. You don’t pass up prospects like Fultz.

The Celtics, meanwhile, have an All-Star point guard named Isaiah Thomas.
He might make an All-NBA team and he’s probably going to be on a couple of MVP ballots. He’s also on the best contract in the NBA (non-rookie edition) and will be a free agent in 2018. Thomas is known for having a massive chip on his shoulder due to being told repeatedly he, at 5’8, doesn’t belong in the NBA.

What if it becomes clear in May that Danny Ainge, Boston’s president of basketball operations, will pick Fultz in June? What does that do to Isaiah amid the Celtics’ playoff run? Perhaps nothing. Thomas is incredibly confident, and he performs well when challenged. Boston loves him. Brad Stevens has an amazing rapport with his players and should be able to keep the team focused against the Cavaliers.

There’s also the matter of the Washington Huskies: Isaiah played there under Lorenzo Romar and maintains strong connections to the program. Fultz was Romar’s last big Huskie star before the coach was fired earlier this month.

It’s still weird. It still has to be unsettling.
And it could get even more weird and unsettling heading into a summer where Thomas should reasonably expect to be talking contract extension. Boston can use its cap space to pay and extend Thomas, but the Celtics are also chasing free agents or unbalanced trades for stars. That cap space is precious.

Imagine, then, that you are Isaiah Thomas. You are an NBA All-Star making $6 million, which is $20 million less than another NBA All-Star guard in the East, DeMar DeRozan. You are the best player on one of the two best teams in the East. You have become a hero in a basketball town who worships legitimate legends.


Imagine you are all that, and your team drafts another point guard No. 1 overall and withholds a big pay raise to go get another big-name player who will make at least three times your salary.

Isaiah Thomas is only human. That’s going to bug him.

It’s going to bug him if the Celtics are ejected from the NBA playoffs by the Cavaliers and the resulting talk is all about how you can’t make the NBA Finals if Isaiah Thomas is your best player. (Those takes pretty much write themselves.)

It’s going to bug him when July comes and the headlines are about Boston chasing this free agent or that, when the headlines are about Fultz dominating Summer League. It’s going to bug him when every question on media day next fall is about whether he can play with Fultz, whether he feels disrespected by the draft choice or the lack of an extension, and whether he plans to re-sign with Boston in 2018.

It’s going to bug him to realize he’s the sixth-highest paid player on the Celtics. This stuff would bug anyone, but especially a guy who has been fighting to prove himself his entire adult life.

This is all a thought experiment, of course. The issue is avoided if the Celtics line up to take a wing like Jayson Tatum, Josh Jackson, or Jonathan Isaac. (Something tells me Danny Ainge isn’t enamored with Lonzo Ball.)

The issue could also be avoided if the Celtics decide to part with the pick to swing a deal for Jimmy Butler or Paul George, which is one of the directions Boston could go if they lose to Cleveland in the playoffs. (You could see an exit go one of two ways: The Celtics decide an Isaiah-led team is too flawed so they rebuild younger, or the Celtics decide they need more star power now and trade away youth.)

But now that the Celtics did win the No. 1 pick, what happens with Isaiah Thomas’s psyche and future is an incredible subplot to watch.


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Re: How would Isaiah react if we draft Fultz?

Post by bobheckler on Wed May 17, 2017 5:31 pm

What happens is the same thing that always happens, players compete. They compete to make the team, they compete for minutes, they compete to see who starts. IT came to Boston as a 6th man and competed until Brad couldn't keep him out of the starting line up.

Bradley couldn't get many minutes until Ray Allen got hurt and then Doc couldn't put him back on the bench. Ray left, ok, but Ray was a free agent and well, well past his prime.

What did Bradley do when Rozier got drafted? He worked on his game and competed.

When Smart was drafted as a point guard what happened? Everybody in the back court competed.

Whatever rumblings and grumblings there might be if we draft Fultz will disappear the first time he hits a game winning shot, or goes on a run and scores our last 8 points and closes a deficit or explodes the lead the starters left him with.

It will be a few years before Fultz is ready to challenge IT's place. I'm willing to cross that bridge when we get to it.


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Re: How would Isaiah react if we draft Fultz?

Post by bobheckler on Thu May 18, 2017 3:47 pm

Chris Forsberg @ESPNForsberg
2 minutes ago
IT on talking with potential No. 1 pick Markelle Fultz: "He’s a good friend of mine. If it happens, we’ll figure out how to play together."
reply retweet like


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Re: How would Isaiah react if we draft Fultz?

Post by dboss on Thu May 18, 2017 5:18 pm

This is much ado about nothing.

how many times have we criticized this teams for not have more guys that can create their own shot?

From my perspective IT handles the ball too much anyways and Fultz will take a lot of pressure off of him  plus Fultz can play the 1 or 2 spot.  

If IT has to be the guy we may need to rethink things.

The real question centers around the summer and when DA makes an extension offer to IT.  And when he makes an extension offer to Bradley.  The numbers need to work for the Celtics.  

It is hard to put a price tag on IT.  He was just named 2nd team ALL NBA.  That will certainly boast his salary expectations.

As much as he deserves a big raise so does Avery Bradley, a home grown Celtic.

Quite frankly I do not see the Celtics trading this pick because that is the most expensive way to add a great player.  Free agency continues to be the path to acquire an Allstar level player.

If the Celtics plan to trade IT or Bradley it probably will not happen until the off-season or the 2018 trade deadline.

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Re: How would Isaiah react if we draft Fultz?

Post by Shamrock1000 on Thu May 18, 2017 5:27 pm

dboss wrote:This is much ado about nothing.

how many times have we criticized this teams for not have more guys that can create their own shot?

From my perspective IT handles the ball too much anyways and Fultz will take a lot of pressure off of him  plus Fultz can play the 1 or 2 spot.  

If IT has to be the guy we may need to rethink things.

The real question centers around the summer and when DA makes an extension offer to IT.  And when he makes an extension offer to Bradley.  The numbers need to work for the Celtics.  

It is hard to put a price tag on IT.  He was just named 2nd team ALL NBA.  That will certainly boast his salary expectations.

As much as he deserves a big raise so does Avery Bradley, a home grown Celtic.

Quite frankly I do not see the Celtics trading this pick because that is the most expensive way to add a great player.  Free agency continues to be the path to acquire an Allstar level player.

If the Celtics plan to trade IT or Bradley it probably will not happen until the off-season or the 2018 trade deadline.

dboss

Not sure its so simple. The Celtics already pay Al the max, and they want to make a splash in free agency (i.e. another max). Thus, they won't be able to give both IT and AB the contracts they deserve. Even if they did, there may be a problem. You don't draft a kid like Fultz to not start him for 4 yrs (the length of IT and AB's extended contracts), and you also don't sign someone to max/near max contracts to not start. This is a little trickier than you guys are acknowledging....

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Re: How would Isaiah react if we draft Fultz?

Post by dboss on Thu May 18, 2017 6:14 pm

Shamrock1000 wrote:
dboss wrote:This is much ado about nothing.

how many times have we criticized this teams for not have more guys that can create their own shot?

From my perspective IT handles the ball too much anyways and Fultz will take a lot of pressure off of him  plus Fultz can play the 1 or 2 spot.  

If IT has to be the guy we may need to rethink things.

The real question centers around the summer and when DA makes an extension offer to IT.  And when he makes an extension offer to Bradley.  The numbers need to work for the Celtics.  

It is hard to put a price tag on IT.  He was just named 2nd team ALL NBA.  That will certainly boast his salary expectations.

As much as he deserves a big raise so does Avery Bradley, a home grown Celtic.

Quite frankly I do not see the Celtics trading this pick because that is the most expensive way to add a great player.  Free agency continues to be the path to acquire an Allstar level player.

If the Celtics plan to trade IT or Bradley it probably will not happen until the off-season or the 2018 trade deadline.

dboss

Not sure its so simple. The Celtics already pay Al the max, and they want to make a splash in free agency (i.e. another max). Thus, they won't be able to give both IT and AB the contracts they deserve. Even if they did, there may be a problem. You don't draft a kid like Fultz to not start him for 4 yrs (the length of IT and AB's extended contracts), and you also don't sign someone to max/near max contracts to not start. This is a little trickier than you guys are acknowledging....

It is even trickier than that because Ko and Smart are right behind them

What I think is that DA will offer both AB and IT below market salaries. IT is the one who expects big bucks but anything north of $20 mill would be a surprise to me given our CAPO situation and the need to sign a free agent and the potential to add Fultz to the mix. But keep in mind that Amir, Zeller and Jonas come off the books and that would total $25 mill. Also the raises for both AB and IT would not kick in until the 2018-2019 season so there is still time to make adjustments.

I seriously doubt that IT could get top money out there. IT's high end production this year is directly related to the Celtics and their offensive system.

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Re: How would Isaiah react if we draft Fultz?

Post by Shamrock1000 on Thu May 18, 2017 6:27 pm

[quote="dboss"][quote="Shamrock1000"]
dboss wrote:

It is even trickier than that because Ko and Smart are right behind them

What I think is that DA will offer both AB and IT below market salaries.  IT is the one who expects big bucks but anything north of $20 mill would be a surprise to me given our CAPO situation and the need to sign a free agent and the potential to add Fultz to the mix.  But keep in mind that Amir, Zeller and Jonas come off the books and that would total $25 mill.  Also the raises for both AB and IT would not kick in until the 2018-2019 season so there is still time to make adjustments.  

I seriously doubt that IT could get top money out there.  IT's high end production this year is directly related to the Celtics and their offensive system.

dboss

Good points, and I was thinking the same thing about Danny low-balling them. Not sure they would accept. You really think AB couldn't get top dollar? If you look at his PER, other players with similar and lower PERs get top dollar. He is also charismatic, so a struggling franchise with money may very well be delighted to sign a fan favorite who fills both the stat sheet and the seats. Maybe Danny could just manage to keep IT and AB happy, then he could draft Fultz and next year's Brooklyn pick, and then trade AB or IT in a couple of years (mid-contracts) when he sees how the young'uns pan out. But could he do this and sign someone like Hayward/Griffin this summer???

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Re: How would Isaiah react if we draft Fultz?

Post by jrleftfoot on Thu May 18, 2017 10:23 pm

IT was just voted 2nd team All-NBA. (John Wall was 3d team.) Apparently some people think more highly of him than many board members. IT has previously spoken highly of Fultz and said he played in pickup games with him. Nobody on the current Celtic roster is a drama queen.
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Re: How would Isaiah react if we draft Fultz?

Post by NYCelt on Thu May 18, 2017 11:36 pm

I think there's way too much over the counter psycho-analysis of this situation.

IT knows he can't carry the scoring load alone.  He knows better than anyone we need another shooter to compliment him if we're going to build a perennial contender.

Given that thought, why would IT not be happy if we draft Fultz?
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Re: How would Isaiah react if we draft Fultz?

Post by jrleftfoot on Fri May 19, 2017 8:16 am

NYCelt wrote:I think there's way too much over the counter psycho-analysis of this situation.

IT knows he can't carry the scoring load alone.  He knows better than anyone we need another shooter to compliment him if we're going to build a perennial contender.

Given that thought, why would IT not be happy if we draft Fultz?

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Re: How would Isaiah react if we draft Fultz?

Post by Shamrock1000 on Fri May 19, 2017 11:15 am

NYCelt wrote:I think there's way too much over the counter psycho-analysis of this situation.

IT knows he can't carry the scoring load alone.  He knows better than anyone we need another shooter to compliment him if we're going to build a perennial contender.

Given that thought, why would IT not be happy if we draft Fultz?

As others have noted, it's not just how IT will take it, its how the Celtics will divvy up the dollars and minutes going forward. Granted, it's a good problem to have....

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Re: How would Isaiah react if we draft Fultz?

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