Celtics would be taking a big risk trading No. 1 pick

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Celtics would be taking a big risk trading No. 1 pick

Post by 112288 on Sat Jun 17, 2017 9:42 pm

Celtics would be taking a big risk trading No. 1 pick

BOSTON GLOBE

GARY WASHBURN I ON BASKETBALL

Even if you live by the “In Danny We Trust” motto, your loyalty is being tested with these talks of trading the No. 1 overall pick in Thursday’s draft to the Philadelphia 76ers.

The Celtics are in deep discussions with the 76ers to send the No. 1 overall pick — a selection Philadelphia would use on guard Markelle Fultz — for the third overall pick and more of Philadelphia’s future draft picks.

It’s a risky move, especially if Fultz turns into a superstar. Just imagine the Celtics helping jump-start the 76ers’ resurgence by handing them Fultz, and then Fultz coming to TD Garden twice a year to spin triple-doubles.

The Celtics either feel Fultz would not be a good fit in their backcourt, or they must really like another prospect and will trade down to store more picks.

But isn’t this where the Celtics wanted to be four years ago? With the No. 1 overall pick and a chance to choose their next superstar, their next homegrown talent who would take the franchise into the next decade? Well, they are here and there seems to be a player — Fultz — more than willing to fulfill that role and become the next great Celtic, and now you’re dangling the pick for more picks?

How many draft picks does one organization really need? Let’s face it, this stash of assets hasn’t turned the Celtics into a contender. The trade for Isaiah Thomas and the signing of Al Horford did. The first pick used from the stash of selections acquired from Brooklyn was used on James Young, whose Celtics days are over after three listless seasons.

And let’s remember the Celtics have the Nets’ first-round pick again next season, so their desire to stash more picks has to be with eyes on a bigger deal for an established veteran. There’s nothing wrong with having multiple draft picks, but eventually these picks have to turn out to be impact players.

The Celtics have turned over their roster in the past few years and are painfully young in some spots. And if you consider that Ante Zizic, Abdel Nader, and Guerschon Yabusele will join Jaylen Brown, Demetrius Jackson, Jordan Mickey, and perhaps two more draft selections from this year on the summer roster, it’s apparent the Celtics are young enough.

So, our goal is to figure out Danny Ainge’s end game. Does he really want to deal the No. 1 overall pick or feel as if this is an opportunity to gain more picks for a major trade? Is Ainge upping the ante for this pick to entice teams such as Lakers to make better offers?

And when it’s over, will he finally just decide to take Fultz and help turn him into a franchise cornerstone? The options remain open for the Celtics. But them entertaining moving this pick to a division rival has worried Celtics faithful.

The 76ers are no longer the Keystone Kops, Three Stooges, or Bad News Bears. This is an emerging franchise. And with the Raptors possibly losing Kyle Lowry in free agency, the Knicks remaining a mess, and the Nets still recovering from the trade with the Celtics, the 76ers are the most-feared team in the Atlantic Division.

The only things separating the 76ers from respectability and success are health and experience. A healthy Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons, along with Fultz and potential Rookie of the Year Dario Saric, would make for a rather imposing opponent in the coming years. Add to that a payroll that will allow space for two maximum contracts and suddenly you have a playoff contender.

So why in the world would Ainge help jump-start that unless he doesn’t feel Fultz is a good fit and feels whomever he prefers will be passed up by the 76ers and Lakers? There are some intriguing players after Fultz — UCLA’s Lonzo Ball, Duke’s Jayson Tatum, Kansas’s Josh Jackson — but none would come to Boston and make the Celtics an immediate contender for a championship. It would take time.

Sometimes it’s just best to go with the conventional route. If Fultz is the best prospect on the board, you take him and figure out what to do with the backcourt when that time comes. Thomas and Avery Bradley are free agents after next season, and drafting Fultz would mean a decision to move on from one of those players.

A deal with the 76ers hasn’t been consummated and it likely wouldn’t be until draft night. But it’s interesting that the Celtics worked so hard and prayed for lottery luck to get to this point, with the No. 1 pick yielding so much power that they could determine their long-term fate by taking the best player available, and now they are toying with that opportunity to get more draft picks.

Ainge would be taking a major chance with this move, dealing the known for the unknown, and how much longer can the Celtics’ faithful get excited about draft picks when you deal the No. 1 pick overall?

There are more questions about this deal, more concerns than the actual upside. So there needs to a fruitful long-term plan if they were to make this trade. There actually needs to be a superstar or difference-making player in the end, and the only thing this trade would acquire is more first-round picks, and the Celtics have a handful of those already.

The next step is turning that into a superstar.

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Re: Celtics would be taking a big risk trading No. 1 pick

Post by RosalieTCeltics on Sat Jun 17, 2017 9:55 pm

All this talk about trades really has me wondering, Is it really the truth that they are in serious negotiations or is Danny playing a head games to see just what he can rattle out of other teams,. He has said repeatedly that he was not going to trade this pick unless he has an "elite" player guaranteed on this team.

So read it won way and he is in deep negation a, or believe nothing until Thursday comes around. And......it can;t come soon enough
For me!!!
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