Just less than 24 hours after defeating the Washington Wizards in game 7 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals, the good news for the Boston Celtics just continued to pour in. As revealed, the team will be selecting #1 overall at the NBA Draft on June 22nd, which was a huge spark of joy for Boston fans around the nation.
The pick originally belonged to the Brooklyn Nets, until the team traded it away (along with other draft picks) to the Celtics for Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce in a trade that a majority call one of the most lopsided in modern NBA history.
After finishing the season with a record of 53-29, which happened to be good enough for first in the Atlantic division, as well as first in the Eastern Conference, the team surprised a lot of people during the season with the way that they played on a nightly basis.
Before the season started, critics were predicting that Boston would have to maybe fight to even sneak their way into the playoffs, but that was obviously not the case.
There are several ways that the Celtics can go with the top draft pick, with a guard-heavy draft class that contains prospects such as Lonzo Ball out of UCLA, as well as Markelle Fultz out of the University of Kentucky. The team could draft a guard in an already crowded backcourt with Isiah Thomas and Avery Bradley, but would that really improve the team in the long run?
Drafting a potential franchise player like Ball or Fultz would be exciting, but it is not a need right now for the Celtics, as Thomas and Bradley have done an amazing job at their respected spots this season. With Thomas on the last year of his deal, the team likely will desire to have a plan B if he leaves. In that case, drafting Ball or Fultz would be a genius move.
The biggest need right now for the Celtics is a rebounder, but there are no elite rebounding prospects in this draft class worthy of their pick.
Another option that the team could consider is trading away that #1 overall pick for a guy that can help make the team better in the moment. Would this trade play out efficiently for the franchise?
On one side, there is a lot of value within this particular pick, so trading it away for a bonafide player would be smart, since the Celtics are only a few pieces away from being a legitimate contender in the East.
On the other side, with the talent that the C’s have right now, the future looks really bright in Boston, as long as the team can acquire a few more pieces and lock up Thomas long-term. By those standards, trading the pick away almost seems unnecessary.
At the end of the day, it is too early right now to guess what the team will do with the pick. The task at hand right now should be, and likely is to defeat the Cleveland Cavaliers and move onto the NBA Finals to face either the Golden State Warriors or the San Antonio Spurs. Once the playoffs are over for the Celtics, there will be more a lot more talk about regarding the draft, and what the team should do with the pick.
If the draft was today, the best decision for the team would likely be to trade away the first overall pick for someone that can come in right now and be a major piece of the championship puzzle in Boston. The Celtics are not rebuilding right now, and there are a lot of teams that would love to acquire the first pick of the NBA Draft.
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