The Celtics just recently traded away their first overall pick of the 2017 draft to the Philadelphia 76ers. Danny Ainge has been a GM mastermind in the past, working out fantastic deals such as the KG and Paul Pierce to Brooklyn trade. The 76ers deal will be finalized on Monday, but here’s the terms:
76ers receive Celtic’s 2017 first overall draft pick.
Celtics receive 76ers 2017 3rd overall pick, and the Lakers’ 2018 first round pick only if the pick lands between 2 and 5 in the 2018 lottery. If the Lakers’ 2018 first round pick is a first overall or later than the 5th overall, the 76ers keep the pick and instead send the Kings’ 2019 first round pick.
This deal leaves the Celtics with a number of big picks going forward, but it also leaves many questions. The purpose of all these trade pick exchanges is to trade up in the future and hopefully land a top pick and therefore a superstar…sorta just like the Celtics did the last few seasons in order to land the first overall pick of 2017. Trading away this pick doesn’t make too much sense for the Celtics. This is a team with the best overall record in the Eastern Conference this year with honestly a roster that did not deserve the first seed. Brad Stevens has been able to turn this team into a strong defensive and offensive force, and adding a new young superstar like Markelle Fultz would only improve their chances at contending with teams like the Cavs and Warriors.
To review, the Celtics already have plenty of top picks in the near future. Specifically:
2017 3rd overall pick
2018 Lakers 1st round (conditionally)
2018 Nets 1st round
2018 Celtics 1st round
2019 Celtics 1st round
2019 Clippers 1st round
2019 Grizzlies 1st round
2019 Kings 1st round (condition on 2018 Lakers pick)
But what Celtics fans are upset about is Ainge’s passing over the supposed superstar for more assets. Assets don’t get results, players and coaches get results. Ainge did create the super team he’s hoped to build, but he did it in Philly by letting them get Fultz, Embiid, Simmons, and Dario Saric.
The Sixers won this trade in my opinion. For both teams, the trade sees long term success rather than short term, but it’s the Celtics who need the extra short term success right now since they’re knocking on the NBA finals doors already. Luckily for the Celtics, they’re not done yet. Both Chicago and New Orleans already expressed interest to the Celtics in their 3rd overall pick, according to Adrian Wojnarowski. This is where they resume talks for players like Jimmy Butler, Gordon Hayword, and Blake Griffin. Moving their surplus of picks for the big men they desperately need.
Fultz may be a future superstar, but the Celtics have Bradley and Thomas locked up for now in the one and two spots. Guards aren’t their issue, so maybe if Ainge can work some additional deals before the draft the Celtics will turn this trade around in their favor.