Hey, how you guys doing? Anything exciting happen? Cause boy… Do I have a story for you.
After finally settling in and getting my blood pressure down from what I would call two straight days of pure stress and agony, let me tell you the story of how the Boston Celtics just turned a typical Monday and Tuesday into the greatest two days in Celtics’ history.
Winning game seven against Washington on Monday was huge. Winning the draft lottery on Tuesday and having the option to either draft a future superstar in the upcoming draft or to trade the pick for a solidified superstar? That might be more huge.
Leading up to the selections I was preparing myself for the worst and was expecting the Celtics to fall to the 4th pick. I was preparing myself to deal with drafting Jayson Tatum or De’Aaron Fox. I figured we’d slip and the Lakers would end up with the first pick because why not. My heart was racing more than it was during game seven, which says a whole lot. But we ended up with the 1st overall pick. AND we beat the Lakers, AGAIN! Danny, I’m so sorry for ever doubting you. I hated you when you traded Paul Pierce and KG for some scrubs and picks that meant nothing to Boston fans at the time. Those picks so far have turned into what can be the next Celtics’ legends. Even though Paul Pierce has retired, he is still helping Boston. I salute you, Truth.
Okay, so let’s settle down here and discuss what getting the number one pick exactly does for the Celtics. Having the number one pick puts Boston in control of the draft. We control our own destiny, whether that be drafting a player that can help this team win for the next 15 years or trade the pick for a guy that turns us into a championship contender for the next 5-7 years. Remember when we were all pissed at the trade deadline that no trades were made involving our draft pick and a superstar? I was one of those guys that was pissed. Danny took a chance by not trading the pick at the time. It was a bold move. That pick could’ve fallen to four, and we wouldn’t have gotten any good offers or the franchise player we wanted when the draft rolled around. Danny Ainge didn’t trade the pick at the time because he didn’t like the offers that were on the table for Boston. He passed and waited until now to see where to go. Danny’s patience and magical powers paid off, and the Celtics now control trade talks. Teams were afraid of trading for the pick because, like I said, it could’ve fallen outside of the top three selections. Teams wanted more in return and Ainge wouldn’t budge. Now teams don’t have to worry about the pick slipping. Bulls management will be ringing Danny’s phone like crazy for the next month, praying to take that pick off of Danny’s hands. Danny will get a lot of trade offers, that’s for sure, but if he’s going to make a deal, he’s going to make sure it’s in the best interest of the Celtics and will help us tremendously. If there isn’t a good trade on the table, he won’t force a trade. We’ve come too far in this “rebuild” to make a trade for the sake of making a trade. Danny won’t be forcing anything. He’ll be letting the trades come to him and he’ll go from there.
So let’s say Danny and Celtics management decide to keep the pick. That’s no issue at all. In fact, that’s what I’d prefer. But let’s talk hypothetically here. The Celtics keep the pick and draft point guard Markelle Fultz. We now have our guard of the future to pair with Jaylen Brown. Those two will grow together and enter their primes just as LeBron is exiting the league. That’s when we’d strike. Plus we add in Ante Zizic and Guerschon Yabusele and those guys can help the Celtics contend now and in the future. By drafting a player like Fultz, this gives the Celtics a 15-year window to be an excellent team and contend for a championship. Both these guys’ potential is through the roof. Think about it, the Celtics right now are the number one seed in the Eastern Conference entering the Eastern Conference Finals with the team they have now. Adding Fultz will improve our bench, whether we move a starter to the bench or have Fultz come off the bench for the time being. AND, we still would have money for a max player in free agency. So we add our superstar of the future or as I’d like to say “Our Next Paul Pierce” and sign a max player this offseason? Sounds good to me.
The player the Celtics will be eyeing to sign this offseason will be Gordon Hayward. There is no going around the fact that Danny Ainge wants to reunite Hayward and Brad Stevens. In my eyes, Gordon Hayward and Jimmy Butler are very, very similar players. If the Celtics are confident enough that they can steal Hayward from Utah this offseason, there would be no need to trade the first overall pick to Chicago. It would make no sense to me. If the Celtics do not trade this pick and draft somebody like Fultz, I think that means management is confident they can sign a superstar in the offseason. Even if we don’t sign a superstar player, we could still use that money to fill out our roster and team needs. We need more defense, rebounding, and rim protection. If we can’t get a superstar, draft our future and use that money to fix our issues. You also have to think that adding this pick and being this deep in the playoffs has to mean free agents find going to Boston more enticing. Food for thought ladies and gentleman, food for thought.
Regardless of what road the Celtics decide to go down in the next month, this team will be better next year than it is now. We will either add a stud out of the draft who has superstar potential written all over him, or we trade for a player who is already a superstar and can help this team win now. It really all depends on what Danny wants to do. Does he want to trade the pick and give us a window of about 5-7 years to win a title, or does he want to keep the pick and draft a potential superstar than can give us upwards of a 15-year window to win? Do the Celtics want to be championship contenders now, or still be championship contenders, but also be an excellent team for the next 15 years with the hope that our young guys develop into players that help contend for more championships in the future? It’s a tough choice to make, but Danny Ainge is good at these things.
If the Celtics do decide to keep the pick and draft someone, they can’t overthink this. Take Markelle Fultz. We’ll find out where to play him and how to use him later on, but he has the most potential out of anybody in this class to be a superstar. You have your Lonzo Ball’s and your Josh Jackson’s and your Jayson Tatum’s, but Fultz is the number one option here. Danny has always drafted players based on who’s best-available, and this shouldn’t be any different. Fultz is better than every player in the draft and will be a cornerstone for the Celtics franchise for the next 15 or so years.
I will also take this opportunity to say once again, screw you Kevin Durant. Sure you signed with the Warriors, and you’re probably going to make the finals. Good for you. You could’ve come to Boston where, hey, we’re also a one seed and contending for a championship. And as we contend for championships, we also win draft lotteries. You could’ve been here to celebrate with us, but instead, you hopped on the bandwagon. Too bad Kevin, it’s too damn bad.
I would also like to take this time to thank the Brooklyn Nets once again for ruining their franchise and turning Boston into a powerhouse. We really appreciate all that you’ve done for us and hope that you get even worse next year, because well, we have your pick next year too. Sorry about that.
Monday we win game seven against Washington and move onto the Eastern Conference Finals. Tuesday we win the draft lottery which all but guarantees us being a far better team next season. Tomorrow night we tip of the Eastern Conference Finals in Boston against Cleveland. I don’t know how my health will hold up especially after these past two days, but like I’ve always been saying, one day at a time. We’ve just experienced the greatest 48 hours in Celtics’ history. Now let’s make it the greatest 72 hours in Celtics’ history. Boston, let’s do this.