The Boston Celtics came up big in the draft lottery last night by winning the #1 overall pick. Perhaps the only bigger winner than them was the Los Angeles Lakers, who were just happy to have their pick land in the Top 3. That being said, the Celtics could handle this pick in a multitude of ways. Do they keep it? Who do they draft? Do they trade it? Who do they trade it for? Do they even go as far as to trade back in the draft?
We’re going to examine (almost) every scenario.
Option 1: Keep the Pick. Draft Markelle Fultz.
This is not only my favorite scenario, but the one that I believe they will do. By shedding Amir and Tyler, the Celtics still have room for a max player this offseason, which could very easily be Gordon Hayward or Blake Griffin. So why would they trade the pick for a star and in essence get rid of the available cap space? In Danny Ainge’s mind right now, he has to be thinking, “The only way I trade the pick is if what I’m getting is better than Markelle’s whole career as well as Hayward/Griffin.” I’d say there are only 10 players that fall under that category.
- Lebron James
- Kawhi Leonard
- Kevin Durant
- Anthony Davis
- James Harden
- Giannis Antetokounmpo
- Stephen Curry
- Russell Westbrook
I take it back. Only 9.
Option 2: Trade back. Draft Jayson Tatum or Jonathon Isaac
The Kings/Sixers are DESPERATE for a point guard. They both simply just don’t have one. The Sixers own the Lakers pick as well as their own next year and the Kings own their own. If either one of these teams are willing to give up next years pick to swap picks this year, that is insanely tempting. It’s very possible the Lakers, Kings, and Sixers wouldn’t be that bad next year (as in outside the Top 5) but the reward equals the risk. Are Isaac/Tatum + Michael Porter worth more than Fultz? Probably. This could also backfire, and I’m not completely sure the Kings or Sixers would do it, especially with D’Aaron Fox’s draft stock rising. It would be extremely interesting though.
Option 3: Draft Lonzo Ball
Lonzo Ball is very good and very well may be a star someday.
Don’t do this.
Option 4: Trade the #1 pick, Tyler Zeller, and another filler for Jimmy Butler
I don’t like this, but it is a possibility. The Chicago Tribune even tweeted yesterday that now that the Celtics won the lottery, the Bulls chances of trading Jimmy Butler to the Celtics are all but gone. 19 year old unproven Fultz and cap space are simply worth more than prime Jimmy Butler. The only way this happens to me is if Hayward and Griffin are for sure not coming to Boston, and Wyc/Ainge/Stevens are full on in ‘win now’ mode. Ainge is as patient as it gets though, so I don’t see this happening. It is a possibility, though. (If you don’t want IT though, an IT + a pick or 2 for Butler swap would be interesting, although it has a .0000001% chance of happening.)
Option 5: Trade the #1 pick, next years BKN pick, Jae Crowder, Marcus Smart for… Anthony Davis.
Somebody would absolutely lose this trade. I just have no idea who.
Option 1 is my favorite, and I think it’s what happens. It’s great to be a Celtics fan right about now.