Celtics need to keep the number one pick | Bonehead Picks

Why the Boston Celtics need to keep the number one pick in the 2017 NBA Draft

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It is official. Now that the NBA Draft Lottery is over, the Boston Celtics have the number one overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft because of their trade years ago with the Brooklyn Nets in the Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce trade. It is a trade that remains mystifying but is beneficial for the Celtics, who are battling LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers in the Eastern Conference Finals. Short term, the Celtics are fighting LeBron James for Eastern Conference supremacy while long term the Celtics front office and Danny Ainge must decide whether using the number one pick in a strong 2017 NBA Draft is the best decide for their franchise or possibly trading that pick for an impact NBA player this summer.

The Boston Celtics have been linked to two NBA All-Stars over the past year, Chicago’s Jimmy Butler and Indiana’s Paul George. Both players are in their physical primes, are talented both offensively and defensively, and are the leaders of their respective teams. It is likely that the number one overall pick, along with players like Jae Crowder and Tyler Zeller, in the 2017 NBA Draft that is owned by the Boston Celtics would be enough to pry either George or Butler from their current teams. However, Boston would make a mistake by trading the top pick for either one for a few reasons.

The idea of acquiring Jimmy Butler or Paul George for the Boston Celtics would be to pair them with high-scoring guard Isaiah Thomas and veteran big man Al Horford to challenge the Cavaliers trio of LeBron James, Kevin Love, and Kyrie Irving for the present and near future. The problem is that while the Cavaliers trio are locked up contractually multiple years, the Celtics only have Al Horford locked up in a contract for beyond next NBA season. Isaiah Thomas will be a free agent after next season as can Paul George. If the Celtics acquired Jimmy Butler, he would be under contract until 2019-20 which could make him more enticing an option than George to acquire.

The opportunity to draft either Washington’s Markelle Fultz or UCLA’s Lonzo Ball is the biggest reason why the Celtics should keep their number one pick. Both are big point guards with perceived superstar potential and could learn under Isaiah Thomas for a year before taking over the starting point guard spot the following season if the Celtics deem Thomas as not worth the max contract he will likely command as a free agent in the summer of 2018. The Boston Celtics should keep the their number one pick for the 2017 NBA Draft and take the potential superstar to take the Celtics to success after LeBron James’ Eastern Conference reign is over.


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