With the NBA draft just about a week away, this will be one of the more exciting buildups in recent Celtic history. For the first time in a while, the Celtics have the cap room to sign multiple free agents to max deals. The Celtics also hold the number 3 overall pick in the draft, thanks to the Brooklyn Nets.
There are a number of things the Celtics could do, whether it's select a young player at #3, or try to package that pick with a few players and bring in a big name player. Dragan Bender, Buddy Hield and Jamal Murray are just a few of the names involved in the possible draft picks. Jimmy Butler of Chicago, Jalil Okafor and Nerlens Noel of Philadelphia are names that the Celtics have been linked to in trade talks.
Whether you want them to trade the pick for a proven player, or draft and develop a young guy, let's explore what the guys at BBS would do with each possibility.
Trade: #3 pick, #31 pick, Avery Bradley, Kelly Olynyk to Chicago for Jimmy Butler. The Celtics have 8 total picks in this year's draft and can select nowhere near that amount of players, so they need to deal some picks. To bring in Butler it will take a few players that will be painful to lose, but Butler is worth it.
Pick #3: Buddy Hield (Oklahoma). This kid was a stud at Oklahoma and almost single handedly brought a national title to the school. He also hit 85 out of 100 three pointers in his workout with the Celtics, and perimeter scoring is a big need with this team.
Trade: This is my preferred option by far. Deal, deal, deal. Ainge rarely loses a trade, and when he does, it's tough not to at least see the logic behind the swap in the first place. I'd love the deal Matt mentioned above for Butler, but another name that has Celts fans hotly debating to keep an eye on: Kevin Love. I talked about a potential scenario here.
Buy low, sell high. Love is the perfect buy low rejuvenation project for Danny Ainge, Brad Stevens and Celtics nation.
Pick #3: I'd also go with Buddy Hield.
Trade: If—IF—this pick is traded, it'll be for a power forward. Butler-to-Boston is not going to happen, unless Ainge gets too desperate and sends a Godfather-esque offer to the Bulls (and in that instance, landing Butler wouldn't be worth it). To that end, I think either Kevin Love or Jahlil Okafor will be a Celtic by draft day, if the No. 3 pick is dealt. A deal would look something like this:
Celtics get: Love/Okafor
Cavs/76ers get: Nos. 3 and 16 overall picks, Bradley/Crowder, Olynyk
My preference is Love, as I think he would revert back into the dominant force he was with Minnesota (a consistent 25-12 player). But, Okafor has a ceiling as perhaps the best offensive big man in the game.
Pick #3: Hield is the safest choice, but I also wouldn't be surprised if Ainge finds Bender's potential to be too much to pass up. I think Ainge goes with Hield over Bender and Jamal Murray, adding a legitimate scoring threat to Boston's already-loaded backcourt.