If you are a Celtics fan, this was a pretty decent night in Boston. In any other year, a team would be ecstatic to land the #3 overall pick in the NBA Draft. However, this year, it appears as if this draft is a two-horse race with Ben Simmons and Brandon Ingram expected to be the top two picks. So, theoretically, the Celtics just missed out.
However, it is extremely important that the Celtics do not force anything. They do not need to overextend themselves and make a bad deal just to make a deal. The Celtics are not a normal top three lottery team. They made the playoffs and are only a star player away from being a legitimate threat in the Eastern Conference, if they are not already.
From what I have seen and heard from Danny Ainge, he is open to all scenarios, whether that means actually using the pick, packaging it in a deal for a transcendent player or trading down if they identify a certain guy in the draft that they like. If the Celtics are looking to trade this pick (which they should be), then Danny Ainge should go numb from calling the Chicago Bulls, Indiana Pacers, Sacramento Kings and anyone else that may be looking to trade a superstar.
If the Celtics are forced to make a selection at #3, then they could be looking at guys like Kentucky freshman Jamal Murray and Croatian big man Dragan Bender. However, if I am Danny Ainge, I don't want a player that needs to develop for a couple seasons overseas. Players like Oklahoma's Buddy Hield and Providence's Kris Dunn are already more complete and established players, and they could also be taken at a later point in this draft. Trading down could give Danny Ainge more assets for the future. While they may not have the same upside, they are ready to play in the NBA now and could provide an immediate impact.
While fans can be disappointed that the Celtics did not land the #1 or #2 pick, good players can still be found with the #3 pick in the draft. Last year, Jahlil Okafor was selected #3 overall and provided an immediate impact on a struggling Philadelphia squad. Similarly, James Harden (2009), O.J. Mayo (2008), and Al Horford (2007) were selected with the #3 overall pick.
Hang in there, Green.