We are now just four days away from the NBA Draft, and the trade rumors started to kick into overdrive yesterday. The first big one appears to have come to fruition, and it involves your Boston Celtics and their much-anticipated top pick. Adrian Wojnarowski of "The Vertical" is reporting that Boston has agreed to trade the number one pick to the Sixers for the number three pick along with the 2018 Lakers 1st Round pick (or 2019 Kings pick, depending on protections). The Celtics would give up a player that looks to be the closest to a sure thing in this draft, but they may not be making this trade to pick in 2017, they may use this year's pick as trade bait and wait until next year to pick when they would have Brooklyn and Los Angeles's top picks, which could hypothetically land them the top two selections or at least two in the top five.
Here is what Wojnarowski tweeted yesterday:
And here are a series of tweets proving that this was a done deal 24 hours ago:
Understandably, many Celtics fans are upset with the news, and it is justifiable. They've been waiting for this 2017 Brooklyn pick to be an actual tangible thing for four years, and then Boston wins the lottery. Fans were thinking- "wow, now we get Fultz and we'll figure it out", and I was in that camp too, but clearly Danny Ainge has different plans. The big rumor is Boston wants to draft Josh Jackson of Kansas, but there is a good chance he is taken by the Lakers with the second pick. With this deal being announced tomorrow, it is clear that Boston either has TWO players they are comfortable taking at three (most likely Jackson or Jayson Tatum) or there is a major trade in the works.
The three pick is very strong trade chip, and it wouldn't be a surprise if Boston was to announce a deal where they send the #3 pick, Avery Bradley, and Jae Crowder (with two cap fillers, like Jackson and Mickey) to Chicago for Jimmy Butler. Now that they have the extra pick, be it the Lakers '18 pick (only if it's 2-5), or the '19 Kings pick, along with their remaining '18 Brooklyn pick (among others), they don't lose the ability to get much better now while still retaining top end selections for the future. Ainge is too competitive to not build up his current roster, and if he can do it while retaining what should be top pick, he's got the best of both worlds. That makes it worth giving up the top pick this year.
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