The Boston Celtics are one of the luckiest, if not the luckiest, teams in the NBA. With Isaiah Thomas turning into a star, signing Al Horford, drafting Jaylen Brown, and receiving the Brooklyn Nets‘ 1st overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft, the Celtics are going to be stacked heading into the 2018 season. Thomas, the 60th pick of the 2011 Draft has turned into perhaps the best late-second round gem in the NBA, averaging 28 points, and six assists while shooting 46-percent from the field. Pretty impressive, especially considering he is 5-foot-9. They also made a huge upgrade at center last year; signing four-time All-Star Al Horford to a 4-year, $113 million deal.
— The Boston Globe (@BostonGlobe) July 2, 2016
Also, with the 3rd overall pick in the 2016 Draft the Celtics selected Jaylen Brown. While Brown has yet to make a big name for himself, he has shown serious potential and had many great moments while facing the Washington Wizards and the Cleveland Cavaliers in the playoffs.
Using these fundamental pieces of the team, the Celtics propelled themselves to the first seed in the Eastern Conference. They also became the second team in history to be a one seed and also get the No. 1 pick (Los Angeles Lakers in 1982, they selected James Worthy). All of these lottery picks came from the 2014 trade with the Brooklyn Nets that brought future Hall of Famers Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett to Brooklyn, while the Celtics received players Gerald Wallace, MarShon Brooks, Kris Humphries, Kris Joseph, and Keith Bogans. However, the Celtics also received the Nets’ 2014, 2016, and 2018 first round picks, along with the right to swap picks in 2017.
— CBC News Alerts (@CBCAlerts) May 17, 2017
It’s safe to say the Celtics won this trade. There have been many questions on what the Celtics will do with the Number 1 pick. If they do decide to use the pick, it is obvious that they should draft Markelle Fultz. He is the best prospect in the class, and the idea of having a backcourt of Fultz and Thomas is simply absurd.
However, the Celtics are ready to compete now. They snagged the one seed for the East this year, sending a message to the NBA that Boston is not to be ignored. If they do select Fultz, and he turns out to be a bust, or doesn’t develop in time for the Celtics to really become a powerhouse, that would be a huge chance they missed out on. The question is; should they trade for an already established star? The Celtics backcourt is already strong, with Thomas, Avery Bradley, Marcus Smart, and 2015 first-round pick Terry Rozier. While adding Fultz to the backcourt would make it even more amazing, the spots the Celtics are weakest at are the small forward and power forward positions, with those spots only really being filled by Jae Crowder, Gerald Green, and Amir Johnson. If you trade that first overall pick for an All-Star forward such as Jimmy Butler or Paul George, you can have an established star and have your starting lineup look something like this:
Point Guard: Isaiah Thomas
Shooting Guard: Avery Bradley
Small Forward: Jimmy Butler/Paul George
Power Forward: Amir Johnson
Center: Al Horford
With a fair amount left in cap space, the only move the Celtics are likely to make is signing a power forward. If they could sign a player such as Serge Ibaka, Taj Gibson, or Zach Randolph, it could really benefit the team in upcoming years.
All in all, the 2017 offseason for the Boston Celtics is going to be a very fun one. Make sure to find time to watch it.