The 2020 NBA Draft, an event in which the Boston Celtics possess three first-round picks, could become a problem for their already young and crowded roster. What can the front office do to change that?
Throughout the Boston Celtics community, much, if not all, of the attention has been focused on basketball’s return and the hypotheticals of the NBA Playoffs — and rightfully so. However, I think it’s important to look past a hopefully deep playoff run, and this could be an important offseason for the Cs moving forward.
First, let’s look at what picks the Celtics currently have for the 2020 NBA Draft. According to Tankathon, Boston is projected to have the 17th, 26th, and 30th picks in the first round, followed by the 16th pick in the second round (46th overall).
On the flip side, the upcoming free agency period will allow the front office to clear up a couple of roster spots, as the team has six impending free agents. But with the franchise currently in “win-now” mode, it is unlikely that general manager Danny Ainge would rather bolster the roster with rookies in the draft as opposed to adding more established talent through free agency or via trades.
Either way you look at it, four future draft picks would cause an overflowed roster. So without further adieu, let’s discuss.
The Boston Celtics currently have the ninth youngest roster in the NBA with an average age of 25.1. After last year’s draft, which brought four new faces to Boston (five including Tacko Fall through undrafted free agency), there isn’t much room, if any, for at least four more rookies on next year’s roster.
By doing so, the Celtics would be taking away valuable minutes from some end of the rotation players that they have been working with all season long to master the Brad Stevens system.
Specifically with the 2019 rookie class, what would happen to names like Carsen Edwards, Tremont Waters, or even Grant Williams, who has provided great versatility on the defensive end.
Sure, teams can always draft a player and just send them to their G-League affiliate so that they don’t take up a roster spot on the NBA roster, but I think we can also all agree that it wouldn’t be worth it for the Celtics to use their first-round picks on guys that they don’t think would make it past the Summer League.
So how should Danny Ainge and company solve this puzzle? Well, there are three options:
- Trade up in the draft
- Trade the picks for an established player that could help the Celtics now
- Stay put and somehow make it work.
Unless the front office is sure that they can find a player past the lottery that can help the team win now, I’m not sure why they wouldn’t look to package their surplus of picks in a trade.
Now, I know it isn’t as simple as just picking up a phone and calling an opposing GM, but I am here to explain why packaging picks in a trade is the best choice for the Celtics.
As previously mentioned in an article by site expert, Mark Nilon, there are several reasons why being in the possession of four picks might not be the best strategy for this years’ draft.
Currently, in “win now” mode, the shamrocks are passed the point of needing to build up young talent. They have their young core, and it’s a great one.
Highlighted by the beloved duo of Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown, the Boston Celtics have been able to draft and develop a mature and highly productive group of rising stars and reliable role players. The focus now should be on improving upon the already talented roster and bringing in players that can help the Celtics increase their championship odds.
Yes, there are always players in the draft pool that can have an immediate impact, but with what most consider a pretty dry draft class, the C’s picks will likely not elevate the team right away as much as they need.
The front office will likely look for help at the center position as well as some sort of bench scoring options at some point this offseason, but after Onyeka Okongwu and James Wiseman, there seems to be a significant dropoff for the rest of the bigs in the Draft.
Ainge has never been one to trade up in the draft either, so I would say that those two prospects are pretty unrealistic options for the future.
The other option would be to package the picks and/or a young player (or two) to bring in a fringe star to help elevate the roster. But besides Davis Bertans and Christian Wood, both of which are upcoming unrestricted free agents anyway, the Boston Celtics haven’t really been linked to many big names for a trade.
You never know what could happen in this league, though.
Should guys like Bradley Beal, Spencer Dinwiddie, or even Mo Bamba become available this offseason the Cs could have just the right package that teams would be looking for.
Regardless of what the trade may look like, three first-round picks could end up getting Boston some ready-made role players.
It is important for Ainge to remain aggressive in his pursuit of banner 18, and as much as he may love stashing draft picks, they begin to hold less and less value moving forward as a contending team.
Although we don’t know how the rest of the season will play out for the team, it has seemed pretty evident up to this point that the team is still in need of a couple of role players to help round out the rest of the rotation.
Whether that is a bench scorer or another veteran big man, the Boston Celtics could definitely use some additional support, and they have the trade assets to make it happen.