For the past couple of seasons, the Boston Celtics have had the luxury of being in the lottery multiple times.
In some years, they were in the top 3; in others, they were on the outside looking in.
Regardless, this summer will be much different.
As a team with two cemented stars that have not even hit their primes yet, not having a mid first-round selection is not necessarily the end of the world. However, with the Boston Celtics looking to open up a max slot next summer to sign a Bradley Beal, Stephen Curry, or even Zach LaVine, they’ll need assets to trade with contracts to free up this space.
They will also need players on minimum deals to contribute to the roster when they have three max contracts on the books.
These players can come in the form of veterans, taking minimums to extend their career, or they could come in the form of players one, two, or three years into the league.
In this year’s draft class, there is an abundance of players the Boston Celtics could take who fit that mold.
They will come in NBA-ready and not cost the Cs more than a dime.
With no first-round pick and only one second-round pick, Boston’s chance of drafting a player or two like that is slim to none, which is why Brad Stevens needs to assure they add some young talent from one of the most stacked drafts in recent memory.
This article will go over some possible outcomes in the draft, which is more favorable for the Celtics:
Outcome No. 1) The Boston Celtics trade back into the first round
Teams will look to move up, down, or out in a very deep draft class with talent from top to bottom.
Teams in the lottery are unlikely to move out of the lottery, seeing as the prospects that will be available are better than anyone they could get outside of this area on the board.
However, teams outside of the lottery may be looking to move off of their first-round pick. For example, the Clippers, Lakers, and Nets may all look to move on from their selection to add older and more experienced players to support their older stars.
Enter the Celtics.
Boston could swoop in by offering future draft capital for one of those organizations to trade or offering an immediate contributor.
With the Nets lacking size in the frontcourt, they could be a potential suitor for Tristan Thompson, who the Boston Celtics want to move off now that they have Al Horford. Teams like the Lakers and Clippers, who are short on future draft capital, could take one of the C’s future firsts in return for their 2021 first-rounder.
The dilemma here is that Brad Stevens hinted he did not just trade the 16th pick because Presti demanded it.
Most high first-rounders make around $5 million for three years or so, which is $5 million Stevens could be spending elsewhere. So instead, Stevens opted to take Moses Brown‘s minimum contract instead of selecting a high caliber but expensive rookie.
However, as the draft goes on, rookie contracts get cheaper.
The 30th pick does not get paid the same as the 16th pick in the draft, so the chances of the Cs trading into the first are still very much alive. It’s just more likely that they trade into the late 20s than they do back into the teens.
But, if Stevens opts to save every last penny he can, there is still a way for the Celtics to net someone in this draft.