The Boston Celtics are one of the most storied franchises in NBA history, as they have 17 rings to show for it. As of late, they haven’t had the most success, but this past season they made it to the NBA playoffs but got eliminated in round 1 mainly because of the injury to Avery Bradley. The team doesn’t need too much to put them over the hump. However, the one thing they do need is a superstar talent. The Celtics have the ability to draft a rookie with the 3rd overall pick in the 2016 draft, or they can try and trade it for proven talent. I will be going over every scenario I believe is possible for the Celtics.
Scenario 1: Draft Dragan Bender
Dragan Bender is an interesting player. He’s a forward/center from Croatia, who can stretch the floor very well. The main issue with him is his lack of competition he has played against. He did not play for an American college, so he didn’t compete with the best prospects in the nation such as Ben Simmons and Brandon Ingram. I, as a Celtics fan, wouldn’t be happy if they draft Bender. I think he is valued as high as he is because of Kristaps Porzingis. Porzingis was drafted 4th overall by the Knicks in the 2015 draft but many fans said he would be a bust because he wasn’t proven enough. He ended up finishing 2nd in Rookie of The Year voting behind Karl-Anthony Towns. Bender is a boom or bust pick in my opinion.
Scenario 2: Trade for DeMarcus Cousins
DeMarcus Cousins is the best center in the NBA. That being said, why would the Kings trade him? The Kings would trade Cousins because he is likely going to leave in free agency and they might as well get something back for him. The Celtics would have to offer a lot more than just the 3rd overall pick, but I think it’s still worth it. A trade that could possibly go through would be:
Celtics acquire: DeMarcus Cousins
Kings acquire: 2016 3rd overall pick, 2016 16th overall pick, 2017 Brooklyn Nets pick, Kelly Olynyk.
I think this deal benefits both sides. The Celtics get the star player and big man they need while the Kings get 3 first round picks and a young center who still hasn’t hit his ceiling. This trade all depends on whether or not the Kings would be willing to give up one of the best players in the league for a promising future. This trade would definitely help the Celtics contend for an NBA title in the years to come.
Scenario 3: Trade for Jahlil Okafor
Jahlil Okafor, the 3rd overall pick in 2015, had a great rookie season but wasn’t recognized because he was on the Philadelphia 76ers, the worst team in the league. He is young with lots of potential and is already showing signs that he can become the best post scorer in the league. My big question with him is his defense. That is the one area of his game that is lacking. He is still young so I believe he can develop a more well rounded game in the future. The Celtics could possibly acquire Jahlil Okafor by doing this:
Celtics acquire: Jahlil Okafor
76ers acquire: 2016 3rd overall pick, 2016 23rd overall pick
Why would the 76ers do this? The 76ers have to get rid of one of the three big men they drafted in the past three years (Jahlil Okafor, Joel Embiid, Nerlens Noel). Since they have to get rid of one, the Celtics are targeting their best, but the 76ers are willing to do it because they can draft Ben Simmons with the first overall pick and possible Kris Dunn or Jamal Murray with the 3rd overall pick to solidify their point guard and small forward positions.
Scenario 4: Trade for Jimmy Butler
Jimmy Butler is an elite NBA talent who can play on both sides of the ball, and at a very efficient level. He is also one of the best defensive players in the league. He is essentially what the Celtics already have in Avery Bradley, but with much more abilities offensively. Here’s how the Celtics could get him:
Celtics acquire: Jimmy Butler
Bulls acquire: 2016 3rd overall pick, Avery Bradley, Terry Rozier
The Bulls would be giving up their star player but with a great return. They would be getting a potential superstar with the 3rd overall pick, a “poor man’s” Jimmy Butler in Avery Bradley, and a young point guard (Terry Rozier) who was solid when he got playing time. I think Butler would be ecstatic to be a Celtic because he went to college with SF Jae Crowder, and he would be joining a playoff team while leaving a lottery team.
Scenario 5: Trade for Paul George
This is definitely the most unrealistic trade of them all, but has been rumored. Pacers superstar Paul George is an elite player on both sides of the ball. He is a SF/PF who can guard a PG/SG if need be. With the slim chance of this happening, the Celtics could possibly do it with this trade:
Celtics acquire: Paul George
Pacers acquire: 2016 3rd overall pick, 2016 16th overall pick, 2016 23rd overall pick, 2017 2nd round pick, 2018 2nd round pick, Jae Crowder
Yeah, it would take a lot to get one of the best players in the league, who would’ve thought? A plethora of picks and one of the most underrated players in the league in Jae Crowder would still probably not be enough, but I don’t think the Celtics would even consider giving up more. Paul George would be a perfect fit for the Celtics, but I don’t think he’s worth giving up 5+ picks and Jae Crowder.
The Boston Celtics have a lot of options to play with. They can draft or trade the 3rd overall pick. From a Celtics fan’s point of view, I would love seeing the DeMarcus Cousins trade happen. He fills the biggest need for the Celtics (center) and is still young. From a person who studies the league’s point of view, the most likely trade is definitely with the 76ers for Jahlil Okafor. Jahlil is a great player but he is definitely not on DeMarcus’ level.
All in all, I want the Celtics to trade the 3rd pick for proven talent. I don’t think drafting a rookie, especially Bender, will turn them into a contender. I think acquiring an all star caliber player to pair with all star Isaiah Thomas would be huge.
Thanks for reading! Make sure to check out my twitter, @jferbsteelers, and @TheLastTimeout for more on your favorite sports.