2012 NBA Draft: The Celtics Should Trade Up into the Draft Lottery

Nikhil BaradwajSenior Analyst IJune 25, 2012

BOSTON, MA - JUNE 07:  Paul Pierce #34, Rajon Rondo #9 and Kevin Garnett #5 of the Boston Celtics look on from the bench late in the fourth quarter against the Miami Heat in Game Six of the Eastern Conference Finals in the 2012 NBA Playoffs on June 7, 2012 at TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
Jared Wickerham/Getty Images

The Boston Celtics enter the 2012 offseason with a lot of questions regarding the future direction of the franchise.

Boston fell to the Miami Heat in a grueling and tight seven game series that could have gone either way, if the Celtics had somehow won Game 2 or if they did not run out of gas in Game 7. 

Many analysts on ESPN like Stephen A. Smith, think that the Celtics should let go of both Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett and pursue the marquee free agents available.

With all due respect to Mr. Smith, which ones?

Sure, Roy Hibbert and Eric Gordon are on the market, both are restricted free agents and both Indiana and New Orleans will surely match all offers.

Deron Williams is available, but the C's have an All-Star point guard in Rajon Rondo, who also has one of the best contracts in the league. 

Keeping this in mind, the Celtics should actively try to keep the roster together, so that they can pursue a championship for one last season.

While Ray Allen might bolt Boston for the Clippers, Heat or the bevy of other contending teams looking for his services, re-signing Kevin Garnett, Brandon Bass, Jeff Green and Mickael Pietrus would be beneficial to the team.

With a core of Rondo, Paul Pierce, Garnett, Bass, Green, Avery Bradley and Pietrus, the Celtics would definitely contend in the Eastern Conference.

Instead of drafting two players in the first round, Boston should try to trade their two first round picks for a late lottery pick. 

A team like the Suns might be a willing trade partner, especially if both Austin Rivers and Dion Waiters are off the board when they pick at thirteen.

With the thirteenth pick, the Celtics' options grow. They could opt to draft big men like Arnett Moultrie or Terrence Jones, both of whom could contribute right away.

A frontcourt of Garnett, Jones, Bass and Green would pose matchup problems with several contending teams in the East, including the Heat, who would be forced to beat the Celtics by taking jump shots.

The other direction the Celtics can go is drafting Terrence Ross, who can really shoot the basketball.

Ross is a long 6'7" and would give the Celtics the shooter from long range that they will likely lose in Ray Allen.

Ross and Bradley would complement each other very well, with Bradley playing the majority of the game as the defensive stopper and Ross bringing his scoring off the bench.

Maybe Stephen A was talking about next season in terms of marquee free agents when Dwight Howard might hit the market.

However, this season, the Celtics should put all of their eggs into the "Championship or Bust" basket, doing whatever they can to achieve this goal.

Adding Ross is certainly better than getting two players in the twenties, both of whom might struggle to adapt to the NBA game.