NBA Draft 2012: Why Boston Celtics Must Trade Up in 1st Round

BOSTON, MA - JUNE 07:  (L-R) Ray Allen #20 and Paul Pierce #34 of the Boston Celtics look on during warm ups 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 Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
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Andrew WallockContributor IJune 28, 2012

With two picks at the tail end of the 2012 NBA draft (Nos. 21 and 22), the Boston Celtics have been exploring different scenarios that could vault them higher and produce more picks for their organization. 

This news is actually a pleasant surprise for NBA fans and Celtics fans alike, as it seems the Celtics aren't content with just standing pat. 

The Celtics were on the verge of a dynasty a few years ago when they managed to bring both Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen on board to pair with future Hall of Famer Paul Pierce and upcoming superstar Rajon Rondo. After winning a title in 2008, the roads have been a little more rocky of late as Garnett, Pierce and Allen aren't getting any younger and they haven't been able to win another championship. The time of the Big Three in Boston seems to have ended, so something big needs to happen sooner rather than later. 

Trading up would be a great move on the Celtics' part, especially with this draft long talked about as one of the deepest drafts in the past few years. While they may not be able to launch themselves all the way into the top 10, there will still be plenty of value to be had in picks 11-18. 

And when it comes to the Celtics' two most glaring needs (center and athletic wing), there are plenty of those to be had in the top 14 picks. Whether they want a project in Connecticut's Andre Drummond, North Carolina's Tyler Zeller, or a defensive stud in UNC's John Henson, any one of these players—if put in the right situation—could eventually replace the likes of Garnett, Allen and Pierce.

Even so, they could also find themselves drafting Duke guard and coach Doc Rivers' son, Austin Rivers. Who better than to get the most from an oft-criticized guard than his own father? While the Celtics might not have a need for Rivers, with Rondo and Bradley holding down the fort for now, it definitely would not be a terrible pick. 

This offseason will prove crucial for the team in Beantown, as the Miami Heat and Ray Allen have been rumored to be flirting with each other and Kevin Garnett is an old veteran free agent who had a resurgence in the playoffs. Whatever happens, the Celtics need to get younger and what better way then to snag a few picks in a top-heavy draft like this one?

In the end, the smartest move the Celtics could make right now is trading up in this draft. Whether they offer Brandon Bass or one of their own picks from later on, there are plenty of young studs that could immediately help the legendary Celtics franchise. 

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