After completing a three-team trade with the Golden State Warriors and Miami Heat that was first reported by Yahoo! Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski, the Celtics are giving the term "flexibility" a whole new meaning.
As ESPN Insider Tom Haberstroh points out, Boston has amassed more future first-round draft picks than a few unfortunate souls have fingers. Their first-round selection outlook is as follows:
- 2014 (3): Own, Brooklyn Nets, Philadelphia 76ers (lottery protected)
- 2015 (2): Own, Los Angeles Clippers
- 2016 (2): Own, Brooklyn
- 2017 (1): Own (right to swap with Brooklyn)
- 2018 (2): Own, Brooklyn
Why yes, Celtics general manager Danny Ainge knows how to pilot a rebuild. He's also on record as downplaying this year's draft class.
"If Kareem Abdul-Jabbar was out there to change your franchise forever, or Tim Duncan was going to change your franchise for 15 years? That might be a different story," Ainge explained in September, via Sports Illustrated's Ian Thomsen. "I don't see that player out there."
If true, that means Ainge and the Celtics should be open to obtaining franchise-altering talent now, using their collection of first-rounders as primary bait.
With so many draft picks locked up in their cupboard, the Celtics are capable of turning a tanker into an immediate winner. Think of the possibilities.
No, seriously, let's think about them.
*Stats courtesy of Basketball-Reference unless otherwise noted.