Paul Pierce Says Celtics Should Trade No. 1 Pick in 2017 NBA Draft

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistMay 17, 2017

Los Angeles Clippers' Paul Pierce acknowledges the fans after the team showed a tribute video for him during an NBA basketball game against the Sacramento Kings on Wednesday, April 12, 2017, in Los Angeles. The Clippers won 115-95. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
Jae C. Hong/Associated Press

Less than 24 hours after inadvertently helping the Boston Celtics land the No. 1 overall selection in the 2017 NBA draft, Paul Pierce said he wants his former team to move the pick.

"You trade this pick, because he (Markelle Fultz) cannot help the Celtics get over the top. The window is now," Pierce said Wednesday on ESPN's The Jump (h/t Chris Walder of The Score).

"You're a 50-win team, you're the No. 1 seed. You have to build on this momentum. If you can acquire a Paul George, Jimmy Butler, or Gordon (Hayward) from Utah, you have to do it."

The Celtics won the lottery Tuesday night with a Brooklyn Nets pick acquired when Pierce and Kevin Garnett were traded to Brooklyn in 2013. Pierce played one season with the Nets before leaving as a free agent, and the deal is already considered one of the worst in NBA history.  

Pierce tweeted about helping the Celtics after they won the lottery:

Boston is the first conference finalist in the modern draft-lottery era to ever win the top overall selection. It's the first to have a top-two pick since the Detroit Pistons selected Darko Milicic with the second in 2003.

The Celtics host the Cleveland Cavaliers on Wednesday at TD Garden in the first game of the Eastern Conference Finals.

Led by guard Isaiah Thomas, Boston makes a bit of an awkward fit for Markelle Fultz, viewed by most as the top overall prospect in this class. Fultz is a point guard who needs the ball in his hands to be effective, and Thomas' short stint in Phoenix showed he cannot work without being the primary ball-handler. With Thomas heading toward free agency next summer, it's possible the Celtics will be choosing between Fultz and their incumbent All-Star in the not-too-distant future.

George and Butler have long been considered potential trade targets for the Celtics, and their names could come up again if the No. 1 pick becomes available. Hayward is a free agent this summer, though, so it's possible Boston could land him and keep its top pick.

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