The Boston Celtics shook up the NBA Draft by reportedly agreeing to trade the No. 1 overall pick to the Philadelphia 76ers for a combo of the No. 3 overall pick and either the Los Angeles Lakers 2018 No. 1 overall (if it falls between 2-5 overall) or an unprotected 2019 Sacramento Kings pick.
According to ESPN’s Chad Ford, that may just set up a blockbuster deal that could put Boston on the brink of contendership:
“Another realistic scenario? The Celtics use No. 3 and the newly-acquired Lakers/Kings pick to make another run at either Jimmy Butler or Paul George.”
According to Ford, Boston is also high on Josh Jackson, Jayson Tatum and Lonzo Ball, so they could keep the pick and make it.
If the Celtics do trade either combination of picks, it’s a high price to pay for either elite star. Butler would bring Boston elite scoring and solid defense and it just may be the price that has to be paid to land a star of his caliber.
For Paul George, he’s reportedly told the Indiana Pacers he intends to test free agency with an eye on the Lakers. Is sending all of those assets over to Indiana worth a one-year rental of George before trying to convince the L.A. native to stay in frigid Boston?
The Celtics passing on the No. 1 overall pick seems like a clear indication they think they can win now. Pairing George or Butler with Isaiah Thomas, Al Horford and either Gordon Hayward or Blake Griffin could put Boston over the top. The Celtics would join the Cleveland Cavaliers and Golden State Warriors as super teams built to contend.
Just three days remain ahead of the 2017 NBA Draft, and fireworks could be preparing to fly.