Well, well, well, so there is a God. Sure the first or second pick would have been great, but just the mere fact that the Celtics finally cracked the top three is enough for me. As I watched Tuesday night, I envisioned some catastrophe happening in which the Celtics somehow left New York with the 11th or sixth pick. Yes, it sounds crazy because statistically they had little to no chance of walking out with a pick that low but if you’re a true Celtics fan you KNOW that somehow there was a chance of that happening.
For those out there whining about not landing the first or second pick, deal with it. I’ll take the third pick 10 out of 10 times if it means they don’t get screwed again with the sixth pick. It could have been A LOT worse, let’s just leave it at that.
So now that Celtics fans collective prayers have been answered, what should Boston’s next move be you ask? Let me enlighten you.
There are two, and only two acceptable ways to use this pick: One, draft Buddy Heild or two, package it up and trade for a superstar to get the ball moving before free agency.
Now a little more on both options. I’d only draft Hield at three assuming Ben Simmons and Brandon Ingram are off the board. If by some grace of God either is still available when the Celtics are on the clock, then take him, run and never look back. With the Celtics shooting woes last season, it would be hard for me to justify taking Ben “No Jumper” Simmons over the possible second coming of Steph Curry in Hield.
— Boston Celtics (@celtics) May 18, 2016
If for some reason the Celtics decide to get cute and take a guy like Kris Dunn, Jamal Murray, or Dragan Bender over Hield, I’ll be beside myself. After seeing Kristaps Prozingis play this year, I think I could stomach the Celtics taking Bender, but I’m going on record saying I want Simmons, Ingram, or Hield at the third pick and that’s it.
So far, the only knock on Hield is the fact that he stayed in college all four years and is 22, which apparently “limits his upside” according to Chad Ford’s scouting report on him. Since when is being a four year college player a bad thing? I’ll take a guy that has established himself, improved his skill set, and won’t be a project once reaching the NBA over a one-and-done player like Murray any day.
Staying in college also means a player should be more mature when they get to the league. The last thing I’ll say about Hield is that you know right away what you’re getting out of him, there are no question marks. You know right away you’re getting a prolific scorer and a legitimate shooting guard, something the Celtics haven’t had in years. And for all the Avery Bradley fans who scoffed after reading that last line and preached to whoever is closet to them about how Bradley is a legitimate shooting guard, sure he is, it just took him five years to develop a sub-par jump shot. Give me a scoring shooting guard alongside Isaiah and see what happens.
Murray and Dunn are both great guards don’t get me wrong, but you won’t sell me on the fact that we should take Murray because he’s a combo guard and you won’t sell me on Dunn period. The Celtics don’t need another combo guard and they don’t need another point guard, they need a shooter. The ONLY reason I’d eventually come to terms with drafting Bender is because they also need a rim protector and at 7-feet-1-inch he’ll give you a bit of that. It helps that I was a huge fan of Prozingis last year and I see a lot of him in Bender.
As for option two, you know Danny Ainge is ready to shop this pick to anyone that will listen. Now if he could package it up with a couple guys not named Isaiah Thomas and pull in someone like Jimmy Butler, Paul George, James Harden, or say Demarcus Cousins? Count me in. Clearly, I’m a huge fan of Hield, and I do believe that he could step in and make an immediate impact on this team, but nobody in this year’s draft compares to a proven superstar like George, Butler, Harden, or Cousins. And on top of that, nobody in this year’s draft will attract free agents as much as a superstar would.
Now is a trade likely? Yes. in the infamous words of Kevin Garnett, “Anything is Possible!!!” Especially when your GM is nicknamed “Trader Danny.” One concern I have is that teams are wary of being bamboozled by Ainge and will ask for too much in return for one of their superstars. The other concern I have with trading this draft pick is the fact that it won’t land another team Simmons or Ingram. Many of the players behind those big two are question marks in terms of how much they’d impact a team right now. This could make opposing GM’s less interested in giving up a superstar for something that isn’t a sure thing.
All in all, I’m just happy to be here, here being the top three. For now, all is right in Celtics nation and last night further solidified my notion that this is the year that the Celtics finally make that big off-season splash we’ve so desperately been yearning for. So sulk if you want that they didn’t get the first or second pick, but just know things could have gone awfully wrong last night and you should count your lucky start that they didn’t. Take Tuesday night as an omen of good things to come this summer.