BOSTON (CBS) — Twitter exploded with reactions on Tuesday night after the Celtics won the NBA Draft Lottery and landed the No. 1 overall pick. But Celtics legend Paul Pierce won the night.
The former Celtics superstar and NBA Finals MVP is high on the list of people to thank in the wake of the massive return the C’s got on the trade that sent him, Kevin Garnett, Jason Terry, and D.J. White to the Nets in 2013. Pierce reportedly convinced Garnett to waive his no-trade clause in order to make the trade happen.
The now-infamous 2013 Celtics-Nets trade has already yielded Jaylen Brown, whom the Celtics used the Nets’ first-round pick to draft last year. The package will only continue to grow over the next year-and-a-half, with this year’s No. 1 pick and the Nets’ 2018 first-round pick still in tow.
The Celtics, of course, have no shortage of options as far as who to take with the No. 1 pick – if they intend to keep it. But the most popular pick among experts and prognosticators is Washington guard Markelle Fultz, who has been compared to the Rockets’ James Harden as a potential elite go-to scorer at the NBA level.
If and when Fultz rises to the level of an elite NBA talent, the Celtics can thank the Nets more than anyone. But the retiring Pierce knows that he should be getting a thank you note from Danny Ainge at some point.