BOSTON (CBS) — The Celtics hold the No. 1 pick in this year’s NBA Draft, but what do they plan to do with it?
The easy choice, of course, is to keep the pick and take Washington’s Markelle Fultz, UCLA’s Lonzo Ball, or any other potential top draft picks. Fultz is widely expected to blossom into a legitimate NBA superstar within 3-4 years to start his career.
But what if Danny Ainge doesn’t want to wait that out? What if he and Wyc Grousbeck want the Celtics to win now? That may be where they have to trade the pick for a player who can help them immediately. That’s what CSNNE Celtics play-by-play man Mike Gorman told 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Toucher & Rich on Wednesday.
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Gorman believes the Celtics may not necessarily want to wait for Fultz to develop. If they want to win a championship with the current core led by Isaiah Thomas and Al Horford, they may have to trade the No. 1 pick to land a star player that can put them over the top right now.
“Fultz is … not a once-in-a-lifetime player but certainly one of the better players to come out of college in some time, but he’s [18 years old],” said Gorman. “Isaiah and Al Horford have a window of about probably 3-4 years here to win a championship. Do you take [Fultz], knowing that probably in 4-5 years he’s going to be at the peak of his game, but other guys are going be past the peak of their game? Or do you use him as a chip to win right now?
“That seems to me the decision that the Celtics are facing. Do they try to win right now and trade [the No. 1 pick] for Anthony Davis or something like that? Or do they go for the future?”
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As for the Eastern Conference Finals between the Celtics and Cavaliers, Gorman believes the C’s have a better chance of being competitive in the series that most people give them credit for – and even gives them a chance at avoiding the four-game sweep.
“I think you sell this team short if you just think they’re going to get swept,” said Gorman. “The last time they played Cleveland [in the NBA Playoffs], even though they got swept, if you look back at those games, every one of those games was a single-digit game with under 10 minutes to play.”