The Boston Celtics are heading into uncharted territory as there is a lot of uncertainty about next season and whether Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett will return next year. This year’s NBA Draft hasn’t been brought up much in conversations regarding the Celtics and what they could possibly do on the most exciting night for prospects as their NBA careers begin. Even if Boston decides to delay the rebuilding process, drafting a player who will be a project won’t be worth the team’s time. However, as the 2011 draft showed, there are players like Kenneth Faried, Jimmy Butler, and Kawhi Leonard out there who could be an important piece for the Celtics moving forward.
In mock drafts so far, Boston has been projected to select 6’5″ guard Archie Goodwin from the University of Kentucky, 6’10″ center Gorgui Dieng from Louisville, or a number of other players. As we get closer to the draft I’ll have thoughts on these players in my annual “Countdown to NBA Draft: Celtics Edition”. Boston has the 16th pick in the 1st round and could get a decent prospect, but would trading out of the draft be a better decision?
Next year, the draft class is going to be deep and could have some of the best players talent-wise since the 2003 draft. With the rumors of Pierce not coming back next season and the potential of him being traded, there could be a chance that he could be moved on draft night. If Boston could get a higher pick in return or a future pick, preferably for 2014, the Celtics should think about biting at an offer if they have no intention of bringing Pierce back.
There are a handful of other scenarios, as the Celtics could attempt to make minor trades to move up or out of the draft. Whether they intend to rebuild or not, the Celtics need to make changes to the roster. With Chris Wilcox being the only player on the roster who is not signed for next season, trades will be the only way to shake up the team and bring in a stronger bench. Boston also doesn’t have much money to work with for free agency, so there aren’t many options for them this offseason.
It will be interesting to see what Danny Ainge plans on doing. Whatever they’re planning for late June, it could be tied to how they handle Pierce, Garnett, and Doc Rivers’ situations. Boston could trade out of the draft regardless of what next season will bring. There are always diamonds in the rough, but will the Celtics try acquiring a polished player via trade instead of hoping to strike gold in the draft? Ainge has been known to surprise people during the offseason so whatever he tries to pull off to make the team better would be typical considering his record.