If LSU’s Ben Simmons and Duke’s Brandon Ingram are clearly the best two prospects in this year’s draft, then the Sixers and Lakers were the big winners at Tuesday’s lottery. Mock drafts may be split over whether Simmons or Ingram will be the better pro, but they virtually all agree that those will be the top two picks — in one order or the other.
So where does that leave the Celtics?
Boston is beginning to reap the harvest of a nine-player trade with Brooklyn in 2013 that saw the Nets give away a parcel of draft picks for aging veterans Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Jason Terry. It was a short-sighted deal by Brooklyn GM Billy King that eventually cost him his job as the franchise deteriorated. Boston will get unprotected first-round picks from the Nets this year and in 2018, along with the opportunity — which now seems like a certainty — to swap first-rounders next season. Brooklyn stumbled to a 21-61 record this year, the third-worst mark in the league, and the Celtics hung on to the third pick Tuesday after all the ping-pong balls dropped.
What should their next move be?
ESPN’s Chad Ford has Boston grabbing Kentucky combo guard Jamal Murray at No. 3 in his latest mock draft, calling it a tough choice between him, Kris Dunn of Providence and Buddy Hield of Oklahoma. Jonathan Givony of DraftExpress has Dragan Bender, a power forward out of Bosnia, rated third overall, but hasn’t updated his mock draft to include the lottery results or to consider team needs.
It’s generally agreed that apart from diminutive All-Star Isaiah Thomas, Boston has a roster filled with average to good players but very little star power. With Thomas, Marcus Smart and Avery Bradley on hand and the possible return of Evan Turner, any rookie guard will have to fight for playing time in the Celtics’ backcourt.
That brings us to tonight’s question: What should the Celtics do with their pick? Is Murray the best answer? Is Dunn, Hield or Bender? Or if you think a trade is a better option, who should they target and what would it take to get a deal done?
Take to the comments section below to share your thoughts and opinions on the topic. We look forward to what you have to say.