Few teams in NBA history have found themselves in the Celtics’ current position. Boston is not only one of the four teams still alive in the playoffs, but also has landed the No. 1 overall pick in what’s considered a very strong 2017 draft.
The Celtics’ showing this season, which included earning the first overall seed in the East, is proof that the team isn’t too far away from being a serious title contender. However, if Game 1 in the Eastern Conference Finals was any indication, the team may not just be one player away from seriously threatening LeBron James‘ Cavs.
That creates an interesting dilemma for the Celtics, who have stashed away three extra first-round picks beyond 2017, including the Nets’ unprotected 2018 selection. Boston has enough young players and future assets to continue taking its time in building a contender, perhaps waiting out LeBron’s peak. However, that stash of extra picks and assets, along with an already-talented roster, provides a unique opportunity — the C’s could move the No. 1 pick this year for a star, improve their roster immediately, and still be well-positioned to keep their window of contention open for years.
There’s no obvious answer for the Celtics, with some NBA observers arguing in favor of trading the pick and some insisting they need to keep it. The probable No. 1 pick, point guard Markelle Fultz, plays the same position as the team’s current MVP, Isaiah Thomas. What would it mean for Thomas’ long-term future if Fultz joins the mix in Boston?
Conversely, if the C’s were to trade the pick, what kind of player could they land? Jimmy Butler and Paul George have been frequently mentioned as targets, but are the Bulls ready to trade Butler? Would George, on track for 2018 free agency, be willing to commit to an extension with the Celtics? Is there another player – perhaps someone like Kristaps Porzingis – who might be available for the No. 1 pick, and who would appeal to Boston?
What do you think the Celtics should do with the first overall pick? Place your vote below, and then jump into the comments section to share your thoughts!
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