Celtics Notes: Ainge, Fultz, Tatum, Theis

Danny Ainge, the Celtics’ president of basketball operations, has risked his legacy by trading the top pick in this year’s draft, writes Chris Mannix of The Vertical. Mannix points out that Ainge gave up Markelle Fultz, a player who scouts seem unanimously sold on, for a chance at Josh Jackson or Jayson Tatum, who play the same position as Boston’s first pick from last year, Jaylen Brown. Ainge may be preparing for a larger deal, but the Pelicans seem to have no desire to move Anthony Davis, and the Bulls’ Jimmy Butler or the Pacers’ Paul George would probably be just a brief rental. Mannix believes Philadelphia now has a team that can contend for the playoffs next season and possibly grow into the East’s next power. If that happens, Ainge’s reputation will take a major hit.

There’s more news out of Boston:

  • The Celtics get an A-minus for the deal and the Sixers get an A-plus from Ben Golliver of Sports Illustrated. He writes that Fultz’s skills don’t fit with Boston’s immediate needs and his presence would have complicated Isaiah Thomas‘ free agency in 2018. Ainge, who owns Brooklyn’s unprotected first-rounder next season, may have two lottery picks to work with if the Lakers’ choice falls between No. 2 and 5. If not, he will have the Kings’ first-rounder in 2019.
  • Despite reports that they are pursuing another deal, the Celtics are telling agents they plan to use the No. 3 pick, tweets Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders.
  • Tatum is a strong possibility for the Celtics if the Lakers opt for Jackson at No. 2, according to Mark Murphy of The Boston Herald (Twitter link). Boston ranks Fultz, Jackson, Tatum and Lonzo Ball as its top four prospects.
  • The trade slightly raises Boston’s cap space to $19.8MM, tweets Keith Smith of Real GM, who adds that it can still be increased with other moves. The Sixers now have $40.2MM available, second only to the Kings.
  • Tom Ziller of SB Nation examines the Celtics’ possible motives for the deal, including a desire to take Jackson, to avoid conflict with Thomas, to set up a bigger deal involving Butler or George or to build a team capable of taking over the East when LeBron James retires.
  • The Celtics have “serious interest” in German forward Daniel Theis, relays Emiliano Carchia of Sportando. The 25-year-old is a free agent after his contract with Brose Bamberg expired.
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26 thoughts on “Celtics Notes: Ainge, Fultz, Tatum, Theis

  1. RiverCatsFilms

    I’m just trying to understand the deal with the Kings, Lakers, and Celtics. So, if the Lakers land between picks 2 and 5 Celtics get that pick, but if not they get the Kings 2019? Why does it have to be so confusing

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    • Connorsoxfan

      Yes that’s how it works. They did it like that to protect both teams. PHI is protected from giving up no. 1, and BOS is protected from having a pick at the end of the lottery.

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      • rkumar

        Pretty interesting bc the 2018 pick was a backup since the lakers pick this year wasn’t conveyed

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  2. Connorsoxfan

    I think the extra value here is the additional lottery pick next year. There was talk of them taking Jackson at 1 anyway so I don’t really see how this trade puts his legacy on the line. He’s got 2 chances to make good on this trade.

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  3. socalbum

    “…plan to use the no. 3 pick…” doesn’t mean they are going to keep it, or a player selected. Taking a prospect after signing Horford and intentions to pursue Hayward is not what C’s need in 2018.

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  4. Dionis

    Josh Jackson at the 3 and Jaylen Brown at the 2 and just bring over Blake Griffin.

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  5. Dionis

    Why wouldn’t he? Boston needs rebounding and a physical presense, barring injury he’s a perfect fit.

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    • socalbum

      first, his best position is also the best position of Horford, PF. Griffin now has trouble staying on the court with assorted injuries, he isn’t a strong defensive player, nor is he a great rebounder. IMO, the C’s need a rim protector/rebounder more than another PF.

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      • Dionis

        Al Horford is no power forward specially in this day and age, he’s too slow to guard opposing 4’s. The league no longer has back to basket 4’s, more face up stretch bigs. Blake Griffin can actually post up and give Boston that interior scoring they sorely lack.

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        • socalbum

          I listed all of the reasons; just say no on Griffin and spend on better players

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          • mcase7187

            You forgot the bad attitude for younger players he’s just straight up bad for this team they need a Drummond or Davis someone who can rebound and shot block maybe this kid from overseas can be that in time but they need help now there

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            • Dionis

              Davis to Boston would be historic, he might have a shot at becoming the greatest Celtic ever.

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              • socalbum

                New Orleans is not going to trade Davis — but possibly Cousins

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        • Al Horford is a face up big. He has one of the best 3pt field goal% for a 4/5. Did you not watch Horford in the playoffs? He was arguably the celtics best player although it4 had some personal issues he had to deal with and injuries.

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  6. TJECK109

    When are free agents going to start looking at Philly? With the core they are going to have they could be a monster in a season or 2. I don’t know their needs but if they could add one of the top FAs they could be a good team this year

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  7. Thronson5

    I am really stoked for this draft. More than normal. As a Lakers fan I am really curious to see what they do. So many rumors floating around. Anyone else think they may pull off a draft day trade?

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  8. Everyone seems to think that this deal is good for both teams but unless Ainge got Philly to throw in Dario Saric and/or packages some of these picks to get someone like Anthony Davis, not Butler (overrated) and not George (too much for one year), then I think it helps Philly more (a division rival) because now they have a young strong core of Embiid, Saric, Fultz, and Simmons moving forward.

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  9. JFactor

    Potentially screwed up his legacy? He secured his legacy by getting the pick in the first place

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