With the trade deadline coming up tomorrow, the Boston Celtics have some big decisions to make in the next 24 hours.
Decision #1: Are the Brooklyn Nets' picks worth keeping?
The Celtics have had horrible luck in the draft lottery, does the name Tim Duncan ring a bell for any Celtics fans out there? They missed out on Duncan when the ping pong balls didn't bounce their way and the odds of them bouncing the Celtics way this year are not that great. However, if the Nets decide to trade Brooke Lopez the odds dramatically improve. Still, the odds aren't all that appetizing.
Let's dream big and say the Celtics do get lucky and draw the first overall pick in the draft and take Ben Simmons. There is no way to predict that he is a franchise altering talent to begin with and even if he is, Simmons won't reach his full potential for a few years. As of now, the Boston Celtics are the #3 seed in the Eastern Conference and the argument can be made that the Celtics are better off adding a veteran star player rather than relying on ping pong balls.
Decision #2: Are any of the players currently on the Celtics roster untouchable?
As previously stated, the Celtics are currently the #3 seed in the Eastern Conference, so there must be some talented players on the roster. Are players like Isaiah Thomas and Jae Crowder worth hanging on to? If a team demanded that Avery Bradley be added to a trade, would Danny Ainge do it? There is no doubt that Ainge already knows this answer, but Celtics fans have fallen in love with many of the players on the roster. Is Jae Crowder a role player or could he become something more? This is an interesting topic because Crowder has shown the ability to defend players the like of Lebron James, but does Ainge value that more than acquiring a borderline super star like Horford or Kevin Love? This is another question that will be answered by the Celtics' actions at the deadline.
Decision #3: Are there any players on the trade-block worth going all in for?
If the Celtics do indeed decide they are willing to depart with a Nets pick, is there anybody worth it? Al Horford is a terrific player but his contract is expiring at the end of this season. Thus, he would need to be extended at the end of the year and with the new TV money coming to every organization, he most likely will demand a max-contract in the open market. Is Al Horford worth giving up draft picks and signing to a massive contract extension? What about Kevin Love? Ainge has been interested in acquiring Kevin Love for years now, but his play with the Cleveland Cavaliers hasn't been all that impressive this year. Having said that, he is much better than anyone currently on the Celtics roster. Is Kevin Love or Al Horford one of the missing pieces to the next Celtics championship? Even if they acquire Love or Horford, it would be a miracle if the Celtics were to contend for a championship this year. I'm thankful I'm not a GM of a sports organization because I wouldn't have been able to sleep for the weeks leading up to the deadline.
Whatever decision Ainge and the Celtics management make in the next 24 hours will affect the organization dramatically. If they do absolutely nothing it all comes down to the NBA Draft. It is still a possibility that the Celtics trade the pick on draft night. However, if they use their pick on a player like Ben Simmons, the Celtics might be waiting a few more years till they become contenders again. Even though the Celtics will have a boatload of money to offer free agents in the offseason, history shows that free agents simply don't come to Boston. Nonetheless, it will be an interesting 24 hours no matter what the Celtics do.