The Plan For the #1, er, #3 Overall Pick?

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To walk out of the 2017 #1 pick with Helloword, Butler, and still keep BKN'S 2018 pick (trading #3 and LA pick for Butler)...well, that still gives us something to play for now and look forward to in the future.
If this ends up being the deal, why wouldn't Danny have just traded the #1 for Butler instead?
 

sezwho

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I'm thinking that Ainge is thinking that winning the 2017 draft lottery is inconsequential to him, but meaningful to others. He wants to take advantage of the imputed premium.
I was dismissive then gobsmacked as rumour turned to Woj bombs turned to reported story.

The more I thought about it though, Sprowl has definitely got bingo. Its the only thing that makes sense. Like BigJohn said, if DA really thought this was a Franchise Player I just don't think there is a realistic chance he would make the deal. As others have noted though, there are significant additional advantages:
  • Positional leverage - We have a plethora of point guards and if DA grabs yet another it becomes a necessity to trade a PG/SG. Great GMs will aggressively avoid operating from necessity. Different sport, so apologies in advance, but I think its why BB was willing to splash the pot for Stephon Gilmore: he got the player he liked but also quietly extracted the last bit of leverage from Malcolm Butler.
  • Max salary player - They save ~$1.4M dropping from 1 to 3 which means they don't have to make the painful cut to get $30.6
  • Positional advantage #2 - Both Tatum and JJ have scouting reports indicating they could play PF in some lineups which is a Celtic roster wasteland...with all due respect to the glass feet of Amir Johnson.
  • 2018 Draft - Yes this is highly volatile but the reporting seems to be that the top players have more franchise player potential than this, or most, years.
With respect to trading 'in the division' and Philly benefiting from this trade, I did have some gut reaction to the danger in feeding them Fultz. Then I was like...its Philly. Do I need to worry about the soul crushing dominance of GSW and Cleveland (or maybe LeBron and the Bronettes go to Clippertown?) at the same time I look down at these scrappy pitbulls nipping at my heals? Nope, be the best Celtics you can be and let the chips fall where they may.
 
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DeJesus Built My Hotrod

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Let me preface my comment by saying that it's entirely fair to question thiis trade and other moves. However I am trying to recall the last time Ainge got bad value on or mis-timed a trade he either made or failed to consummate. It's hard to find examples. In short, he has earned our trust in his process.
 

Cesar Crespo

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Isn't the best fit for us from a pure fit standpoint among lottery talent Zach Collins anyway? We're all convinced Danny is in GFIN mode but some of the articles and rumors read as if Danny is in 'wait a few more years and pile up even more assets" mode. Of course if it somehow is the latter, what would be the point of signing Hayward? Would he really want to sign here to be an also ran or traded in a few years? It seems like the Celtics are caught in between 2 plans atm, but then again this is all just rumor and speculation. We don't really know the plan.
 

bowiac

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That info might be useful in evaluating say, the value of the 1st pick vs the 3rd pick in a draft 5 years from now, but by all accounts this particular draft is much deeper at the top than average. The only thing that matters now is the chance of Fultz being a star vs. Jackson (or Tatum), and I don't think anyone would say it's a 10-fold difference. If the difference is marginal (and that's a big if), this trade is robbery. It's a pick with better than 50% chance of top 10 for free.
I am not a draftnik, but I don't think a 10-fold difference is an unreasonable guess to be honest. Consensus #1 guards don't bust historically, unless you want to call Rose a bust. Maybe it's not ten times, but I'd be surprised if it was less than five times here. The scouting reports I've read (and the stats models) are basically in agreement that there is a massive chasm between 1 and 3 in this case, with the main point of debate being the value of #2 this year.

Danny clearly seems to disagree. That's his call, but he hasn't done much to earn the benefit of the doubt on this kind of call either.
 

BigSoxFan

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Let me preface my comment by saying that it's entirely fair to question thiis trade and other moves. However I am trying to recall the last time Ainge got bad value on or mis-timed a trade he either made or failed to consummate. It's hard to find examples. In short, he has earned our trust in his process.
That rumored Winslow trade probably would have turned out poorly although hard to know for sure without knowing what picks were on the table.
 

cheech13

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Danny Ainge deserves the benefit of the doubt based on the totality of the moves he's made in his career, but unfortunately for him this is the type of move that gets a GM fired if it backfires.
 
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Cesar Crespo

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And the 76ers entire future depends pretty much solely on the health of Embiid. If he is healthy, they are going to be a juggernaut regardless. He's a generational talent. If he can't stay on the court for more than 30-40 games a season, they are just another team.
 

moly99

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I think folks on this board should be open-minded about Butler coming - I know their games don't compare but there is a good chance Fultz will never be as good as Butler at the NBA level. Always make deals for proven NBA all-stars over draft picks because there is too much variability in how players project, and that doesn't include injury risk.
The problem with this view of veterans vs young players is that it ignores salaries and years of team control. 7 years of a cost controlled player is better than 2 years of a slightly better player on a contract for three times as much money.

I am not a scout, and while I don't like Jackson I don't really know how good he will be. If we draft Jackson then I can live with it. But we can be certain (without being NBA scouts) that Horford + Hayward + Butler + Thomas means four guys on max or near max contracts. That will 1) evaporate our depth and/or require massive luxury tax payments, and 2) be nowhere close to as strong as the GSW's big four anyway.

If we turn the Nets haul into the Stockton-Malone Jazz against the Warriors' modern version of the Jordan Bulls, then the Celtics are idiots.
 

Cesar Crespo

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I am not a draftnik, but I don't think a 10-fold difference is an unreasonable guess to be honest. Consensus #1 guards don't bust historically, unless you want to call Rose a bust. Maybe it's not ten times, but I'd be surprised if it was less than five times here. The scouting reports I've read (and the stats models) are basically in agreement that there is a massive chasm between 1 and 3 in this case, with the main point of debate being the value of #2 this year.

Danny clearly seems to disagree. That's his call, but he hasn't done much to earn the benefit of the doubt on this kind of call either.
Wouldn't this also largely depend on the draft too though? Alonzo Mourning is a number 1 pick in 90% of drafts. Carmelo probably is too (Darko was a terrible pick).
 

bowiac

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Wouldn't this also largely depend on the draft too though? Alonzo Mourning is a number 1 pick in 90% of drafts. Carmelo probably is too (Darko was a terrible pick).
It obviously depends on the specifics of the draft. That said, I don't have any reason to think Ainge is any better than consensus at evaluating this. My read of the consensus is that there is a chasm between 1 and 3 this year, so moving down is a big deal.
 

the moops

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I just get excited about the thought of the havoc on defense a Smart, Brown, Butler/George, Haywood, Horford lineup would offer. Talk about the ability to switch just about any pick n roll
 

heavyde050

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The #1 protection in the LAL pick sucks. I would have thought Danny could get Philly to blink on that.
That is possibly the worst part. Philly could end up with three straight #1 picks for basically giving up the #3 this year.

Edit - sorry if this was already posted. Just got done driving 5 hours.
 

Ed Hillel

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That is possibly the worst part. Philly could end up with three straight #1 picks for basically giving up the #3 this year.
In the event they get lucky enough to get the 1 next year, they are giving up their 2019 Sac pick to Boston. And last year's pick had nothing to do with this trade.
 
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The Gray Eagle

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Danny Ainge deserves the benefit of the doubt based on the totality of the moves he's made in his career, but unfortunately for him this is the type of move that gets a GM fired if it backfires.
Yeah, "You are fired because one of the 3 top picks you stole from the Nets with your genius trade didn't work out!"

Here is a positive take on the trade from CBS sports:
"Without once compromising a very good, financially stable roster, Boston, in addition to the No. 3 pick this year, has six combined first-round picks in 2018 and 2019. Think about this: The Celtics very easily could end up with a pair of top-five picks next year if that Lakers pick falls right, because remember, they still have the Brooklyn Nets' first-rounder from that 2013 heist. By adding the extra pick in this deal with Philly, the Celtics are in position to offer, say, the Chicago Bulls a potential top-five in next year's draft, in addition to Jae Crowder and Avery Bradley, for Jimmy Butler...
A free agent his summer, how can Hayward look at what this Boston team is putting together and not be seriously tempted the leave the Jazz? It is not at all unreasonable for the Celtics to be running out a starting lineup next season of Isaiah Thomas, Jimmy Butler, Gordon Hayward, Josh Jackson and Al Horford. All of this with six first-round picks, including a potential top-five pick, over the next two years still in the bag. That is no joke."

So if they trade with the Bulls as suggested above, this could turn into Fultz, Crowder, and Bradley for Jimmy Butler and a guy Ainge likes just as much as Fultz.

They might not be doing the Bulls trade. I would rather they try to get Porzingis in a trade instead, as he is only 21, still cheap, and would solve most of the current team's problems right away. They should have the pieces to go after him if the Knicks would move him.

There are a lot of ways this can still go, and Ainge should be trusted to make good moves.
 

Cellar-Door

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The problem with this view of veterans vs young players is that it ignores salaries and years of team control. 7 years of a cost controlled player is better than 2 years of a slightly better player on a contract for three times as much money.

I am not a scout, and while I don't like Jackson I don't really know how good he will be. If we draft Jackson then I can live with it. But we can be certain (without being NBA scouts) that Horford + Hayward + Butler + Thomas means four guys on max or near max contracts. That will 1) evaporate our depth and/or require massive luxury tax payments, and 2) be nowhere close to as strong as the GSW's big four anyway.

If we turn the Nets haul into the Stockton-Malone Jazz against the Warriors' modern version of the Jordan Bulls, then the Celtics are idiots.
Not sure why you think that evaporates depth. The Celtics have 2 first rounders from last year who haven't even started their cheap rookie deals, Brown and Rozier who have multiple years left on rookie deals, and even after trading will have a plethora of 1st rounders stretched over the life of those max deals, add in exceptions and depth is unlikely to be an issue. (Also I wouldn't assume IT4 gets maxed, and as I've mentioned before Butler's old max isn't particularly damaging compared to the new max)
 

The Gray Eagle

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Right, they would be trading the Lakers/Sac pick they just got from the Sixers but keeping the Nets pick and the others.
 

BigSoxFan

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If the Bulls are trading Butler, they are committing to a rebuild so I don't see why they'd be interested in Crowder or Bradley unless they could flip them for picks and/or young players. I don't see how we could get Butler or a comparable player without trading either Brooklyn 2018 or #3 this year.
 

Ale Xander

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"It is not at all unreasonable for the Celtics to be running out a starting lineup next season of Isaiah Thomas, Jimmy Butler, Gordon Hayward, Josh Jackson and Al Horford"

That's one crappy rebounding team.
 

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There are reasonable people that think Lonzo is the best player in the draft, and there are also people that think the Lakers want Pacey over Lonzo at two. I get that people don't like the Ball family, but he has elite vision and can shoot. What if that's DA's ultimate goal?
 

chonce1

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If the Bulls are trading Butler, they are committing to a rebuild so I don't see why they'd be interested in Crowder or Bradley unless they could flip them for picks and/or young players. I don't see how we could get Butler or a comparable player without trading either Brooklyn 2018 or #3 this year.
And we have to match salaries. We need to throw in talent to make that happen. It really seems to make very little sense.

I hated this trade last night and don't feel much better about it now. Ths was the payoff...the #1 pick, a consensus stud who is almost certain not to bust. This seems like someone who is trying to pull some magic out of a hat, when he already did. He doesn't didnt need to do anymore but grab the guy.

I hate it. And Ainge has been a top 3 NBA gm, but 1 title in 15 years doesn't earn him "Trust" in view. Not blind, ceaseless trust in the face of what is a really curious, and (from any angle i can see, illogical) trade.

Moreover, I am not even excited about the draft or the summer league anymore. I feel cheated. But this isn't my team. I said this when we lost to NYY in 2003. I care too much about this stuff.
 

dylanmarsh

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If the Bulls are trading Butler, they are committing to a rebuild so I don't see why they'd be interested in Crowder or Bradley unless they could flip them for picks and/or young players. I don't see how we could get Butler or a comparable player without trading either Brooklyn 2018 or #3 this year.
Because they can have them for most of the 2017-18 season and move them at the deadline for further assets. Both have extremely team-friendly salaries and it wouldn't take much cap maneuvering for a playoff-bound team to get one of them.
 

heavyde050

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Danny Ainge deserves the benefit of the doubt based on the totality of the moves he's made in his career, but unfortunately for him this is the type of move that gets a GM fired if it backfires.
Overall he has been pretty good/really good with the KG and Nets treasure trove being his career highlights.
But looking back at his moves (especially pre-KG) there are some definite misses.

http://www.basketball-reference.com/executives/aingeda01x.html
 

PedroKsBambino

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There's some wild valuations of number one pick relative to others floating around this thread.

Just to change discussion to data (and great if others want to cite other data instead/in addition to) Kevin Pelton of ESPN has done a trade value chart based on historical surplus value generated by each pick.

The number 1 is worth 4000 points in his model; number 3 is worth 2670. Number 14 basically makes up the gap (1320). Insider. http://www.espn.com/nba/insider/story/_/id/19658707/how-much-more-valuable-no-1-pick-trading-2017-nba-draft

Player value isn't linear, and his model isn't perfect. However, some of the "10x more valuable" stuff is not fact-based.
 

Jed Zeppelin

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There are reasonable people that think Lonzo is the best player in the draft, and there are also people that think the Lakers want Pacey over Lonzo at two. I get that people don't like the Ball family, but he has elite vision and can shoot. What if that's DA's ultimate goal?
He'll always be Peter Bishop and/or Charlie Conway and/or Cole Lockhart to me.

Sneaky great career when you think about it.
 

BigSoxFan

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Because they can have them for most of the 2017-18 season and move them at the deadline for further assets. Both have extremely team-friendly salaries and it wouldn't take much cap maneuvering for a playoff-bound team to get one of them.
If they intend to trade them at the deadline, then keeping them until next February makes no sense as it just devalues their return and it hurts the draft position of their 2018 pick. An expiring Bradley isn't going to have a ton of value in 8 months. I'd rather get the young players/picks now if I were them and remove any future trade risk.
 

Luis Taint

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If the Celtics roster turns this Draft/NBA free agency into Haywood, Butler, Jackson(I actually prefer Tatum) and potentially 2 of the first 4 draft picks in next year's draft, I won't complain.
 

EL Jeffe

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This isn't post-trade rationalization as I've brought this up before; Ainge very clearly likes players who are wired a certain way. He values hyper-competitive guys who are driven and I'm not sure that's Fultz. MF checks an awful lot of boxes, but he seems somewhat aloof on the court. Seth Davis's "Finch" column is must reading for me every year, and reading this year's iteration it's clear some scouts are worried about Fultz's competitiveness and not translating talent into wins (at college or the AAU circuit; and listening to Ainge talk about scouting Jaylen Brown, it's clear he values what he sees at the AAU level too.)
 

shawnrbu

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If the Celtics roster turns this Draft/NBA free agency into Haywood, Butler, Jackson(I actually prefer Tatum) and potentially 2 of the first 4 draft picks in next year's draft, I won't complain.
If Butler is acquired, then one of # 3, 2018 Nets or 2018 Lakers is going away in the trade. More probable than not 2 of the 3 for Butler.
 

chonce1

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There's some wild valuations of number one pick relative to others floating around this thread.

Just to change discussion to data (and great if others want to cite other data instead/in addition to) Kevin Pelton of ESPN has done a trade value chart based on historical surplus value generated by each pick.

The number 1 is worth 4000 points in his model; number 3 is worth 2670. Number 14 basically makes up the gap (1320). Insider. http://www.espn.com/nba/insider/story/_/id/19658707/how-much-more-valuable-no-1-pick-trading-2017-nba-draft

Player value isn't linear, and his model isn't perfect. However, some of the "10x more valuable" stuff is not fact-based.
I appreciate the perspective, but those values -- way more than the NFL -- are so draft-dependent. Especially in the NBA where the difference between 1 and 3 is so great. Now 10 xx the value, sure, that sounds random.

But in all liklihood this trade down will net us the 2019 Sac pick, and we really don't need that pick and it almost assuredly won't be #1 (and could be 10 or 8 or whatever).

You have to really think Jackson is great to not hate this. Or, you have to think ainge will make a great trade. But all the Butler/PG rumors, don't do anything for me.

You get us Westbrook or something (not on the market) I could get excited. AD, also not being traded...fine. Plus even if they were on the market, I feel confident the 1 pick would be better trade fodder than 3 and a future pick of unknown quality.

We should have got 2018 Lakers unprotected and Sac's pick, I think. Or at least 2018 LA unprotected and Philly pick (with bottem end protection
 

cardiacs

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This isn't post-trade rationalization as I've brought this up before; Ainge very clearly likes players who are wired a certain way. He values hyper-competitive guys who are driven and I'm not sure that's Fultz. MF checks an awful lot of boxes, but he seems somewhat aloof on the court. Seth Davis's "Finch" column is must reading for me every year, and reading this year's iteration it's clear some scouts are worried about Fultz's competitiveness and not translating talent into wins (at college or the AAU circuit; and listening to Ainge talk about scouting Jaylen Brown, it's clear he values what he sees at the AAU level too.)
I totally agree with this personally and I also think Ainge is tuned into this as well. It's one of the reasons I haven't been really excited about him - I think he will make a few all-star teams but never be "the guy" on a contending team. In my mind's eye, if you draw an imaginary continuum between Garnett and Jeff Green, he's 80% of the way to Green.
 

PedroKsBambino

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I appreciate the perspective, but those values -- way more than the NFL -- are so draft-dependent. Especially in the NBA where the difference between 1 and 3 is so great. Now 10 xx the value, sure, that sounds random.

But in all liklihood this trade down will net us the 2019 Sac pick, and we really don't need that pick and it almost assuredly won't be #1 (and could be 10 or 8 or whatever).

You have to really think Jackson is great to not hate this. Or, you have to think ainge will make a great trade. But all the Butler/PG rumors, don't do anything for me.

You get us Westbrook or something (not on the market) I could get excited. AD, also not being traded...fine. Plus even if they were on the market, I feel confident the 1 pick would be better trade fodder than 3 and a future pick of unknown quality.

We should have got 2018 Lakers unprotected and Sac's pick, I think. Or at least 2018 LA unprotected and Philly pick (with bottem end protection
I agree--but lets dispense with idea there's 10x value too.

This analysis was nba-focused, obviously. I do think if a draft is Duncan then a lot less the gap is larger than any draft analysts suggest this years draft is.

I think the opposite of what you say is true--you have to believe Fultz is that differentiated from the next guys to hate this trade. If someone watched college hoops enough to feel that way, I respect that. Many here are just fantasizing though, not analyzing based on their own eyes or the draft community.

Trading 1 for a significant asset and 3 is good value in the abstract---that's just the analytical reality in what I've read today. If someone has data/analysis a different way great to see and discuss it. That changes only if one feels Fultz is well above average projection-wise. I think that's the rational discussion to be had, along with 'what's the next move' where I share many people's uncertainty.
 

cathat

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If the Celtics roster turns this Draft/NBA free agency into Haywood, Butler, Jackson(I actually prefer Tatum) and potentially 2 of the first 4 draft picks in next year's draft, I won't complain.
The problem is that team would still lose to GS 4 out of the next 4 years and it's more likely that we pick 4 and 5 next year than 1 and 2.
 

Cesar Crespo

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The problem is that team would still lose to GS 4 out of the next 4 years and it's more likely that we pick 4 and 5 next year than 1 and 2.
That would largely depend on the development of Brown, Jackson and whoever we pick up with other picks.
 

Sprowl

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I totally agree with this personally and I also think Ainge is tuned into this as well. It's one of the reasons I haven't been really excited about him - I think he will make a few all-star teams but never be "the guy" on a contending team. In my mind's eye, if you draw an imaginary continuum between Garnett and Jeff Green, he's 80% of the way to Green.
I can't see that comparison -- Jackson's intensity is much closer to Garnett's fire than the indifferent, coasting Green. Fultz may be a little too mellow for Ainge's taste, with potential knee issues. Coupled with an overstocked backcourt, it's not hard to see this as an Ainge value deal that pushes the contention window back another year.

Fultz sure does have a grand highlight reel, though. With both IT and Fultz as threats to drive the lane, the Celtics would have had an enviably powerful offense.
 

ishmael

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I agree--but lets dispense with idea there's 10x value too.

This analysis was nba-focused, obviously. I do think if a draft is Duncan then a lot less the gap is larger than any draft analysts suggest this years draft is.

I think the opposite of what you say is true--you have to believe Fultz is that differentiated from the next guys to hate this trade. If someone watched college hoops enough to feel that way, I respect that. Many here are just fantasizing though, not analyzing based on their own eyes or the draft community.

Trading 1 for a significant asset and 3 is good value in the abstract---that's just the analytical reality in what I've read today. If someone has data/analysis a different way great to see and discuss it. That changes only if one feels Fultz is well above average projection-wise. I think that's the rational discussion to be had, along with 'what's the next move' where I share many people's uncertainty.
This analysis has a pretty good visualization for what is at stake picking a LeBron (consensus #1 who turned out even better than could be expected) vs. Darko (4th biggest bust all-time) vs. DWade (among the top 20 best value picks of all-time): https://pudding.cool/2017/03/redraft/
 

Captaincoop

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This whole thing is hard to wrap your head around until we know what's staying and what's going in the immediate follow-up deal.

That Lakers/Kings pick has potential to be garbage. Danny knows that, and so does any GM to whom he tries to trade it. If the plan is to keep it and use it to replace the BKN 18 pick(which gets sent away for Butler or whoever) and add a cheap rotation player with upside while maintaining a lottery ticket chance that it ends up at 2 or 3, that's one thing. But it shouldn't be thought of as giving the C's one of the three studs projected in that draft, because that's a really wishful outcome.
 

Cesar Crespo

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Again, people are really overlooking that the 2018 could be incredibly deep. It may be 5-6 studs since the league could get rid of one and done. Picking in the 2-5 range next year almost guarantees a stud if that's the case.
 

JCizzle

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Do you trade down to Sacramento for 5 and 10 if you can grab Fox or Smith and Zach Collins? You'd need to get creative to open up max money.
I would be kinda pissed if they took Fox after some of the excuses they leaked - ie the backcourt is too loaded already, etc. They'd be a mess offensively with two guards that can't shoot at all.

Again, people are really overlooking that the 2018 could be incredibly deep. It may be 5-6 studs since the league could get rid of one and done. Picking in the 2-5 range next year almost guarantees a stud if that's the case.
It's gonna really suck when that Lakers pick ends up being #1 and the Sixers pair Porter/Donic with Fultz and the rest...
 

pjheff

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With both IT and Fultz as threats to drive the lane, the Celtics would have had an enviably powerful offense.
Is it possible that Ainge's response to the pace and space NBA is to go the other way and prioritize defense, drafting tenacious and disruptive athletes such as Smart, Brown, and potentially now Jackson?
 

finnVT

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Do you trade down to Sacramento for 5 and 10 if you can grab Fox or Smith and Zach Collins? You'd need to get creative to open up max money.
Not that much more creative than now. Cap holds for 5 (4.6mil) and 10 (3.1mil) are not that much more than the #1 was, so they're in basically the same spot as before. Renouncing Olynyk, Young, and Zeller, adding Yabu (2.2) and Zizic (1.6), with those 2 cap holds puts them at 25.5m under cap. Moving AB or Crowder does it.