As the NBA draft begins tonight, there will be a lot more of the he said/she said rumors and speculations to what the Celtics will do with their 6th and 17th overall picks in this years draft. There has been already endless rumors and fan dreams of having a Rajon Rondo, Carmelo Anthony and Kevin Love trio in Boston to vault them back into NBA stardom. Other rumors are involving the Celtics drafting Joel Embiid because of his potential stock slip or of the Celtics will move up in the draft to get their hands on the NBA’s next biggest prize. We need to bear in mind Celtics fans that there are endless possibilities, but no sure sign of the fireworks that we are all expecting. Let’s look at the options that Danny Ainge will be facing head-on and see which of these options could come true.
As expected, the Rajon Rondo trade rumors are flying all around like it has been all throughout Rondo’s career. These rumors and the writers that are starting these rumors need to get their heads on straight and realize that Rajon Rondo being traded out of Boston is just not happening. I’m sure there are better things to talk about except Rondo being dealt out of Boston and the only thing that is true about Rondo being moved is that teams are contacting Ainge constantly about his availability. The Sacramento Kings and the Houston Rockets are the main guilty parties in this bunch. Rajon Rondo is the captain of the Celtics and even if Rondo were available in the trade chatter, the Celtics wouldn’t even come close to getting something equally valuable in return. Don’t expect Rondo to be traded at all, but expect the rumors to be blown out of proportion.
Earlier this week, the Celtics and the Cleveland Cavaliers have been in conversations involving the #1 overall pick coming to Boston. This speculation shouldn’t come to any surprises as Danny Ainge has been busy exploring every option available and obtaining the #1 overall pick from the Cavaliers may be one of the best options out there. Having the 1st pick versus the 6th pick is obviously puts you in the best position to potentially draft the leagues next biggest star. Danny Ainge is still disappointed that the Celtics’ card was selected 6th during the draft lottery and hopes to make the best of this position. The Cavaliers were ready to select Joel Embiid with their 1st pick and his recent foot injury is now giving that franchise a setback on who their next best option will be. If the Celtics manage to acquire the 1st pick prior to the draft, they will most likely select Andrew Wiggins or Jabari Parker to quickly light a fire under Jeff Green for next season.
If the Celtics cannot land the #1 pick, they will most likely go down the road of drafting for keeps. This now brings up who the Celtics should select with their #6 pick. The Celtics’ top choices for the #6 pick comes down to Noah Vonleh, Marcus Smart and Aaron Gordon. All of these players really impressed me along with the other coaches and scouts during the predraft workouts in Waltham earlier this month, so it comes to no surprise that one of these guys could make a big impact on this young Celtics team heading into next season. I personally like Noah Vonleh because he is a 6’10” power forward with the unique skill set to become a solid center depending on how much experience he gets, but is a safe bet overall. Aaron Gordon can play both small and power forward on any team in this league and could really help the Celtics with their scoring issues next season as long as he plays alongside Rajon Rondo. Marcus Smart can play either point or shooting guard and will be another safe bet for the Celtics in case Jerryd Bayless or Avery Bradley’s free agency prices are out of Boston’s price range. All of these young studs do have some flaws to their game like any other rookie coming into a competitive league, but all will make great fits for the Celtics.
The possibility of the Celtics acquiring Kevin Love is still very much alive. Minnesota is still playing hardball with other teams around the league with their high demands, but they eventually have to grasp the fact that Love just simply doesn’t want to be there and the Celtics have the best trade chips available. The Timberwolves have already burnt their trading Love bridges with four other teams in the league because of their high demands (Chicago, Golden State, Denver and Phoenix), but don’t expect the Celtics to give up on the sweepstakes. Love wants to play for a franchise that has a rich basketball history and a big market, Boston fits both of his expectations and is open to playing for the Celtics for many years to come. Star players wanting to play for your franchise is rare and is a gift, so it’s no wonder that the Celtics will try every available asset to pull the 25-year old forward away from Minnesota.
I’m going to be sweating bullets tonight during the draft because anything is possible. The future of the Boston Celtics is going to be based on decisions, decisions and more decisions. I’m confident that Danny Ainge and the rest of the Celtics’ front office will make the best move available for the future of this great franchise and the quest for banner 18.