I BELIEVE THAT WE CAN DRAFT! I BELIEVE THAT WE CAN DRAFT! I BELIEVE THAT WE CAN DRAFT!
Tom Westerholm: Aaron Gordon.
Gordon isn’t going to be a franchise changer in that he has the potential to be a franchise player. But he might be a franchise changer in that he could be a key cog on a championship team. He’s an athletic freak who has blown away scouts with his intensity, his love for the game, his desire to become better and his willingness to learn. He’s a defensive monster who can guard multiple positions, run out in transition, handle the ball, rebound and pass. Is he ever going to be a knock-down shooter? Probably not, but all he needs to develop is a corner three to be an effective scorer with his athleticism.
If Joel Embiid is available, I would be shocked if Boston passed on him, which would be very exciting but also very nerve-wracking. If they take Gordon, I’ll be slightly less excited but not nervous at all. In this case, the safe pick is also the guy who can jump out of the gym and dunks on everything he can find. Count me in.
Brian Robb: Joel Embiid
If the Celtics don’t trade this pick, I feel like we see the Kansas big man fall past the Sixers (reportedly the other team in the top 6 considering him according to Yahoo! Sports) and Danny Ainge jump on the opportunity. The thing I am most curious about in this kind of scenario is whether Embiid’s availability will make the Wolves think twice about taking the Celtics’ offer for Kevin Love. That would create a tricky scenario for Ainge to navigate, but also a good one to have.
Tom Westerholm: Dario Saric.
Know what Danny Ainge reeeeally likes? Assets. Dario Saric won’t be in the states for two years, but he might have been a high-to-mid lottery pick if he was guaranteed to be in the NBA next year. That makes him one heck of an asset, but not a piece that’s going to help anyone immediately. The Celtics are more patient than most teams in the lottery, and as Nikola Mirotic is showing in the Bulls/Wolves negotiations, high-level international assets can make a big difference in a trade for a superstar.
I don’t think the Celtics are going to get Kevin Love, but having an asset like Saric might prove very helpful the next time a similar situation arises.
Brian Robb: Saric
You worry about a team like the Hawks taking Saric a pick or two ahead of the C’s in order to stash him overseas but Boston (assuming they use the number 6) will be in patience mode. Waiting on Saric, who would be a top-10 pick in all likelihood if he was coming over the NBA now gives Boston a promising core two or three years down the road. If the trades don’t work now tonight for veterans, this is the route I fully expect Ainge to take.