I know Celtics fans are not going to like this one, but if we’re gunna have a best case scenario then we need to have a worst. As good as things look for Boston right now, things can go downhill quicker than most people think. This trade that once was considered a genius move by Danny Ainge could be a complete waste of time and draft picks. Lets start with the present.
2017 Playoffs: Considering Boston did not do anything at the deadline, this is the team they feel most confident in going into the playoffs. This a team that does not rebound well, can not control big men and have a defensive liability in their star player Isaiah Thomas. The teams they may face may not be all around great teams, but they all have one superstar that Boston simply can not match up with. The Pacers, Heat and Pistons all have monster rebounders who will dominate the glass any time they face Boston. The Bucks may not have a center who can dominate but Giannis “The Greek Freek” Antetokounmpo will cause matchup problems for Boston. Worst case scenario, Boston realistically can fall to any of these teams in the first round. That would look especially bad if they grab the 1 seed and then fall first round.
2017 NBA Draft: I hate to break it to Celtics fans, but this isn’t the NFL. Realistically Boston only has a 25% chance of the first overall pick. In fact, they could easily drop all the way to the 4 seed in this years draft. So what happens then? Well it’s not horrible. Boston will end up getting a player such as a Josh Jackson or Jayson Tatum depending on what the top 3 teams do. These prospects still have very high potential, but many say not as high as a Lonzo Ball or Markelle Fultz.
2017 Free Agency: For a third straight year, the Celtics are gone after the first round in the playoffs. Gordon Hayward and the Jazz end up grabbing a playoff series win of their own. Why would Hayward want to leave an up and coming Utah team to go to a team who hasn’t won a playoff series under his old coach. Hayward at this point would end up resigning or going elsewhere. Durant isn’t coming here so fans can forget about that. Your only other option becomes an injury riddled, overrated Blake Griffin. This becomes a lose-lose now. You can sign him, and stick to two power forwards who are getting max contracts. This doesn’t help your rebounding issue and are now handcuffed to Horford and Griffin for at least 3 more years. If you don’t sign him, your team does not drastically improve and fans will get restless. Danny may be forced to do something drastic.
2018 season and beyond: Ainge is now forced to listen to deals for a superstar in exchange for the 2018 pick along with some of his young players. A young Jaylen Brown along with the 2018 pick could be used to trade for another piece around the league to keep fans happy. Even with a superstar, Boston would be without much depth, most of the future gone and still only a slight chance at an NBA Final. They would be forced now to rebuild through the draft just like any other team would. Sure the Celtics would be making a run at the Eastern Conference Finals for a couple years, but with Isaiah’s expiring contract, there leaves a lot of remaining questions for this team. Lets just say Celtics fans better hope the lottery balls fall in their favor.