Compete now or build for the future. This is the question at the forefront of the minds of many Celtics fans, and the question Danny Ainge will soon have to answer. In a recent mock draft, CBS’s Reid Forgrave thinks he has the answer, trading the No. 1 overall for Pacers forward Paul George, and thereby trying to compete now.
The exact details of the trade are as follows, Boston sends No. 1 overall pick in 2017, two of their second-rounders this year as well as a 2019 first-round pick (which had been acquired from the Clippers) to Indiana for Paul George and Al Jefferson. The trade would add another much needed star to the Celtics roster, to be paired with Isaiah Thomas.
Paul George is coming off one of his best seasons to date, averaging 23.7 points, 6.6 rebounds, and 3.3 assists per game, and at 6-foot-9, 220 pounds, is one of the better wing defenders in the NBA. In a league currently dominated by elite swingmen such as LeBron James, Kevin Durant, and Kawhi Leonard, he would be a much appreciated addition to this young Celtics team.
The trade would also provide a reunion between the Celtics and center Al Jefferson. Jefferson played his first three years with the Celtics before being one of the core pieces involved in the blockbuster trade for Kevin Garnett. Jefferson, now in the back end of his career, struggled this last season, averaging 8.1 points and 4.2 rebounds, while playing 14.1 minutes per game. While not the star he once was, he could be a solid front court addition with Kelly Olynyk, Amir Johnson, and Jonas Jerebko all free agents this offseason.
Ainge has been vocal since winning the lottery in May, while not offering specifics, letting it be known that all options are still on the table in regards to the No. 1 pick.
“At the trade deadline we were trading away the possibility of the No. 1 pick, a 25 percent chance of the No. 1 pick, but that’s a 75 percent chance of not having that pick, and that’s how teams look at it, which is probably why we didn’t get a deal done,” Ainge said, via Yahoo. “Now we have the No. 1 pick and we will explore the value of it.”
Though it looks as though Ainge is not desperate to make a deal, wanting to make sure he doesn’t jeopardize the Celtics future in the hopes of landing a star.
“Just because you’re one piece away doesn’t mean you can get it. And if you force yourself to get it, and if you force a deal or force yourself to get the second-best available or the third- or fourth-best available player at that position that you need, then it might not make you that much better or make you still not good enough, and you’re stuck. So, yeah, we’re not that far away, but we’re still a ways away. We still know we need to get better. Everybody in our organization knows we need to get better. We need to add.”Ainge told the Boston Herald.
He continued to acknowledge, however, that this current Celtics team lacks the talent to take them to the next level.
“We have a lot of good players,” Ainge continued “but we need some great ones.”
Whether the first of those great ones will be found in the draft, in the likes of Markelle Fultz, or through a trade for a proven star in Paul George, remains to be seen.
Full article @ One NBA mock draft has Celtics trading No. 1 pick to Pacers for Paul George
Source: GreenStreet Blog