Boston Celtics trade rumors have not quieted down following the franchise winning the 2017 NBA Draft Lottery. Celtics team president Danny Ainge has yet another asset to work with, as the team now has the No. 1 overall selection. That opens up a world of opportunities for the Celtics, including selecting one of the elite point guards that will be at the top of the draft board. Some difficult decisions await Ainge, though, as he already has a celebrated point guard in Isaiah Thomas on the roster.
A report by the Boston Herald confirms that Ainge is ready to make moves and that he could bring some significant changes to the current roster. The Celtics just came up short against the Cleveland Cavaliers in the Eastern Conference Finals, despite having the No. 1 seed heading into the NBA Playoffs. With a number of valuable assets in place and quite a few picks in the next few drafts, Ainge may finally be ready to make some hefty roster changes.
“Time will tell on that, but, yeah, there is a potential for there to be some significant change. But maybe less change. Maybe more change; maybe not. A lot will be dependent on what we’re able to pull off in the draft and in deals leading up to free agency and then what happens in free agency. There’s just so much unknown right now. Right now it’s all talk and pipe dreams and planning. But there’s no certainty. It’s an exciting time for us, and it’s a very busy time for us.”
The path to Banner 18 has been no easy trek so far, but the C’s know they’re stepping closer to their ultimate goal: https://t.co/3Iled6scZc
— Boston Celtics (@celtics) May 27, 2017
A new 2017 NBA mock draft was released by Sports Illustrated this weekend, predicting who the Boston Celtics, Los Angeles Lakers, and Sacramento Kings will take with the first three selections. The NBA analysts at the site have the Celtics taking Washington point guard Markelle Fultz, the Lakers taking UCLA point guard Lonzo Ball, and the Kings taking Kentucky guard De’Arron Fox. That Kings pick follows a predicted trade with the Philadelphia 76ers, as the analysts feel there won’t be a player at that spot that fits the 76ers’ roster.
For the 2017-18 NBA season, the Celtics have just over $70 million in committed salaries. That should allow for a lot of movement when the NBA offseason finally begins. The team has assets to make trades, room to take on salaries, and a lot of young players with team-friendly contracts. There are likely to be some Isaiah Thomas trade rumors if the team becomes intent on taking Markelle Fultz with the No. 1 overall pick, but the franchise could also have a goal of putting the two point guards on the court at the same time next year.
The biggest need for the Celtics this offseason is to add some size in the frontcourt and to not be quite as reliant on the backcourt scoring. Al Horford will be the player that Danny Ainge builds around, as he potentially has three years left on a huge free agent contract he signed with the Celtics. Horford will make roughly $27.7 million during the 2017-18 NBA season, placing him as the highest-paid player on the team. There is still room to take on a max contract through trade, with fans highly interested in Paul George of the Indiana Pacers and Carmelo Anthony of the New York Knicks.
Thank you to the greatest fans in the world ☘️???? pic.twitter.com/alZNfHqbAf
— Boston Celtics (@celtics) May 26, 2017
If the Celtics can find a way to draft Markelle Fultz, keep the core of the roster intact, and acquire an All-Star small forward through trades or free agency, then this will certainly be a team contending for a championship very soon. Had Isaiah Thomas remained healthy in the 2017 NBA Playoffs, fans of the team feel that the Celtics would have posed a serious threat to the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Now it is up to Danny Ainge to improve the roster enough that it becomes a huge threat to win a title over the next few years. From that standpoint, fans should expect many more Boston Celtics trade rumors to surface in the next few weeks.
[Featured Image by Tim Bradbury/Getty Images]