Danny Ainge ensured his Celtics weren't in the gutter for very long.
His brilliance in making deals earned Boston a stockpile of draft picks, young players, and cap space. With the signings of Gordon Hayward and Al Horford, the team used that cap-space. And with the developments of Jaylen Brown, Jayson Tatum, and Terry Rozier, the team knows what they have in terms of young talent.
Though, even with both things, the Celtics are banking much of their hope on the draft. Their massive collection of picks are good not only for grabbing bright young stars but also for trade giving them some trade options. There's a lot they could do with them, and it is supposed to give them a safety net if things turn sour.
Then again, is that really the case? Eric Pincus of Bleacher Report explains why these picks, and the team's current situation, may prove to be more problematic than ever.
Timing is the issue: Contracts are expiring. Al Horford and Irving can opt out of their contracts before July. Brown is slumping. Terry Rozier is due a big payday.
Boston has managed its assets well to build what should be a powerhouse, but suddenly its treasure chest of first-round picks is depreciating. Simultaneously, the Los Angeles Clippers (15-7), Memphis Grizzlies (13-9) and even Sacramento Kings (11-11) are playing well. The Celtics are owed picks from each team, which could result in too many mid-level first-rounders in the 2019 draft.
How would Boston develop four rookies while trying to contend? Are the Pelicans dealing Davis for multiple selections that could fall in the 20 to 30 range?
Memphis and Sacramento were awful last year. The Clippers were mediocre. Now their picks may not be nearly as appealing.
The teams they were banking on to be bad have ended up being no-so-bad this season. Thus, the overall value of these picks they worked so hard to get has dramatically decreased. What good is a draft pick if it falls in the mid to late first-round? Sure, they could get a rotation player in return, or just draft some mid-level young prospect. But is that really something to get excited about?
True, they're still stacked with talent from top to bottom. And true, that puts them in a higher position than most.
But for a team that puts so much stock in the safety net of their future, there's not a whole lot of promise in that future, outside of their main stars. Meaning that if somehow, things don't work out with this current roster, they might have to rebuild all over again-- just like everybody else.