The Celtics went through a lot this postseason with their star player, Isaiah Thomas, having one of the roughest, yet most impressive playoff runs in recent memory. His sister passed away the day before Boston’s first playoff game. He knocked his tooth out in Game 2 against the Wizards just to come back in and win the game. Then, he was sidelined for the remainder of the playoffs after Game 2 of the series against the Cavs due to a hip injury. Although they were dominated by the LeBron James and the Cavs in the ECF, the Celtics are not down on themselves. They acquired the first overall pick in the 2017 NBA draft which was a result of arguably one of the worst trades of all time by the Nets (http://ftw.usatoday.com/2017/05/nba-draft-lottery-2017-boston-celtics-why-lottery-pick-awful-trade-brooklyn-nets-kevin-garnett-paul-pierce-breakdown).
The Celtics will pick Markelle Fultz, a freshman shooting guard out of the University of Washington. They aren’t going to trade the pick. They aren’t going to draft someone else. They are going to pick Markelle Fultz. You know how I know that? Because it’s the smart thing to do and the Celtics are being really smart right not with all of their moves. They know that this five year rebuilding process is almost complete. They went from a team whose first option was Jeff Green and consisted of the worst teammate ever, Rajon Rondo, and a bunch of scrubs to a team who almost pulled off a 2-2 tie headed to Boston in the ECF against the second greatest player of all time surrounded by All Stars. No, no one thought the Celtics would beat the Cavs, but they surely proved themselves as a team on the rise who will take down LeBron in the future, just like they did before in the Big 3 era.
But, even with all the progress they made and the number one pick in the draft, they will still need more to beat LeBron. That’s where three free agents are inserted into the mix: Paul George, Jimmy Butler, and Gordon Hayward. All three are All-Stars. All three, if added to the Boston roster, could be instrumental in reaching the NBA Finals. It’s just a shame that only one of them would ever come to the Celtics. Why? Well, Paul George has hinted that he wants to go to the Lakers. If he wanted to win a championship he would come to the Celtics, but somehow he has it in his mind that if he joined the Lakers they would automatically be championship contenders. Good luck with that Paul. Good luck going through the Rockets, Clippers, Warriors, and Spurs to get there. Unfortunately, you have to be a super team nowadays to even have a shot at the title. Lonzo Ball will make them a better team, but I don’t think a team of Paul George, Lonzo Ball, and….D’Angelo Russell ??? can be considered a legitimate Big 3. The next guy is Jimmy Butler. He can score from anywhere on the court and is a top-10 defensive player in the league. But, he’s not going to Boston. You see, Jimmy is not a cupcake like Kevin Durant. He doesn’t just go to whatever team beats him in the playoffs. If I know Jimmy, he’s planning on building around the team he is already on and beating the Celtics next year, like they almost did until Rondo (who played out of his mind against the Celtics after being benched in favor of Michael Carter Williams in the regular season) went out for the rest of the series with a wrist injury. Last but definitely not least we have Gordon Hayward. Gordon played for Brad Stevens at Butler. Celtics fan already love him as fans cheered whenever he would make a shot in TD Garden…after they knew the game was out of hand of course. He is the best fit for the Celtics and I would actually be surprised if Hayward didn’t come really close to making a deal with the Celtics. Who wants to live in Utah anyway?