The Boston Celtics have a contentious relationship with the NBA Draft. From the Len Bias tragedy to missing out on both Tim Duncan and Kevin Durant due to some wayward ping pong balls -- the C's have never quite benefited from the luck o' the Irish on draft night.
Tonight's draft, however, may be different. With three picks in the top 23 (including #3 overall) and eight picks in total, Danny Ainge is in prime position to make some big moves that could place the Celtics back into contention for an 18th NBA Title.
Not exactly a bold prediction, but a realistic one. There have been rumors for weeks that the Celtics and Sixers are negotiating a trade for the 22 year old big man from Malden, Mass. The trade makes sense for a lot of reasons: He is playing out of position in Philadelphia -- a position that will soon be occupied by top overall pick, Ben Simmons; The Celtics desperately need a rim protector, a role that has been vacant since the departure of Kendrick Perkins in 2011; and the Sixers really want the #3 pick to draft Kris Dunn, for whom the Celtics have no use.
We are Sparta
The Celtics will use both their mid-first round picks to take BOTH Michigan State studs, Deyonta Davis and Denzel Valentine. Davis, a 19 year old 6'11 power forward, will go at #16. He is much more of a developmental player, but has tremendous upside. He will fit in very nicely as relief to Jared Sullinger and Amir Johnson. Denzel Valentine will go at #23, and though he may never be a superstar, will certainly add one element to this team that they desperately need, spot shooting.
Goodbye Marcus, Avery, and Terry
The Celtics back court depth is about to take a big hit. And although I can't tell you where they are going, I can tell you that they're gone. Marcus Smart is the easiest one to predict, as he will likely be part of the aforementioned Nerlens Noel trade -- but also prepare to lose both Avery Bradley and Terry Rozier. All three are serviceable NBA guards, but all three are buried in the depth chart for Boston. Their trade value is as high as it will ever be, so expect Trader Danny to part ways with the trio as the Celtics push toward Easter Conference dominance once again.
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