What should the Boston Celtics do with the #1 pick in the 2017 NBA Draft?
As the offseason begins, the Boston Celtics find themselves in a situation most NBA teams can only dream of. Appearing in the Eastern Conference Finals AND having the number 1 pick in one of the best drafts in recent years sounds like the start of a dynasty...if it wasn't for a man named LeBron James. I'll keep the James praise to a minimum, as regardless of whether you like him or not, you cannot deny his place among the all-time greats. James has dominated the Eastern Conference for the last decade, appearing in 7 straight NBA Finals (6 along with James Jones of course), and is showing no signs of slowing down. Yes, he had a bad Game 3 against the Celtics this year, however, the real lesson that needs to be taken from that series is not that James is, in fact, human, but that the Celtics are nowhere close to seriously challenging the Cavs. It took James worst playoff game in years, Marcus Smart to become Michael Jordan, and an impossibly perfect time wasting shot from Avery Bradley to take just a single game from the Cavs. Even if the Celtics go trade for Jimmy Butler, Paul George, or sign Gordon Hayward in free agency, that is still not enough to challenge the Cavs. However, in 3-5 years, James will be in his mid-late 30's, and will still be good, but not the dominant force he is today.
If Danny Ainge is a competent GM, which given the Celtics current position, I would say he is, then he would take Markelle Fultz with the #1 overall pick and begin the youth movement in Boston. With Fultz, the Celtics have a young point guard with superstar potential, Jaylen Brown, a small-forward with great athleticism who has shown promise as a rookie this year, and on top of that, the Brooklyn Nets unprotected 2018 first round pick. To be brutally honest, the Nets are a joke of an NBA team with no signs of improvement anytime soon. This puts the Celtics in a position to yet again have a high chance at landing a top 3 pick in the 2018 NBA Draft. Should that play out as many expect it to, the Celtics would be looking at their 3rd consecutive top 3 pick. If the Celtics are able to make a good selection with a high pick once again, they could be looking at a potential dynasty. One thing is certain though, James will rule the East for a few more years, but someone has to take the crown from him, why not the Celtics? They are among the most storied franchises in NBA history, and it seems only a matter of time before they begin competing for titles once again if they play this correctly.
Photo Citation: Boston Celtics. Digital image. Wikipedia. N.p., n.d. Web. 26 May 2017.