Boston Celtics: Did Danny Ainge make one move too many?

Sep 25, 2015; Waltham, MA, USA; Boston Celtics GM Danny Ainge (left) and co-owner Wyc Grousbeck, during media day at the Boston Celtic Practice Facility. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 25, 2015; Waltham, MA, USA; Boston Celtics GM Danny Ainge (left) and co-owner Wyc Grousbeck, during media day at the Boston Celtic Practice Facility. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports /

After moving the No. 1 overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft, did Boston Celtics general manager Danny Ainge make one too many moves?

Danny Ainge was a neophyte to the situation of having the No. 1 pick. It was known the team would get trade calls, or make the calls, to see what’s the best option for them heading into the future. And apparently the best option was dealing the pick to the Philadelphia 76ers, a young team also on the rise in the NBA.

Ainge had the opportunity in his finger tips to select Markelle Fultz to start the draft, a possible franchise-changing guard, and decided to pass. There was clearly something in Fultz to which Ainge wasn’t blown away by, and the question is what?

There are some thoughts in which the top guards in this year’s draft aren’t too far apart talent wise, but someone will likely become a star and if it’s Fultz it’ll backfire in Boston’s face.

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It’s also ironic the No. 1 pick is traded for No. 3 the week ESPN debuts their Celtics-Lakers “30 for 30.” It’s as if Ainge watched the documentary and wanted to relive a moment of Red Auerbach’s history.

Despite the interesting parallels, years from now the Celtics worst nightmare is Philly reaching their full potential with Ben Simmons, Joel Embiid, Dario Saric and Fultz. A combination of such players could be better than the Celtics or give them trouble in the conference for years to come. A possible reality that could come to fruition.

It’s interesting because all of these years, Ainge has been searching for the top pick in a draft with a bonafide stud. This was the year, his luck finally came true, but he traded it. Knowing how he operates, it should be no surprise if the picks he acquired along with No. 3 (2018 Lakers, which could become 2019 Kings first-rounder) are being dangled in a much bigger trade.

The Celtics would land the Lakers pick only if it’s in the 2-5 range. If it becomes the No. 1 pick or No. 6 or lower, Philadelphia keeps the pick and Boston would get the Kings’ unprotected 2019 pick, per Derek Bodner.

Boston has eliminated the idea of selecting a guard, especially after Adam Himmelsbach of The Boston Globe reported the team doesn’t want to expand their already packed backcourt. Leaving only two viable options at No. 3: Kansas’ Josh Jackson and Duke’s Jayson Tatum. If one of those players are selected, could it be apart of a bigger trade?

Some have already linked a draft-and-trade idea with Chicago Bulls star Jimmy Butler. It’s all possible and currently speculative, except the part of Boston selecting a wing.

For the standpoint the deal makes sense. Boston became aware they weren’t going to select Fultz and slipped down two picks while acquiring another pick. Makes you wonder if the historic season of Isaiah Thomas played a role in his decision, with Boston becoming fully invested in him going forward. He’s shown he’s capable of being a big-time player in winning moments and that’s all the Celtics could ask for.

With that being said, Boston’s prized situation of being in win-now mode along with collecting picks and making a team for the future has hit another gear. The offseasons of this year and next year will dictate how effective Ainge’s 2013 heist was and if he makes the right trades and/or selections to compete with the league’s elite.

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The reputation of Ainge hinges on his next move and how Fultz is in Philly. He’s not scared to make the big move and has proved himself to be an elite gambler, but did he make one move too many? Only time will tell.