Published: Fri, May 19, 2017
Sport | By Wendy Sparks

Boston Celtics land top draft pick while advancing


They could not only win again if they move up from their current fourth spot, but land another top-five pick if the Lakers fall backward.

"You don't really want to necessarily trade a number one pick in a really good draft for somebody that's halfway thru their career, already making max money", the team's governor and CEO stated.

This is Ainge's second major rebuild with the Celtics, and as we've witnessed they don't happen overnight.

And if the Celtics don't play any better than they did in the first half of the opener, that could be it. Even the bright lights of Los Angeles and playing for one of the league's iconic franchises won't be enough to convince a star like George or DeMarcus Cousins to come to Los Angeles this summer if the team isn't any good and showing no progress of becoming good. He cited the financial implications of moving a draft pick.

The draft is considered a strong one, loaded with point guards such as Markelle Fultz, Lonzo Ball and De'Aaron Fox. Or maybe I'm agnostic because I'm not 100% sure they don't exist. He'll just keep smiling and pumping his fist all the way to the bank.

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Back east, meanwhile, the Celtics have graduated to the conference finals against LeBron James and his defending champion Cleveland Cavaliers.

Although it was never necessarily confirmed, there were several rumors around the trade deadline this past season that the Celtics had arrived to the point where both of the Nets picks - the 2017 and 2018 first rounders - were on the table for the right price.

Not bad for a team that's still one of the four left playing in the National Basketball Association playoffs. Some of the greatest players in the game's history weren't even top-10 picks (see Kobe Bryant, Karl Malone, John Stockton, Steve Nash, Reggie Miller, Dennis Rodman and on and on).

Asked following Wednesday's media availability at the team's training facility if extending Embid is a priority, Sixers president of basketball operations Bryan Colangelo replied, "It's something we'll talk about at the appropriate time".

It's not a awful trade-off, given the Kings were supposed to have the eighth pick, but it is another embarrassing moment for a franchise that can't stop having them. Thomas was the last overall pick by the Sacramento Kings in the 2011 draft.

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Two possibilities will arise if Boston does, in fact, make the pick. Gentry was presumably happier Monday, when the Pelicans announced he and General Manager Dell Demps would be back with the team next season.

And since it starts in the No. 4 spot with its own pick, Philadelphia can arrive at next month's draft potentially owning a pair of top-four selections.

- Not surprisingly, though, the star of the show was Sixers center Joel Embiid. Let's just hope he makes the right move with this pick.

"Danny", he said, "What am I supposed to do?" As we all unfortunately know, the Nets actual first-round pick will be conveyed to the Boston Celtics.

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