The Celtics were never going to win the Championship this year. Anyone who thought they had any chance in today’s NBA landscape is a fool. Anyone who thought they should mortgage the future to try and “win-now” is also a fool. They’re not beating Cleveland with Jimmy Butler. They’re not beating Cleveland with a few months of Paul George. And they’re certainly not beating Cleveland by trading one of the Nets picks for half a season of Serge Ibaka. People thought they should have given up a first round pick for Serge Ibaka! Are you serious? In this year’s draft class, would Ibaka be a top four pick? Hellllllllll, no. Besides the fact that DeMarcus Cousins and Nerlens Noel, two players they definitely could use, got moved for absolutely nothing, and the fact that they haven’t been able to rebound since 2010, keeping the assets at the deadline was the smart move. I was fine with however deep into the playoffs they went. Assuming they got out of the first round, that is.
The Celtics are about to become the first number one seed to ever get swept in the first round. They’ve been absolutely dominated by a crappy Bulls team that was the eight seed for a reason. Besides Isaiah Thomas, everyone should be ashamed of themselves. By the way, as someone who has been very harsh on Playoff Isaiah (comparing anyone to Playoff Kyle Lowry might have been the meanest thing I’ve ever written), if you come out of this postseason with anything but respect for Isaiah, something’s wrong with you. To have to deal with something like that and come back and play, let alone play well, is something not many people could do. Anyway, every weakness the Celtics have has been quickly exposed: they can’t rebound, they can’t defend the paint, they can’t really shoot, no one but Isaiah can score, and everyone’s (mostly Marcus Smart’s) shot selection has been horrible. They’re going to lose to the eight seed, and it’s going to be embarrassing. But again, I knew the Celtics weren’t winning the title. Besides the pain of losing in the first round, I don’t mind (that much) losing early to avoid getting let down later. What I’m worried about is GM Danny Ainge panicking and trying to change everything to win right away. Now that they won 53 games with an incomplete roster awaiting a star from the draft, might as well throw away that potential for draft success so you can trade for Andre Drummond, right? That’ll push them over the top! LeBron just had one of his best statistical seasons this year. He’s not going anywhere for a few years. It’s okay to let the team marinate organically until he’s gone. Considering the nature of Boston fans, a win-now move is going to be called for enthusiastically. The impatient rabble of Bostonians who are used to having one of the best teams in the league won’t be happy to sit and wait for young guys to develop. After all, Dave Dombrowski works in the same town. But it’s the right move. And I think Ainge is smart enough to realize it. The only problem is, he’s the worst drafter in the history of mankind.
It’s easy to say now, but they could have Giannis, Draymond Green, Nikola Jokic, Khris Middleton, and Jimmy Butler as a starting five. He traded up to get Kelly Olynyk. He passed on Draymond, Middleton, and Jae Crowder, who they traded for a mere two years later, so he could take Jared Sullinger and Fab Melo (R.I.P.) back to back. He took Marcus Smart, he of the under 30% career 3 point shooting percentage (but he plays good defense!) over Julius Randle, whose 9.4 career rebounds per game might help them right now, Zach LaVine, who was breaking out as a creative scorer before getting hurt this year, Jusuf Nurkic, who emerged as an interior force in the second half of the season, Rodney Hood, who can actually shoot 3s, and Nikola Jokic, who, to be fair, was an unknown Euro who fell to the second round. He took Terry Rozier, who stinks, over Bobby Portis, who is currently destroying the Celtics this series, then took R.J. Hunter over Montrezl Harrell and Willy Hernangomez, both of whom would be the best rebounder on the team. HE TOOK J.R. GIDDENS OVER DEANDRE JORDAN!!! It’s too early to judge this year’s draft class, but they sure could use the shooting Buddy Hield or Jamal Murray showed this season. That’s a horrible track record. It’s the worst carnage these eyes have ever seen. And I’m supposed to trust this man to make the most important draft decision in 20 years? On the off chance the Celtics don’t get screwed in the lottery, he’s probably going to take Isaiah Hartenstein number one overall. No one in the world loves anything more than Danny Ainge loves acting like he outsmarted everyone. He could have had the top pick in 2003 and would have taken Chris Kaman just because everyone would have expected him to take LeBron. The opportunity is going to be there to take Markelle Fultz, easily the best player in this class, and he’s going to pass on it because he’s an arrogant dumbass who would rather die than make the conventional pick. Literally nothing that has happened since the 2008 title tells me I should trust Danny Ainge in the draft. Avery Bradley is the only pick that unquestionably worked out. Every other first round pick either sucks or was taken before a franchise-altering player that could have them in position to maybe compete against LeBron one of these years. The Knicks and Nets both have better recent draft records than the Celtics, and the Nets haven’t had a pick since Lyndon B. Johnson was in office. No one in the world is worse at anything than Danny Ainge is at drafting good NBA players. But, hey, they have a lot of picks! It has to work out! Not with him calling the shots. Just let me make all the draft picks. I’ll only take the obvious guy, and if it doesn’t work out, history will be kind to me since I did the consensus thing. Not trade up to get an unathletic, short armed, white Canadian over Giannis Antetokounmpo, who is literally the exact opposite of that description. But whatever, at least the Red Sox are good.