This is totally, completely, horribly (you could argue) jumping the gun. But cut me some slack here. According to Wojo, we've got a long, hot, miserable summer ahead of us, so we might as well open the discussion topics to include just about anything remotely green tinted. So here's goes.
This year's draft was fine. We've got one more year of the Big 3 and a shot at a ring. The C's brass is dedicated to protecting cap space for the summer of Dwight. All that is hunky dory. But here on the hangover of NBA Draft 2011, let us take a peek ahead to NBA Draft 2012.
The 2012 draft should be LOADED. That is the year your team can change its fortunes, and not just with the top overall pick. Guys from this year’s lottery stuck around and there is a whole new crop of deeper talent.
You hear that? LOADED! Follow the link and check out the various draft board for details on who will be available and why they are so wonderful. The bottom line is that the draft is expected to be one of the best in years.
So if you are looking for a silver lining in the Perkins trade, it is that we got a first round pick (top 10 protected) from the woeful Clippers. Last year they were 32-50, good for 8th worst in the league. They were unfortunate enough to have the pick they traded to the Cavs turn into the number 1 overall pick this year. Between that bad luck and the general mismanagement of the roster (they are getting low scores for their draft this year) the Clippers do not appear to be headed to the playoffs anytime soon. On the flipside, Blake Griffin is a freak who's only getting better and even the Clippers can't help but improve marginally. So there's a good chance that LA will eek out a few more wins (getting out of the top 10 range) without hurting our draft pick stock too much.
I'll take a pick in the 11 to 15 range in a LOADED draft any day. By the way, there are some odd restrictions about the pick being the worse of their pick and the T-Wolves pick, but honestly, does anyone think the Wolves are going anywhere next year but right back into the lottery? (Note: I freely admit I don't fully understand the mechanics of which pick we'd get so take this with a grain of salt)
So at this point next year, regardless of what happens in the playoffs and before the free agency fun happens, the Celtics will have 2 picks in the first round, one of which could be a low-lottery pick. Add that to the guys we just picked, Avery Bradley (provided he shows any promise at all), Jeff Green (presumably), and franchise cornerstone Rajon Rondo and you've at the very least got the makings of a roster. Even if you don't use that cap space on Dwight Howard (they won't - stop holding your breath already), they'll have that coveted "cap flexibility" and a few young pieces that could be used as trade bait if the right deal came along.
That's not a bad potential post-Big-3 future if you ask me. At least in theory.