Just for kicks and giggles, I figured I'd toss this topic out for debate. The Celtics have a slew of draft picks in the future years due to a couple of minor transactions that you may have heard about this summer. In addition, they'll have their own picks to use. Of course, they made trade several of these picks in the coming years but for now let us simply discuss the chances of these picks being either in the lottery or lower in the first round.
Here are the picks that are owed to us (via Sheridanhoops)
- 2014 first round (Brooklyn)
- 2015 first round (LA Clippers)
- 2016 first round (Brooklyn)
- 2017 first round (Brooklyn, right to swap)
- 2018 first round (Brooklyn)
We've also owe our 2014 2nd round pick to the Mavs and the Kings (in theory) owe us two future 2nd rounders so heavily protected that they'll never happen.
So this boils down to a discussion of how good or bad the Nets and Clippers will be for the next several years. I'm of the opinion that it doesn't hurt to bank on either team being a flop, but I won't hold my breath on any lottery picks from these deals.
In the near term, both teams are going for it and it would take a cataclysmic set of injuries to their star players to derail a trip to the playoffs for either team in the next couple of years. After that it gets more dicey (ie. good for us) as the Nets will need to consider how to reload after Garnett and/or Pierce retire. Prokerov has deep, deep pockets and despite the tax penalties he'll be paying, I wouldn't put it past him to find a way to keep adding tier 2 stars to their nucleus. So a lot depends on how well that nucleus holds together and continues to improve.
All of that said, there's always a chance that things could completely implode for both teams. Deron Williams can be moody, Joe Johnson's teams always seem to level off in the 2nd round of the playoffs (at best), Brook Lopez is always hurt, and we know that the clock is ticking on Pierce and Garnett. They also have a new head coach in Jason Kidd with zero coaching experience on his resume. So there's that.
The Clippers look good on paper but you could make an argument that Blake Griffin is overrated because of his dunks and there have been at least a few whispers about a power struggle between him and Chris Paul. Their center rotation includes DeAndre Jordan, Byron Mullens, and the immortal Ryan Hollins, which is better than what the Celtics have, but the Celtics aren't gunning for a title next year. Plus, they are still the Clippers after all.
Still, I can't see either team going completely off the rails because there's zero motivation to tank when you don't own your own draft pick(s). They'll be committed to winning now, even if that means just squeezing into the playoffs and taking their chances when they get there. Also, between Doc's coaching and Prokerov's rubles, both teams have the ability to sustain success for at least a few years.
My guess is that most, if not all of these picks will be in the 20's. Which isn't bad considering that we'll have our own picks as well. Adding a future or later pick to our own could help us move up in a draft some years. Plus Danny Ainge has shown a good knack for finding the occasional gem in the late first round.
What about you? Where do you think we'll be picking with the Clippers and Nets picks?