There is only three (3) more days left before we will know where our 1st pick will be in this year’s draft. I know that most of us Celtics fans are praying to the basketball gods to hand us the #1 overall pick so that we can get Embiid in order to fill our roster void at the center position. Well, time is running out for prayers so what we really can do until 8 AM Tuesday is to keep generating positive energies/thoughts to "attract" the fulfillment of our prayers and hope for the best.
I believe that knowing the final spot for our 1st pick is the last thing that Wyc, Danny & Brad is waiting for before lighting the fireworks this summer. The brewing talks of trades with Minnesota & Houston for Love & Asik, respectively, are but indications of busy and meaningful activities by the management in order to improve our team which I truly appreciate as a fan.
As of now, our outstanding commitments for 2014-2015 season is $44,705,225 for eight players, namely: Rondo, Green, Wallace, Olynyk, Sullinger, Faverani, Anthony & Bass with at least $11M-$13M maximum cap room to be freed if we let our expiring contracts & non-guaranteed contracts go for nothing and account for roster cap holds, free agent cap holds and draft holds, etc (see http://www.celticsblog.com/2014/3/4/5469070/realism-and-the-celtics-cap-sheet). Financially speaking there is not quite enough room for the management to really maneuver and make a big splash this summer while keeping all our assets (draft picks and players under commitments) intact.
With the aforementioned extent of our cap flexibility, what would be the best course for Celtics management to take? My humble opinion is that we have to keep our picks and trade for a center. Here’s why and my accompanying suggestions:
Having a proven center is the most glaring need of our current roster and it would allow Sullinger to play his natural power forward position. Even if we end up drafting Embiid he will not likely be an immediate impact for the Celtics in his rookie year. Otherwise, we will be very lucky but having a veteran to teach him will still be important for his overall development. If we can trade for Asik with our TPE, Bass & expiring and non-guaranteed contracts it would be great. However, if the deal would include Lin in the package, I’d rather trade for Gortat using the same offer for Asik. Besides, Gortat has openly expressed his desire to play with a pass first point guard which we have in Rondo. If we can also trade for Sanders using the same package of Bass, TPE & expiring & non-guaranteed contract, it will also be fine.
Even if Danny Ainge has repeatedly downplayed this year’s draft batch of players as having no immediate game changers, I believe that there are a lot of them if we pick correctly. Aside from Embiid, Exum, Wiggins and Parker, I would be just as happy to have any of the following drafted by the Celtics with their two (2) 1st round picks: Dario Saric, Jusuf Nurkic, Alec Brown, Aaron Gordon, Marcus Smart, Kyle Anderson, Doug McDermott, Nick Stauskas and Shabazz Napier.