Maybe I'm crazy, but I'm starting to think that trading loads of assets for Kevin Love could be the wrong move for the Boston Celtics. With Joel Embiid's stock plummeting, arguably the most talented player in the draft could fall to the Celtics at #6, and now Dario Saric's stock takes a hit after Chad Ford reported that he agreed in principle to a three-year contract with Turkish team Anadolu Efes.
This means that Saric will stay overseas for at least two seasons if he signs the deal, but his contract does have a player option for the third year. After being projected as a late lottery pick, Ford now has Saric dropping to the Celtics at pick 17 in his latest mock draft, in addition to Joel Embiid at #6. While Saric's stock only slips a tad, it may just enough for Boston to have a chance to draft him.
And what a gift that would be for the Celtics if that were to happen. We already know that Danny Ainge and the front office have scouted Saric intensively the past two years, so they have seen his drastic improvement in a short amount of time.
Saric's a top 10 talent this year and would be a top 5 talent in most "normal" drafts; I have him ranked at #6 on my big board, so he presents immense value at the 17th pick.
For the record, I'd take Joel Embiid and Dario Saric over Kevin Love if I'm the Boston Celtics.
— Kevin O'Connor (@KevinOConnorNBA) June 23, 2014
They say that patience is a virtue, and maybe the "long rebuild" is a better option for the Celtics this time around.
Let's be honest with ourselves: getting Kevin Love alone isn't going to be nearly enough to put the Celtics "on top." At the least, they'd need a go-to scorer at the wing position and there are no guarantees they'd be able to acquire one via trade or free agency.
Perhaps, taking a risk on two potential go-to scorers within a single draft is the better move. If Embiid falls to #6, he presents potential as a low post and stretch shooter. People so often compare Embiid to Hakeem Olajuwon for his advanced repertoire of post moves, but what often gets lost is his soft touch from the perimeter. Truly, the only concern with Embiid is health.
And Saric, I have discussed him in-depth many times, as I am very high on him. Saric is a proven winner and his improvement over the course of 12 months is sensational. Not to mention that he is an absolutely perfect fit for Brad Stevens' motion offense. Waiting two years for him while he continues to develop overseas would be entirely worth it.
From my 2014 NBA Draft Guide, here is my full scouting report on Dario Saric. If the words on the image below are difficult to read, then click the scouting report itself to bring it into full screen mode.
Maybe I'm wrong and trading for Love and praying for Melo or another top scorer is the better route, but I've got a feeling that this young talent is too good to pass up. Staying in the draft and taking the best available prospects, then shopping Rajon Rondo for the best offer might be an ideal option in the long run.
It'd probably look terrible right now, and it'd certainly put the Celtics right back into the lottery next year, but sometimes good things come to those who wait.