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The Boston Celtics future NBA draft picks for 2015 and beyond

They're loaded.

Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

The Celtics will be part of the 2015 playoffs. While most Celtics fans have embraced the playoff push, it is no secret that Danny Ainge may not be the most ecstatic about the team being out of the lottery this season. Thankfully, the Celtics prospects of acquiring a centerpiece for a future championship run do not solely hinge on where the Celtics fall in the standings. Due to the wheeling and dealing Ainge, the Celtics have a boatload of picks coming their way over the course of the next few years.

In this year's draft alone, the Celts will have three picks in the top 33 and four picks in the top 45. And remember, as Zach Lowe says in his column on Grantland, these picks will only gain value as the cap rises. "Draft picks and rookie-scale contracts are fixed through the 2020-21 season at dollar amounts that won't increase as quickly as the cap. Young players will get proportionally cheaper every season." With the potential for four first round picks in the 2016 draft and even more further down the road, these picks could bring back real value in trades.

Boston, as of now, currently controls all of their own future first round picks. They sent their 2016 2nd rounder to Memphis (though through subsequent deals it may end up going to Utah) in the Courtney Lee deal in January of 2014 and will send their 2017 2nd rounder (with protections from selections 31-45) to Brooklyn if they exercise the right to swap first rounders with the Nets in 2017. Let's hope the C's have to give this one away.

Picks this year

2015 #16

How acquired: Celtics selection

Brad Stevens and company just wouldn't allow this pick to fall in the lottery. Every team in the Western Conference playoffs finished with a better record than the C's, so after earning the 7th spot in the East, the Celts will have the second choice after the lottery.

2015 #28

How acquired: Doc Rivers to the Los Angeles Clippers

When Blake Griffin went out with an elbow injury at the same time as the Clippers were hitting a difficult stretch on their schedule in early February, it looked for a moment like the Clips may take a slide in the standings. Unfortunately for Celtics fans, Chris Paul and DeAndre Jordan wouldn't allow that to happen.

At the end of the day though, this deal really couldn't have worked out better for the Celtics. They got a first round pick and wound up with a better coach on a less expensive contract. Win-win.

2015 #33

How acquired: Jordan Crawford to the Golden State Warriors, Joel Anthony to the Boston Celtics

This will go down as one of Ainge's best moves in the past few years - and that's saying something. The Celtics officially acquired Philadelphia's 2014 first round pick, but the Celtics were never going to see it come to fruition in the first round as the pick was lottery protected. As stated in the Sixers' original deal with Miami, if the Sixers were still in the lottery in 2015, the pick would turn into two second rounders - one this year and one next year.

Second round contracts can be structured in any number of ways, so both these picks, assuming the tankapalooza in Philly will lead to another bottom five finish next year, could be quite valuable. The Celtics acquired this package all for shipping out Jordan Crawford and agreeing to take on Joel Anthony's salary. What a coup for Ainge and the Celts.

Sidenote: What is Crawford up to now, you ask? Leading the Fort Wayne Red Ants through the D-league playoffs, of course. In fact, Crawford helped eliminate James Young and the Maine Red Claws just the other night with 36 points, five assists, and three steals.

2015 #45

How acquired: Celtics selection

The second round is slated strictly by record, so the Celtics will jump ahead of the Thunder and will select at #15 in the second round. This pick was included in the three-way deal with Brooklyn and Cleveland this past offseason that brought Tyler Zeller, Marcus Thornton and Cleveland's 2016 first rounder to Boston, but the pick was protected from selections 31-55. The Celts obviously didn't finish with one of the top 5 records in the league, so they'll hold on to this one. So officially, the Celtics acquired Zeller and Isaiah Thomas for virtually nothing. Not too shabby.

2015 #49

Unfortunately, this pick from the Wizards will not be conveyed. The Celtics acquired the second rounder for Kris Humphries this summer, which was protected from selections 31-49. For a while at the beginning of the season, it looked like the Celtics would get this pick, but the Wizards struggled mightily down the stretch and will get to keep it. Too bad.

Picks deferred to next year or beyond

Dallas 2015 1st round

How acquired: Rajon Rondo to the Dallas Mavericks

This pick was protected from selections 1-3 and 15-30 in 2015, so it will not be conveyed this year. However, the pick is only protected from selections 1-7 from 2016-2020, until it becomes unprotected in 2021. So more likely than not, the Celtics will be receiving this pick next year - it just remains to be seen where it will land. Dirk Nowitzki is only getting older, both Rondo and Tyson Chandler will be free agents this summer, and Monta Ellis can - and reportedly will - opt out of his deal this summer. In the ultra-competitive west, there is a very real chance this pick is a lottery pick next year.

Minnesota 2015 1st round

How acquired: Brandan Wright to the Phoenix Suns

Danny Ainge had pretty good luck dealing with old friend Ryan McDonough this season. The Suns had acquired this from Minnesota in a previous deal, and the language in that deal said the pick is protected from selections 1-12 in both 2015 and 2016. After that, the pick turns into Minnesota's 2nd rounders in both 2016 and 2017 (very similar to the Philly pick). Going into the 2014 draft lottery, Celtics fans were hoping for a chance to root for Andrew Wiggins. Albeit under different circumstances, we will have that chance next year. If Wiggins can bring the Wolves to the playoffs - or even just close as one of the last two spots in the lottery - then the Celtics could have another juicy pick on their hands.

Minnesota will most likely be a lottery team in the loaded West next year, but there is a bunch of young talent on that team already - not to mention another top-5 pick after this year's draft as well. Plus, as head coach and President of Basketball Operations, Flip Saunders is under pressure to win as soon as possible. With healthy seasons from Ricky Rubio and Nikola Pekovic, who combined to only play 53 games this season, in addition to Kevin Garnett's presence all offseason, the Wolves have the pieces to make a push that would send this pick Boston's way in the form of a first rounder. Another excuse to root for the Big Ticket doesn't hurt either. Go Wolves!

Remainder of the future picks

Philadelphia 2016 2nd round

How acquired: Jordan Crawford to the Golden State Warriors, Joel Anthony to the Boston Celtics

Thanks Jordan and Joel!

Brooklyn 2016 1st round

Brooklyn 2017 1st round pick swap

Brooklyn 2018 1st round

How acquired: Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Jason Terry to the Brooklyn Nets

This trade just looks better and better by the day. It is unfortunate the Celtics sent Pierce and Garnett into a disappointing situation in Brooklyn (as Pierce just revealed in this fantastic piece by Jackie MacMullan), but they both seem to be in better places now. Besides, there was no way the Celtics brass could have known how toxic things were with the Nets. Either way, the Celtics had no choice but to do this deal with the massive haul they were receiving in return for two aging stars.

The Nets squeaked into the playoffs this year, but their future is murky, especially with Deron Williams and Joe Johnson set to make a combined $46 million for the 2015-16 season (that's not a typo). These picks are completely unprotected, so theoretically the Nets could win the lottery and would have to simply hand the pick over to the Celtics. At first, dealing away two Celtic icons was hard to swallow, but this deal was a heist for the Celtics.

Dallas 2016 2nd round

How acquired: Rajon Rondo to the Dallas Mavericks

The Celtics will receive the better pick between Memphis's 2016 2nd rounder and Dallas's 2016 2nd rounder as another part of the Rondo deal.

Miami 2016 2nd round

How acquired: Jordan Crawford to the Golden State Warriors, Joel Anthony to the Boston Celtics

Miami really wanted to shed Joel Anthony's salary last year.

Cleveland 2016 2nd round

Cleveland 2017 2nd round

How acquired: Keith Bogans to Cleveland

The Celtics also acquired Dwight Powell in this deal, a player they seemed to be excited about but then dealt to Dallas in the Rondo deal. These picks will more than likely fall at the end of the 2nd round, but as Ainge says, picks are always tradable.

Clippers 2017 2nd round

How acquired: Austin Rivers to the Clippers

Austin Rivers was acquired in the deal that sent Jeff Green to Memphis, but the Celtics had no interest in keeping him. Boston then somehow convinced Austin's father to trade a future second rounder for him. Cool story, Glenn. Think the Celts could sign Jeremiah and coax another pick out of Doc?

Memphis 1st round, 2018 at the earliest

How acquired: Jeff Green to Memphis Grizzlies

The protection for this pick is tricky, but either way, it will eventually turn into a first rounder from the Griz. Memphis owes Denver their 2015 1st rounder, but that pick is protected from selections 1-5 and 15-30 in both 2015 and 2016, and then 1-5 in both 2017 and 2018. Once that pick is sent to Denver, because of the Stepien rule (which says that teams cannot trade first rounders in consecutive years), the Grizzlies will have to wait another year before they can finally send the pick to the Celtics. Since the pick will not be conveyed this year, the earliest the Celtics would see this pick would be in 2018. The protections will be as follows: 1-12 in 2018, 1-8 in 2019, 1-6 in 2020, and then ultimately unprotected in 2021.

When this pick is finally conveyed, the rosters on both teams could be drastically different. You never really know what will happen in the NBA, and success can be fleeting. Memphis has had great success lately, but one bad contract and this pick could become very valuable down the road.

Conclusion - most likely scenarios

In 2015, the Celtics will have four picks, with two coming in each round.

In 2016, the Celtics could have as many as four picks in each round, but assuming the Timberwolves pick falls within the top 12, it will be three firsts and five seconds.

In 2017, the Celtics will have one first (with the option to switch with Brooklyn), as well as two second round picks (and could have a third if their own second round pick falls before pick #45).

In 2018, the Celtics currently stand to have two firsts, and they could have a third, depending on how Memphis finishes.

Obviously, with 12 picks in the next two drafts, the Celtics will not be able to roster all these players. The Celtics will have plenty of flexibility and the chance to pounce if any star player becomes available. Just this year, first round picks were used to acquire players like Arron Afflalo, Isaiah Thomas, Jeff Green, Reggie Jackson and Rajon Rondo, while two firsts was the price tag for a legitimate rim protector in Timofey Mozgov and an All-NBAer in Goran Dragic. In 2012, James Harden, a true superstar, went for Kevin Martin, Jeremy Lamb, two firsts, and a second. The Celtics didn't have the assets then to get involved, but Danny Ainge has ensured that the next time a superstar becomes available, they will.

Information from was used in this post.

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