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Can Danny Ainge build a championship team this summer?

With the #1 pick, cap space, and several young assets, the Celtics could go in many directions this summer.

Miami Heat v Boston Celtics Photo by Mike Lawrie/Getty Images

Realistically, how do you see the off-season unfolding?

Greg Cassoli: I expect the Celtics to keep their pick, draft Markelle Fultz, and make a run at signing a big name free agent. Worst case scenario, they have essentially the same team they did this year (with some new faces towards the backend of the rotation), and hopefully, a long-term franchise cornerstone in Fultz. It's possible a player like Avery Bradley gets traded, though that may be highly contingent upon whether or not Boston lands a big fish in free agency.

Keith Smith: The team will keep the #1 overall pick and draft Markelle Fultz. A popular narrative is that Boston has too many guards, but Isaiah Thomas, Avery Bradley and Marcus Smart are all free agents after the 2018 season concludes. Drafting Fultz protects the team and gives them options. Barring an incredible offer, there is almost no way Danny Ainge can trade that pick.

Following that, the team will pursue Gordon Hayward in free agency as the first option. If they can convince him to leave Utah to re-unite with Brad Stevens, the offseason is more or less done. They'll fill out the roster with targeted veteran signings for depth and that will be that. If Hayward doesn't sign, expect to see a similar strategy to two years ago, when the team signed Amir Johnson and Jonas Jerebko. Overpay slightly, but add on a second non-guaranteed year. Get some veterans who can help now, but don't clog the cap going forward. It is sort of rolling things over a year, but that is where the Celtics are at.

NBA: Boston Celtics-Media Day David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

Alex Kungu: First, the Celtics are going to draft Markelle Fultz with the first pick in the draft. This isn’t a debate. Next, they’ll trade Avery Bradley to PHL, renounce Kelly Olynyk, and let Amir Johnson, Jonas Jerebko, James Young, Tyler Zeller, and Gerald Green test the market. Next they’ll be able to lure Gordon Hayward to the Celtics, they’ll bring Zizic and Yabusele to the roster. Finally, I think Isaiah Thomas ends up having surgery and ends up missing the beginning part of the season.

Predicted Roster would look like this:

Isaiah Thomas-Gordon Hayward-Jae Crowder-Al Horford-Ante Zizic

Marcus Smart-Markelle Fultz- Jaylen Brown-Robert Covington- Gursechon Yabusele

(Demetrius Jackson, Terry Rozier, Abdel Nader, fillers)

Shoutout to Ryan Bernardoni who can be found @dangercart, this was his original idea, and I also believe that it’s the avenue that the Celtics ultimately end up following.

Jared Weiss: I’ve been on record several times saying I will give my first born for Robert Covington or Richaun Holmes, so let’s just stick with the lineup left above by Mr. Kungu. #FreeRichaun.

But this roster is too predictable a move. Danny Ainge is fun. He’s a guy with a leather jacket and a mustang, punching the juke box as Led Zeppelin comes on. He’s got something stupid crazy up his sleeve that has rumblings around the league getting more and more intense. He might even trade for Gronk. Anything is possible.

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