The Boston Celtics were the top seed in the East this season, and thanks to some shrewd dealmaking by Danny Ainge back in 2013, they secured the top pick in the 2017 NBA Draft.
After lots of debate about whether the Celts should draft a potential future star or trade the pick, they agreed to a deal with the 76ers that netted them the No. 3 pick and a future first-rounder. And in looking at Ainge's draft history since he took over the Celtics in 2003, it's clear he's a much better dealer than drafter.
Ainge now has drafted 39 players; 22 are currently not in the NBA.
Did the Celtics make the right move by trading the No. 1 pick? Here's a look at how Ainge's past draft moves have panned out.
Troy Bell (1st round, No. 16 overall)
Dahntay Jones (1st, No. 20)
Brandon Hunter (2nd, No. 56)
Ainge, who didn't have much time to prepare for his first draft after being hired in May 2003, hit the ground dealing after watching LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade all go in the top five picks.
Ainge struck a deal with Grizzlies GM Jerry West that sent Bell, a point guard from Boston College, and Jones (above), a Duke guard, to Memphis for the No. 13 pick (UNLV guard Marcus Banks) and No. 27 (prep big man Kendrick Perkins).
Ainge won that one, as Perk became a Boston enforcer for eight seasons and helped win a title.
Al Jefferson (1st, No. 15)
Delonte West (1st, No. 24)
Tony Allen (1st, No. 25)
Justin Reed (2nd, No. 40)
Thanks to more wheeling and dealing, the Celts had three first-round picks and added prep big man Jefferson, Saint Joe's point guard West (above) and Allen, a defensive-minded guard from OK State.
All three helped the Celts win a championship, but only Allen would be part of that team. Jefferson and West would be part of trades that brought the Larry O'Brien Trophy back to Boston.
Gerald Green (1st, No. 18)
Ryan Gomes (2nd, No. 50)
Orien Greene (2nd, No. 53)
Green (above), a high-flying prep star, became the 2007 Slam Dunk Contest champion, but more important, both he and Providence forward Gomes became part of a major trade that turned the Celtics into champs.
Randy Foye (1st, No. 7)
Ainge took Foye, a Villanova guard, with the highest pick Boston had since 1997 and traded him to Portland with guard Dan Dickau and center Raef LaFrentz for guard Sebastian Telfair, center Theo Ratliff and a 2008 second-round pick.
Telfair lasted one season in Boston, and Ratliff played just two games there, but they both became trade ammo for defining deals Ainge did the following season.
Players Ainge passed on to pick Foye, who's had a journeyman career: Rudy Gay, J.J. Redick, Kyle Lowry and ... Rajon Rondo.
Rondo was drafted by Phoenix, using a first-round pick that Boston had acquired and then traded. But the Suns struck a deal that sent Rondo and forward Brian Grant to Boston in exchange for a first-round pick in 2007.
We know what Rondo did in Boston. But what about that 2007 first-rounder?
Jeff Green (1st, No. 5)
Gabe Pruitt (2nd, No. 32)
A year after drafting Foye at No. 7 and dealing him, Ainge drafted Georgetown wing Green at No. 5 and traded him on draft night along with Wally Szczerbiak and Delonte West (remember him?) to Seattle for Ray Allen and LSU forward Glen "Big Baby" Davis, the No. 35 pick.
Remember Gerald Green, Gomes, Jefferson, Ratliff and Telfair? In July, Ainge sent all of them to Minnesota along with a 2009 first-rounder for Kevin Garnett.
Garnett and Allen joined Paul Pierce to form Boston's Big Three, and added to an Ainge-assembled core that included Tony Allen, Rondo, Perkins, Pruitt and Leon Powe, a 2006 second-rounder that Ainge acquired.
The Celtics improved from 24 wins the previous season to 66 and beat the Lakers in the Finals for their first title since 1986.
(Oh yeah, that first-rounder that Boston sent to Phoenix for Rondo? The Suns selected Spaniard Rudy Fernandez at No. 24.)
J.R. Giddens (1st, No. 30)
Semih Erden (2nd, No. 60)
The defending champs had just a late first-rounder, which they used to draft New Mexico guard Giddens (4), and the previously acquired second-rounder that they used on Turkish 7-footer Erdeh. They also traded for K-State guard Bill Walker, a Wizards second-round pick.
Giddens and Walker were traded to the Knicks in a 2010 deal for Nate Robinson; Erdeh was dealt a year later.
Players Boston passed on: DeAndre Jordan and Goran Dragic.
Lester Hudson (2nd, No. 58)
No first-rounder for a Celtics team that had sent it to Minnesota in the Garnett deal. (The Wolves took UNC guard Wayne Ellington at No. 28). Boston drafted Tennessee-Martin point guard Hudson with the third-to-last pick in the draft. He was waived after just 16 games.
Avery Bradley (1st, No. 19)
Luke Harangody (2nd, No. 52)
A Celtics team that returned to the Finals, only to lose to the Lakers this time, added Bradley (0), a defensive-minded guard from Texas, and Notre Dame forward Harangody.
Bradley remains part of Boston's core while Harangody played just 28 games for the Celtics.
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MarShon Brooks (1st, No. 25)
E'Twaun Moore (2nd, No. 55)
Ainge, drafting two spots ahead of the Nets, took Providence guard Brooks, then traded him to New Jersey for their first-rounder, Purdue forward JaJuan Johnson, and a 2014 second-rounder. Neither Brooks nor Johnson is still in the NBA.
Players Boston passed on: some guy named Jimmy Butler, and Chandler Parsons.
Players Boston passed on in picking Moore (above, who was traded with Johnson in 2012 for guard Courtney Lee):
Some guy named Isaiah Thomas, who was the last pick in the draft.
Jared Sullinger (1st, No. 21)
Fab Melo (1st, No. 22)
Kris Joseph (2nd, No. 51)
Boston had back-to-back first-rounders thanks to the trade that sent Kendrick Perkins and Nate Robinson to OKC (and brought Jeff Green back to Boston).
The Celtics used the picks to select two big men, Ohio State's Sullinger (above) and Syracuse's Melo, while passing on Draymond Green. D'oh! Sullinger lasted four seasons in Boston, Melo just one.
They also passed on Jae Crowder but would acquire him and 2016 first- and second-rounders in the 2014 trade that sent Rondo to Dallas.
Lance Iversen-USA TODAY SportsLance Iversen
Lucas Nogueira (1st, No. 16)
The Celtics were big on big men in this draft, after missing with Fab Melo the year before. They took the Brazilian Nogueira one spot after Giannis Antetokounmpo came off the board — and 11 spots before Rudy Gobert.
But the big they wanted was Gonzaga's Kelly Olynyk, who'd been drafted by Dallas at No. 13. Boston dealt Nogueira and two 2014 second-round picks for Olynyk, then acquired Colorado State center Colton Iverson from Indiana for cash.
Olynyk remains part of Boston's core while Iverson never played for the team. Nogueira was dealt a second time on draft day, then traded yet again a year later. He's been mostly a backup in parts of three seasons with Toronto.
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Marcus Smart (1st, No. 6)
James Young (1st, No. 17)
Boston had two first-rounders, thanks to Ainge's controversial decision to jettison Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett in 2013 before they lost their value. Ray Allen already had left, breaking up the Big Three, and Ainge had finished cleaning house, acquiring three first-rounders from Brooklyn.
Back in the lottery, Boston first drafted the OK State point guard Smart (36), passing on Elfrid Payton and Jordan Clarkson. Then, with the first of those three first-round picks that Ainge acquired from the Nets, he drafted Kentucky wing James Young.
Both Smart and Young have been bench players for Boston.
Those two second-rounders dealt in the Olynyk deal? They ended up bringing Wichita State's Cleanthony Early to the Knicks, and Louisville's Russ Smith to the 76ers.
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Terry Rozier (1st, No. 16)
R.J. Hunter (1st, No. 28)
Jordan Mickey (2nd, No. 35)
Marcus Thornton (2nd, No. 45)
Boston got an extra first-round pick from the Clippers as compensation for allowing them to hire Doc Rivers as coach in 2013, and added another guard in Hunter after selecting Louisville's Rozier.
Hunter was waived in 2016 but both Rozier (12) and Mickey, a forward out of LSU, still are being developed as backups by Boston.
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Jaylen Brown (1st, No. 3)
Guerschon Yabusele (1st, No. 16)
Ante Zizic (1st, No. 23)
Deyonta Davis (2nd, No. 31)
Rade Zagorac (2nd, No. 35)
Demetrius Jackson (2nd, No. 45)
Ben Bentil (2nd, No. 51)
Abdel Nader (2nd, No. 58)
Thanks to Ainge stockpiling picks, the Celts had quite a haul: three firsts and five seconds. Boston took Brown, an athletic forward out of Cal, using another of Brooklyn's picks, then went on an international bender, rolling the dice on French forward Yabusele and Croatian center Zizic. In the second round the Celts drafted Serbian wing Zagorac after Michigan State big man Davis, then traded both to Memphis for a 2019 first-rounder.
Believe it or not, Boston actually had another first-round pick but traded it to Phoenix in 2015 ... for Isaiah Thomas.
(The Suns used the pick to take Kentucky big man Skal Labissiere at No. 28, then traded him to the Kings.)
The book is still out on Ainge's big 2016 draft class with the exception of Bentil, who was waived; the international players have yet to reach the NBA. But if history teaches us anything, Ainge likely will trade the players who can't help him dethrone LeBron James in the East — and probably for more picks.
After all, LeBron can't play forever. But when it comes to wheeling, dealing and drafting, Ainge can.