The Celtics have reportedly agreed to trade the No. 1 pick in the upcoming NBA Draft to the Sixers, for nothing more than the No. 3 pick this year and another future first-rounder. While many believe that Boston isn't done dealing and that the team will use this as a first step in a series of moves to try to gain an established star, as it stands right now, it seems unnecessarily risky on the surface.
There could be real reasons, of course, that the Celtics decided to trade the pick. They could believe that Fultz won't be as good as advertised, and/or that they can get similar value by drafting third overall. They might not be ready to move on from Marcus Smart and Terry Rozier, both of whom are rotation players who would have taken away developmental opportunities from Fultz. Or, they might not want to add a 19-year-old to a team that has its sights set on competing for a title as early as next season.
But there's also a very real possibility that this could look like a huge mistake by the Celtics in the not-so-distant future. Here are three reasons Danny Ainge might regret trading the No. 1 pick in the 2017 NBA Draft to the Philadelphia 76ers.
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Danny Ainge's draft record over the years has been atrocious
Danny Ainge has proven to be one of the league's top general managers for his ability to make shrewd trades that almost always leave his team on top and with a tremendous amount of assets. But it's not hyperbole to say that he's been an absolute disaster when making his annual selections in the NBA Draft.
There's a consensus No. 1 this year, and it's Markelle Fultz. By keeping the pick, the Celtics could take Fultz, and even in the unlikely event that he turned out to be a bust, no one would blame them one bit for making the selection. Now, there are decisions to be made at No. 3 -- and Ainge hasn't done a great job in the past when he's been in this situation.
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LeBron's window to compete for titles in the East might be coming to a close
You've heard the rumblings, and you've seen the reports. There's a feeling around the league that if LeBron doesn't believe that his Cavaliers can beat the Warriors as currently constructed, that he'll bolt for a new team -- possibly one in Los Angeles -- when his current contract is up at the conclusion of the 2018 season. He's left teams twice before, of course, and for a man who needs only championships to add to his increasingly powerful legacy, it wouldn't at all be a surprise to see him do whatever it takes to win one or two more before his career is finished.
If LeBron does indeed leave the Eastern Conference, the Celtics would be uniquely poised to become the favorites there for the foreseeable future. And if Fultz ends up being as good as advertised, you'd want a young All-Star on an inexpensive rookie scale deal to build around, in order to create as many opportunities as possible to reach the NBA Finals.
That opportunity is gone now, and there's far more uncertainty with draft picks the lower you go down the list.
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Fultz ends up becoming a star, and the Sixers become a huge problem in the East
The scariest part of this deal for the Celtics is that they traded the pick (which will almost certainly turn into Fultz) to a team in the same division.
If Fultz ends up becoming the All-Star talent that many project him to be, and if guys like Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons can ever stay healthy enough to remain on the floor, a nightmare scenario could emerge for the Celtics in which they've helped a young team that they have to face four times during the regular season become a monster, and one that might even be capable of eliminating them in a playoff series in just a few short years.
Celtics fans better hope that Ainge has at least one more trick up his sleeve, otherwise this particular trade could come back to haunt the franchise for years to come.