The Boston Celtics are one of the best teams in the NBA already, but thanks to one of the best trades in NBA history, Boston landed the No. 1 pick in the 2017 draft via the Brooklyn Nets on Tuesday night and can add yet another young budding star to a loaded roster.
Washington's Markelle Fultz is generally regarded to be the most talented player in the class, but rumors have swirled that the Celtics could snatch UCLA's Lonzo Ball away from the Lakers with the first pick. On Wednesday's episode of "The Herd," Colin Cowherd explained why there's no chance the Celtics will take Ball first.
Would the Celtics draft Lonzo Ball just to stick it to the Lakers?
“Let’s play the what-if game. I’ve been hearing a lot about this, the what-if game.
"What if Danny Ainge, the dealmaker, wants to stick it to the Lakers and draft Lonzo Ball?
"That’s a big what-if, and I can understand people thinking that this morning. Danny Ainge has no love for the Lakers, and Danny Ainge is a dealmaker.
"I’m going to give you six reasons why I don’t think that’s going to happen."
James SnookJames Snook-USA TODAY Sports
1. Danny Ainge values shooters above all else
"Danny Ainge, and you can ask anybody around the league, covets shooters.
"Isaiah Thomas is the kind of guy, you saw it Sunday, that can take over a game.
"Boston doesn’t have a ton of great shooters. Jae Crowder’s 3 best three-point shooter. Lonzo Ball does a lot of things well, [but] he doesn’t defend well, doesn’t shoot well.
"Danny Ainge covets shooters. You’re not getting past LeBron and those nine 3-point shooters in Cleveland [by] getting rid of your best shooter."
Jennifer BuchananJennifer Buchanan-USA TODAY Sports
2. Why would the Celtics choose to rebuild around a new point guard at this point?
"Danny Ainge has been maddeningly methodical in this process. If you take Lonzo Ball, you’re sort of rebooting. You’re ditching your super popular, super proven, super productive, veteran beloved point guard Isaiah Thomas.
"You put all these years in, you had all this patience … to reboot it? I just don’t see that happening."
Geoff BurkeGeoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
3. The Celtics need a player who can contribute now, and Markelle Fultz is that guy
"You can play all the games you want with the Lakers, but Markelle Fultz is the most NBA-ready player.
"And if you’re not going to trade the pick, the way to beat LeBron over the next three years is not developing a bunch of guys. It’s having Markelle Fultz capable of scoring 19 a game."
James SnookJames Snook-USA TODAY Sports
4. Danny Ainge might not want to invite the LaVar Ball circus to town
"I’m not sure Danny Ainge, in parochial Boston, wants to deal with the Baller brand and LaVar Ball."
Winslow TownsonUSA TODAY Sports
5. Lonzo Ball doesn't want to go to Boston
"LaVar and Lonzo? They’re not even going to work out for the Celtics.
"So if you draft him, you’ve got to jump through that hoop."
Richard MacksonRichard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports
6. The Celtics' window won't last forever
"Look at LeBron. That’s the guy you’re trying to get through. He could have had Andrew Wiggins, he said ‘give me Kevin Love.’ Kyle Korver, J.R. Smith, Channing Frye, Deron Williams.
"LeBron and the Warriors are experienced teams. The Cavs are a veteran team. Lonzo Ball’s 19. I truly believe Boston should not draft Ball or Markelle Fultz. I think they should trade the pick -- because these windows close quickly, and Al Horford doesn’t have five great years left. And Isaiah Thomas doesn’t have -- at 5-foot-8, 180 pounds -- five great years left. He’s going to age like the baseball player Jose Reyes.
"And it took Gordon Hayward, Jimmy Butler, Paul George, Kawhi Leonard four to five years to pop to the All-Star level. I don’t care how good Markelle Fultz is, he played in the Pac-12. His team couldn’t win 10 games. You want to wait five years?
"If I’m the Celtics, I’m not taking any of these guys. I am trading the pick. Veterans win in May and June.”