Top talent ensures the Celtics will be in a strong position no matter how the Lottery pans out
After the first two rounds of March Madness, Boston Celtics fans are getting to see the best talent they will be considering with Brooklyn’s pick this summer. Josh Jackson, Lauri Markkanen and Lonzo Ball have all helped their case with the Celtics with the way they have been playing and advancing their team. The tournament will not be enough to completely change any assessment of these player, and Markelle Fultz is not even playing. That being said, this is a great chance for fans to really see this talent showcased, and seeing so many players excel like this can take away some anxieties about the draft lottery.
The Celtics will be getting the best odds for the first pick in the upcoming draft, but that only gives them a 25 percent chance to get that pick. If this was a draft like the LeBron James Sweepstakes, then all that would matter is the results of the lottery. In a season like this, the Celtics can feel great with any of the top three picks.
Obviously, the added benefit of being able to choose any player they want is tremendous. There are a lot of options but their top pick could be spoiled if they do not get their top pick, and that would be a shame considering how much worse the Nets are in the standings than any team in the league, and this is with the 76ers shutting down all their talent with injuries, and the Lakers doing anything they can to preserve their pick. The lottery system is designed specifically to try and prevent teams from tanking, but the Nets are the one team that truly has nothing to tank for.
There will always be something riding on the the lottery results, but the Celtics have multiple options in this draft that address different aspects of the team, and it is looking like a year where it could be difficult to go wrong.
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The Celtics could lose the lottery and have to settle for someone like Jackson, who got everyone’s attention with some explosive blocks against the Spartans. Jackson could give the Celtics tremendous defensive versatility, while shooting better than 50 percent from the field, and 38 percent from three. Jackson has the size to play anywhere from the two to the four, although he will need to add to his frame if he wants to play the four. While at the same time being a great offensive option that could flourish with all the ball movement of the Celtics. The Celtics could be ushering a new era of defense with Marcus Smart and Jaylen Brown, and Jackson could fit in with both of them, while being miles ahead of where they were on offense in college.
If, somehow, the Celtics manage to fall outside of the top three in the lottery, they’ll only be settling for the kind of big they have been spending years looking for. The Celtics have invested a lot of their assets in their front court. They have Ante Zizic and Guerschon Yabusele coming over, but they have never had a front court prospect like Markkanen before. The Celtics could be facing a tough decision with Kelly Olynyk this summer, and Markannen could come in and replace that impact as a rookie. Markkanen shoots an outrageous 43 percent from three point range, and would be more of presence on defense than the weak defensive depth they currently have.
There’s enough talent in this draft that the Celtics could even consider trading down, or even trading back into the lottery when players like Malik Monk and Jayson Tatum could easily be available outside of the top five. If the Celtics lose out on the lottery for Fultz and are not convinced about Ball or Jackson, they will have a lot of options no matter where their pick lands.
The Celtics are establishing a strong young core through the draft, and anywhere in the top three will make this the best prospect the Celtics will be taking out of college. With how well Brown has been playing, and the confidence they have in Smart, this pick will give the Celtics a bright future even if they land no big superstar in free agency.
This is a draft to get excited about, and now is the best time to enjoy all the talent that could become a vital piece to the Celtics core in the most exciting tournament sports has to offer.