DeMarcus Cousins, Russell Westbrook the only Players Worthy of Celtics’ Brooklyn 2017 Pick?
The NBA trade rumors continue for the Boston Celtics and it is rumored that they can get their star player if only they would part with one particular asset.
According to reports, the Celtics could have closed the Jimmy Butler trade at the draft but the Chicago Bulls wanted the rights to the two Brooklyn Nets’ picks (swap rights in 2017 and unprotected in 2018) along with the no.3 overall pick.
The Celtics were already shopping the no.3 overall pick and failed. They ended up keeping the pick and used it on Jaylen Brown, an explosive, athletic small forward from California.
While most pundits thought the Celtics already lost their best chance at a trade (the Chicago Bulls were really interested in Kris Dunn), Boston’s strategy of sticking to their guns might pay off.
First, they managed to land Al Horford even if they didn’t have a star to pair with him. Second, as Mass Live chronicles, their two assets may actually increase in value.
Because of the Paul Pierce/Kevin Garnett trade and the unprotected picks that Brooklyn Nets sent to the Celtics in return, their fates are intertwined. The value of those picks depends on the Nets’ failure and Tom Westerholm of Mass Live had good/bad news.
“Brooklyn’s two main targets in free agency, once it became clear that top free agents weren’t coming anywhere near the team, were Miami guard Tyler Johnson and Portland guard Allen Crabbe – two young players with intriguing skill sets who are largely unproven at this point.”
The Nets had no choice but to overpay them, even taking the poison pill route with Johnson with heavily back-ended deals that would affect the Miami Heat’s cap flexibility. This is one way for another team to pry away a restricted free agent from teams that aspire to sign top free agents. The Houston Rockets took Jeremy Lin and Omer Asik away from the NY Knicks and Chicago Bulls through that route.
Perhaps if Dwyane Wade did not leave the Heat, Johnson would be on his way to Brooklyn. But with the roster bare for Pat Riley, he had no choice but to keep whoever he can still hold on to.
All of that worked out well for the Celtics and with the assets retaining value (since the Nets’ hardly improved with only Jeremy Lin as their big free agent), it’s likely to be a top 5 pick.
Which is why the Celtics would not trade it for Butler. Considering how they didn’t trade the no.3 straight up for Jahlil Okafor, Boston wants the big names. It is speculated that the only players they’d give up those assets for are DeMarcus Cousins and Russell Westbrook.
For the OKC Thunder, that would be the 2017 pick would be a great addition. However, the Celtics won’t trade it for Russ unless they have an assurance that he’ll re-sign with the team.
The top prospects for the 2017 draft are Josh Jackson, Harry Giles and Markelle Fultz, according to Chad Ford of ESPN Insider.