The Boston Celtics have so many draft picks it nearly is their draft.
In the first round they have the 3rd (Nets), 16th (Mavericks) and 23rd picks.
In the second round they have the 31st (76ers via Heat), 35th (T’wolves via Suns), 45th (Grizzlies via Mavericks), 51st (Miami) and 58th (Cavaliers).
Way too many draft picks. This is 8 players, more than 50% of a roster.
They have 3 guys who are free agents: Evan Turner, Jared Sullinger and Tyler Zeller.
They have players who have team options: Amir Johnson ($12 million), Jonas Jerebko ($5 million).
IF they just let them all go they still wouldn’t have enough openings for 8 draft picks. At least with the 2nd round picks there are no guaranteed contracts so perhaps only 1 or 2 make the team.
AND they have plenty of cash available combined with a desire to sign some elite talent.
All of this adds up to a roster crunch of enormous proportions. They have chips they can use, but every knows they need to move people and/or picks. So in one sense, they are over a barrel. Maybe.
There are no shortage of options. I can think of at least 2 deals that could include the 76ers, who own the first pick. The 76ers also have a surplus of bigs and a need for perimeter shooters. Lots of people advocate for a trade of the #3 pick, and perhaps a player or two for Okafor. There is another option. They could swap picks with the 76ers by tossing in another 1st round pick and some 2nd round picks or players. This means they wouldn’t have to pick a big at #1 but could draft a guy like Dunn who doesn’t want to go to the Celtics because they have too many guards. They Celtics could then draft Simmons or Brandon Ingram.
They could also draft a European player or two and stash them overseas for a few years. While Ainge seems to like Dragan Bender, I doubt he is NBA ready. Luwawu, though smaller, seems to be in the same boat.
Another possibility is drafting an outside shooter like Hield while using players like Smart or Bradley in a trade (with picks?) to get swing or inside players of note.
I’m not sure why high profile free agents would come to Boston. While it has plenty of money, this is a playoff team that will experience high turnover. The most important players will be back (unless they trade Bradley who is their best perimeter defender). You can stop imagining Durant or Horford in Celtic green and white. The possibility of prying a player like George or Butler from their teams seems highly unlikely.
What seems likely is that we’ve seen the last of at least Sullinger, Zeller, and Turner. Probably the high priced Johnson as well. Like I said, lots of turnover.
What we do know is that we should expect the unexpected. We don’t know what it will look like, and we don’t know if it will actually make the team better.