You didn’t consider Danny Ainge was going to lay out one of a wildest NBA trade deadline days in new memory, with players removing substituted like high tales around a stay fire, did you?
It was no warn that Danny a Dealer exercised his trigger finger and executed nonetheless another trade in his query to reconstitute a Celtics. The stunner Thursday was that he surrendered Boston’s elite currency, a breeze pick, and didn’t supplement to a Celtics’ hoops wish chest of destiny selections.
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Ainge traded rent-a-veteran Marcus Thornton and one of a raft of destiny first-round picks in a Celtics’ possession (a 2016 stable first-rounder from Cleveland) to Phoenix for pint-sized indicate ensure Isaiah Thomas. Ainge also jettisoned lottery-position spoiler Tayshaun Prince, promulgation him to Detroit for a NBA homogeneous of endowment uncover seat-fillers, giveaway agents Jonas Jerebko and Luigi Datome.
The trade deadline was a win for a Green. They unloaded dual veterans with failing contracts who were photo-bombing their long-term picture. They acquired a young, scoring indicate ensure on an affordable agreement who could be a square in their reconstruction. More importantly, they put a duration on stockpiling overrated picks.
Nobody loves breeze picks some-more than me, good solely for Ainge. I’m a draft-a-holic. we would watch a napkin-holder draft. But a value and significance of a Celtics’ collection of breeze picks — realistically, they could have 11 first-round picks between now and 2019 — has been exaggerated.
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This isn’t a NFL, where each first-round collect is treated like gold. In a NBA, a usually truly desired first-round picks are top-five picks. Picks outward that realm, even lottery picks, are contingent on a abyss of a breeze and a seductiveness turn of an particular team, both of that can be fickle.
The Celtics schooled this doctrine final June, when they entered one of a most-hyped drafts in new memory armed with a Nos. 6 and 17 picks and prepared to deal. It didn’t occur since they owned a sixth collect in a breeze that was regarded as carrying 5 intensity superstars. Celtics owners Wyc Grousbeck’s fireworks got cancelled, and a Celtics finished adult drafting Marcus Smart and James Young.
The 2015 breeze does not demeanour like it’s going to be an moving affair. So Ainge done a intelligent pierce and cashed in one of his destiny chips for a proven NBA player.
It helped that Ryan McDonough, a Suns’ ubiquitous manager, is a former Celtics partner GM. He is also a son of mythological Boston Globe sportswriter Will McDonough.
No one is going to upset Isaiah Thomas for Isiah Thomas, a Hall of Fame indicate ensure who led a Detroit Pistons to dual NBA titles and is one of a many underappreciated players in NBA history. Or as he’s famous around here, a man who threw a round to Larry Bird in Game 5 of a 1987 Eastern Conference finals.
But this Thomas can play, and he can fire 3-pointers and giveaway throws, a novel judgment for a Celtics indicate guard.
The 5-foot-9-inch Thomas averaged 20.3 points and 6.3 assists per diversion final deteriorate for Sacramento. That was substantially a box of a good actor racking adult arrogant numbers on a bad team. But in Phoenix, he was averaging 15.2 points per game, entrance off a bench.
His effective margin idea percentage, that adjusts for a value of a 3-pointer, is 50.5 percent; he is a 39.1 percent 3-point shooter.
Thomas is a career 86 percent giveaway chuck shooter. Last season, he was 14th in a NBA in giveaway throws attempted per diversion during 5.7.
Thomas should element Smart, not attempt his growth. Smart can recompense for Thomas’s defensive deficiencies, and Thomas can retaliate on a descent end.
Draft picks are an critical partial of a rebuilding blueprint.
Teams such as Golden State, Portland, and Oklahoma City built by a draft, though they did it with lottery picks (picks that tumble between 1 and 14). Among a authorization players on those teams a lowest drafted actor is Klay Thompson, a 11th collect in a 2011 draft.
Among a Celtics excess of first- and second-round picks, a usually expected lottery picks are their possess and a picks they’re going to accept from a Brooklyn Nets from a new Big Three dissection trade that sent Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett to New York’s hipster hive. (Brooklyn dealt Garnett to his strange team, a Minnesota Timberwolves, on Thursday.)
The Celtics have Brooklyn’s collect this year and in 2018. They also have a right to barter positions in 2017.
The Nets are 21-31, a half-game conduct of a Celtics and only a diversion out of a final playoff mark in a Eastern Conference.
The other picks a Celtics are due over this year come from Dallas, Memphis, and Minnesota. The Timberwolves have a rebuilding plan of their possess and their collect is top-12 stable this year and next. Then it becomes a second-round pick.
The collect a Celtics sent to a Suns to acquire Thomas, partial of a three-point-guard examination in Phoenix with Goran Dragic and Eric Bledsoe that was ill-fated, was top-10 stable from 2016-18 and defenceless in 2019.
Unless LeBron James dumps a Cavaliers again, a collect was not expected to tumble in a lottery.
Thomas was a improved bet.
If Thomas, who is in a initial year of a four-year, $27 million deal, is not a fit for a Celtics he is not a cap-clogger. Ainge is still going to have thriving top space this offseason to try to awaken a giveaway representative to Causeway Street (good luck).
Thomas is not going to derail a Celtics’ Grand Plan, if Ainge even knows what it is.
He is another asset, one that, distinct a breeze pick, already has proven value.Christopher L. Gasper is a Globe columnist. He can be reached during [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @cgasper.