How Reported Lakers-Nets Trade Impacts Celtics’ Plans Going Forward

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Boston Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge

The Boston Celtics weren’t involved in the latest reported NBA trade, but they still will be impacted by it in a big way.

The Lakers and Nets stunned the NBA world Tuesday evening when Los Angeles reportedly agreed to send Timofey Mozgov and D’Angelo Russell to Brooklyn for Brook Lopez and the No. 27 pick in the 2017 NBA Draft.

The Celtics have been linked the Nets’ success, or lack thereof, ever since the teams’ blockbuster 2013 deal for Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett. And that trend will continue for one more season, as Boston also owns Brooklyn’s 2018 first-round pick.

On the surface, getting an unproven, yet very talented point guard in Russell should help the Nets down the road, but it might make them even worse in the immediate future. Regardless, C’s fans still will have to look at Brooklyn’s box score every night for one more season.

Boston also now owns L.A.’s 2018 first-rounder if it lands between the No. 2 and No. 5 spots. Otherwise, it will receive a first-round pick from either the Sacramento Kings or Philadelphia 76ers in the 2019 NBA Draft. So, the C’s have an incentive for the Lakers to be bad during the 2017-18 season, although the trade might have made that more difficult. Lopez still is a very good player, and L.A. reportedly is in talks to land Paul George while also drafting Lonzo Ball to replace Russell.

Speaking of Ball, the other way this impacts the Celtics is in Thursday’s draft. The 76ers appear ready to draft Markelle Fultz at No. 1, while the Lakers now reportedly will take Ball with the second pick. In turn, the Celtics hypothetically now will draft either Josh Jackson or Jayson Tatum at No. 3.

Thumbnail photo via Mark L. Baer/USA TODAY Sports Images

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