The Boston Celtics were awfully active Thursday night at Barclays Center.
The Celtics, who entered the 2019 NBA Draft with four total picks, including three first-rounders, managed to address their pressing needs, all while corralling future assets.
Boston bolstered its offense with the selection of Romeo Langford at No. 14 overall before working out trades involving its next two first-round picks. When all was said and done, the C’s picked up two more guards, a gritty power forward and a 2020 first-round pick. The C’s even managed to shed Aron Baynes’ salary as they look to create more cap space.
All things considered, ESPN tabbed Boston as one of the biggest winners of this year’s draft.
“In 2014, Sixers GM Sam Hinkie was able to sniff out the Orlando Magic’s interest in drafting Elfrid Payton, selecting him at No. 10 and forcing Orlando to give up an additional first-round pick to get its target,” Jonathan Givony wrote on ESPN.com. “Five years later, it appears that the Boston Celtics were able to do the same, taking advantage of the 76ers’ very clear interest in Matisse Thybulle early on in the pre-draft process. The Celtics picked Thybulle at No. 20 and flipped him to Philly while moving down to No. 24 and extracting the No. 33 pick. The Celtics then turned around and auctioned off that pick to the Suns for a 2020 first-round pick, doing some nifty business considering where they started from.”
There hadn’t been much to be excited about for the Celtics in the days leading up to the draft. The expectation of Kyrie Irving’s departure grew stronger, and Al Horford’s reported plan to sign elsewhere in free agency took many by surprise. But considering how the team made out Thursday night, C’s fans should be excited about the future of the franchise.