Boston Celtics legend Paul Pierce seems to be on the same wavelength as everyone else—the franchise could trade the first pick in the 2017 NBA draft for a major star.
Stars such as Jimmy Butler of the Chicago Bulls and Paul George of the Indiana Pacers have been linked to the Celtics for years. Now, it finally seems like the Celtics have the ammunition and roster necessary to make such a move.
Here’s Pierce’s opinion on the matter, via his time on ESPN’s The Jump.
“You’re a 50-win team, you’re the No. 1 seed. You have to build on this momentum. If you can acquire a Paul George, Jimmy Butler, or Gordon (Hayward) from Utah, you have to do it.”
Pierce says he doesn’t want the Celtics to get a prospect such as Washington point guard Markelle Fultz because he doesn’t help the team win right away. Based on how the Celtics used Jaylen Brown last year, he might be right. Others would argue, though, Fultz has enough deep range and is a solid enough two-way player that he could run the court well next to Isaiah Thomas, making someone such as Avery Bradley a nice trade chip.
Either way, the Bulls’ direction is impossible to figure out, so Butler doesn’t seem realistic. If George leaves the Pacers, now or after next year in free agency, he figures to want to return home to the Los Angeles Lakers. And Gordon Hayward doesn’t have a reason to leave the Utah Jazz, not after the franchise followed a similar trajectory to Boston’s by building itself up and looking like a threat in the Western Conference.
Pierce might follow popular logic here, but based on the Celtics’ actions over the past few years, that doesn’t mean they’ll follow it.