Boston Celtics

Boston Celtics: Why C's Must Avoid Trading Up in Round 1 of 2012 NBA Draft

LOUISVILLE, KY - MARCH 17:  Royce White #30 of the Iowa State Cyclones looks on dejected from the bench late in the second half against the Kentucky Wildcats during the third round of the 2012 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at KFC YUM! Center on March 17, 2012 in Louisville, Kentucky.  (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images
Adam SpencerCorrespondent IJune 25, 2012

The Boston Celtics have two first-round picks (No. 21 and No. 22) in the 2012 NBA draft.

This draft class is very deep, especially when it comes to big men (something the Celtics desperately need).

However, there has been talk about general manager Danny Ainge trying to package his two first-round picks in order to move up in the first round.

The theory is that the team would move up in order to draft a player like Harrison Barnes, Bradley Beal or Austin Rivers.

But doing so would be foolish.

This team needs big men, so moving up in order to draft a shooter would set Boston back a couple years.

There will be plenty of great big men available with picks 21 and 22, so Ainge should just stay put and grab a shooter with his second-round pick.

At least two of these big men should be available when the Celtics pick in Round 1:

  • Fab Melo
  • Terrence Jones
  • Royce White
  • Andrew Nicholson
  • Festus Ezeli
  • Draymond Green

Any combination of these players would help the Celtics rebuild and reload around Rajon Rondo and Paul Pierce.

Jared Sullinger will also be available, but the Celtics don’t need another big man who will spend more time in a suit on the sideline than in a jersey.

Any of the players listed above would be great fits in Boston, especially if the team can’t re-sign Kevin Garnett this offseason.

Sure, it would be great to see head coach Doc Rivers coach his son, a potential superstar, but it wouldn’t be practical.

The Celtics already have Paul Pierce and Avery Bradley to man the shooting guard and small forward positions and can re-sign Jeff Green and Mickael Pietrus as backups.

Power forwards and centers will be much harder to come by this offseason, meaning those positions should be priorities in this year’s draft.

Theoretically, the Celtics could still trade up in order to draft a guy like John Henson, Tyler Zeller, Andre Drummond or Meyers Leonard, but the difference between those players and players like White and Melo isn’t worth the price of trading up.

Plus, having both White and Melo would be more valuable than having just one of the players they’d have to trade up to pick.

Therefore, Ainge and the Celtics need to stay put in the first round and see how the draft plays out. They’ll get great value from their two first-round picks if they select big men, and that will help the team next year and well into the future.

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