NBA Draft 2011: Do the Boston Celtics Need To Trade Up?

J.B. BirdContributor IIIMay 31, 2011

BOSTON, MA - APRIL 19:  Doc Rivers of the Boston Celtics directs his players in the second half against the New York Knicks in Game Two of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals in the 2011 NBA Playoffs on April 19, 2011 at the TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts. The Boston Celtics defeated the New York Knicks 96-93. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
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With the right moves, the 2011 NBA Draft could be the first step in the Boston Celtics' rebuilding process.

Although generally considered to be one of the weakest fields in years, the 2011 NBA Draft does have the potential to produce a few genuine quality players.

However, the Celtics' current draft position holds little capacity to take advantage of this fact.

Although the Celtics' current drafting position, No. 25, has produced some strong players over the years—see the list of No. 25 picked players for the last decade here—it has produced just as many busts.

Most mock drafts have the Celtics drafting either a mediocre big man, or a similarly raw backup wing or point guard. 

Neither option is likely to remedy the problems that have beset the Celtics this season. 

Even if Doc Rivers dramatically changes his rotations, he is unlikely to want to give serious minutes to a player on the level of a Luke Harrangody or Semih Erden. 

If the Celtics truly want to begin the rejuvenation process they may want to trade up to put them in striking distance of a player who can make an immediate impact.

However, the biggest challenge facing the Celtics should they choose to trade up in the draft is their lack of trading pieces.

Unless the Celtics were to trade one of the Big Three or a future draft pick, they have few carrots to dangle in front of those teams holding lottery picks this year.

This is the choice that confronts Celtics General Manager Danny Ainge ahead of this June's draft.

The arguments for and against a youth-focused roster rebuild have been much discussed already.

To move forward risks wasting the last years of the Big Three.

To fail to make any moves risks stagnation.

If the Celtics make a move to improve their draft position, it will be a clear indication which choice they have made.