It’s always impossible to know just what Danny Ainge’s Celtics are thinking.
Years after trading Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce to the Nets for a boatload of future assets, Boston landed one of the grandest prizes of all with the No. 1 pick in a good draft. This is why you trade stars for draft picks: so that you can get future stars on rookie deals. This No. 1 choice would be added to a 53-win team that made the conference finals, as could a max-level free agent.
Instead, the Celtics traded the pick that would have been Markelle Fultz in Thursday’s 2017 NBA draft. Boston agreed Saturday to send the pick to the 76ers in exchange for No. 3 in Thursday’s draft plus what is expected to be an excellent choice in either 2018 or 2019.
Why? The potential reasons are many. But time will tell what’s actually right, because it’s impossible to know what Ainge is thinking.