Remember when the Celtics selected Paul Pierce? There were concerns about The Truth’s knee, and while Pierce was still a lottery selection he didn’t go in the top four as had been originally projected. And Pierce has been making them regret it ever since.
Flash-forward to draft night, 2012. Jared Sullinger falls out of the lottery after it’s learned that he has a back issue that may shorten his NBA career, or jeopardize it altogether. And while Sullinger wasn’t going to be a top four pick in this draft, it’s clear that he wasn’t going to be far from it. Instead, Sullinger dropped right into the laps of Danny Ainge and the Boston Celtics, who wasted no time selecting the Ohio State star with the 21st pick in the 2012 NBA Draft.
And now we have a player who can not only help the Celtics immediately, we have, in effect, moved into the lottery without having to trade up to do it. Yes, the lottery fell to us. Sullinger is a smart, smart basketball player. He’s competitive. He’s only 6’9″ with limited athleticism, but he has long arms and he has a versatile offensive game. Think Kevin Love, and you begin to get the idea.
Sullinger is going to help us, and possibly before he ever steps foot on a basketball court for the Celtics. Drafting a player like Sullinger may help convince Kevin Garnett to come back and make another run at an NBA Championship. And if KG comes back, Ray Allen may spurn Miami in favor of the friendly confines of the TD Garden. And if Ainge can sign Jeff Green, and possibly add another piece or two via free agency, then the Celtics may have prepped for the future while positioning themselves for one last run with the Big Three.