After the losses of Pierce, Garnett, and Doc Rivers, which led to a full-blown rebuild mode, there has been a considerable amount of fans that want the Celtics to tank the season away in hopes of getting a lottery pick to use in one of the most anticipated drafts since 2003, all to get a player like Andrew Wiggins.
While tanking the season may seem beneficial for some franchises, there’s a specific word that the Celtics Organization and fans honor themselves with, ‘pride’. This Celtics team simply has too much ‘Celtic Pride’ to just lie down and take a beating for 82 straight games in the season.
Celtics PF Jared Sullinger on tanking, “When you have Celtics pride, you really don’t have time to rebuild,” Sullinger said, according to ESPN Boston’s Chris Forsberg. “Everyone’s talking about how we’re going to tank and how we’re going to do this. We just want to play and shut everybody up.”
The likes of Rajon Rondo, Jeff Green, Jared Sullinger, and Avery Bradley, are going to fight and be aggressive every single minute of playtime. ‘Tanking’ is not in their vocabulary. They’re a young strong defensive core led by arguably the best facilitator in the league, Rajon Rondo, and big rising star Jeff Green.
With that said, the only way to have a “successful tanking season,” is to trade Boston’s best player, Rajon Rondo, for more young pieces and draft picks. Is losing one of the best PGs in the NBA who’s just entering his prime and on a relatively cheap contract, worth tanking the season for a chance to draft Andrew Wiggins? Some could probably make a fair argument, but it would be way too big of a gamble. Tanking the season doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll get a great lottery pick. Even if you’re the worst team in the NBA, you only have a 25% chance of getting the 1st pick. Then of course there’s the big chance that the player your team picks doesn’t even turn out to be the superstar you were hoping for. There are just too many “ifs” and “maybes” for me to feel comfortable actually giving away Celtics best asset. Take a look back in ’97 when Boston tanked the season for a chance to get Tim Duncan; look how well that turned out, 4 straight playoff-less seasons.
This team may not be a Top Seed, most likely a 7th or 6th seed at best, but Boston doesn’t need to rely on a lottery pick to rebuild. They have many assets including young players, expiring contracts they can either offer or wait until they come off the books, as well as 9 first round draft picks within the next 5 years, that they can offer in the future and build around the core of Rondo, Green, and Sully. Just have a little faith and patience Celtics fans, we have a bright future ahead of us.