The Boston Celtics have won more championships than any other franchise in NBA history with 17. Their rivals, the Los Angeles Lakers, have the second most with 16. Most of those championships, at least in the Celtics case, came with strong drafting and Hall of Fame decision makers in Red Auerbach and Tommy Heinsohn, who recently was inducted into the National Basketball Hall of Fame as a coach after being enshrined as a player in 1986.
The Celtics have a history of drafting cornerstone players that have helped propel the franchise into the most dominating team in NBA history. This includes drafting the likes of Bill Russell, Larry Bird, Kevin McHale, John Havlicek, Dave Cowens, and Jo Jo White.
The Celtics recently have not had much luck when it came to securing an attractive draft position. After the original "Big Three" which consisted of Kevin McHale, Larry Bird, and Robert Parish were staples to Celtics fans on Causeway Street, the team selected Maryland's Len Bias with the second overall pick in the 1986 NBA Draft. Tragedy struck two days later when Bias was found dead by an apparent overdose of cocaine. This would be the first instance in which the luck of the leprechaun did not matter.
In 1997, the Celtics had the best odds to obtain the first overall pick to score prized Wake Forest power forward Tim Duncan. The Celtics would eventually receive the third overall pick and select Chauncey Billups.
Another example would be in 2007 when the Celtics seemingly tanked their way to try and receive the best odds to acquire either Ohio State center Greg Oden or Texas Longhorn forward Kevin Durant. In typical Celtic fashion, the team was stuck with the fifth overall pick and selected Jeff Green out of Georgetown.
The silver lining in this, as all Celtics fans know, is that it started the emergence of a new "Big Three" in Boston when they traded Green to the Seattle Supersonics for shooting guard Ray Allen. This would later entice Minnesota Timberwolve Kevin Garnett to want to play for Boston and the trade set up by Danny Ainge and Kevin McHale helped them raise yet another Larry O'Brien trophy in late June of the 2007-2008 NBA season. In making this list, it must be noted that in 2009, 2002, and 1999 the Celtics did not have a first round pick, so it is necessary to go back to 1997 and 1998 to complete the list.
16 1997 - Chauncey Billups and Tracy McGrady
If only Rick Pitino allowed Billups to flourish when they selected him with the third overall pick out of Colorado and the Celtics drafted McGrady instead of Ron Mercer with their sixth overall pick, they Celtic would've been a difficult team to defeat in the early 2000s, as that would be one heck of a backcourt. Both Billups and McGrady have chances at the Hall of Fame and were terrific players.
15 1998 - Paul Pierce
14 2000 - Hedo Turkoglu
13 2001 - Joe Johnson and Zach Randolph
12 2003 - David West and Boris Diaw
11 2004 - Al Jefferson, Kevin Martin and Anderson Varejao
The Celtics had an astounding three first round picks in this draft and only hit on the first one in Al Jefferson at the 15th overall pick. He was solid for Boston over his first three years there and was a huge piece in the trade that saw Boston acquire Kevin Garnett and win a championship, so his pick turned out great.
10 2005 - David Lee
9 2006 - Rajon Rondo
8 2007- Joakim Noah
7 2008- DeAndre Jordan
6 2010- Avery Bradley
5 2011 - Jimmy Butler
4 2012 - Jared Sullinger and Draymond Green
3 2013 - Giannis Antetokounmpo
2 2014 - Marcus Smart
1 2015 - Sam Dekker and RJ Hunter
Considering the fact that none of these guys have stepped onto the court of a meaningful NBA game tells us that it is way too early to say who the Celtics should have drafted. However, I don't agree with the Terry Rozier selection because the Celtics already have a similar player in Marcus Smart and most experts said the Celtics took the Louisville guard too high at number 16. Instead, w'ell have them pick Sam Dekker who went two picks later to the Rockets as he's a forward who will bring some depth to their front court.
RJ Hunter, whom the team drafted 28th overall out of Georgia State, should provide a nice shooting stroke for the team.
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