Over an eight-year span from 1995-2002 the expansion Grizzlies had the following lottery picks: #6, #3, #4, #2, #2, #2, #6 and #4. They used them on Bryant Reeves, Shareef Abdur-Rahim, Antonio Daniels, Mike Bibby, Steve Francis, Stromile Swift, Shane Battier and Drew Gooden. While some of those guys did develop into quality NBA players, none of them were stars. In the eight seasons following each of those lottery picks, the Grizz's best record was 28-54.
Eventually the Memphis Grizzlies (they moved after six years) won 50 games in their 9th season of existence; but the though of a nine-year rebuild is a nightmare worst-case scenario for Celtics fans. Having a ton of draft choices is certainly nice, but its unrealistic to expect them all to pan out.
In Rajon Rondo you've got a proven high-quality NBA talent. Those are hard to come by.
Consider this: If by some alternate reality Rondo was available in this draft, where would he be taken? And I'm not talking about the 21st selection from 2006 Rondo, I mean the current 28-year-old four-time All-Star Rondo. Would he go #1 overall? Maybe. I could see teams willing to pass on him for Wiggins and Parker, and possibly even Embiid or Exum. But there's zero chance he'd last beyond #5.
So why deal Rondo for something like the 8th pick just for the purpose of trying to put all your eggs in the "going young" basket? If the Celtics don't pull off a Kevin Love trade now, that doesn't mean it (or a similar move for another star) couldn't happen down the road. Who knows what other options may present themselves in the year to come?
But once Rondo is gone there's no turning back, and that's a scary road to go down.
Follow Mark Vandeusen @LucidSportsFanMark Vandeusen 6/25/2014 04:40:00 PM Tweet