Chris Mannix: "Markelle Fultz can step right in and be great right away"

Sports Illustrated's Chris Mannix hopped on Colin Cowherd's show, The Herd of FS1, last week to talk some NBA and when the conversation turned to the Celtics and their future Mannix had to put the blowhard host in his place. When Cowherd suggested that the Celtics need to trade the 1st-overall pick for a proven All Star caliber player OR select Lonzo Ball instead of Fultz Mannix relished the opportunity to expose the lunacy of his claims:

First of all, and I've said this many times before, Cowherd is an idiot. He made the case there that the Celtics ownership would prefer to make it to the finals for a couple of years rather than wait for young players to develop so they could make a few extra bucks just playing in a few extra games. So essentially he said the goal we be to just be better than Cleveland and not worry about beating Golden State. That's ludicrous, but beyond that he mentioned that drafting Fultz wouldn't give the Celtics a "marketable star" - as if the Celtics aren't going to market the hell out of the 1st overall pick in the NBA draft. Taking the 1st pick/best player in a draft class will have Boston buzzing more than getting Jimmy Butler in a trade would by a mile.

Here's a quick rundown of the players selected number 1 since the Celtics last won the NBA title in 2008: Derrick Rose, Blake Griffin, John Wall, Kyrie Irving, Anthony Davis, Anthony Bennett, Andrew Wiggins, Karl-Anthony Towns, and Ben Simmons. While the jury is still out on Simmons there's only one bust in that group and the rest of those players are stars or at least on their way to being one.

More important than Cowherd's idiocy though Mannix had some interesting comments in the interview. He stated that there is no debate whatsoever between Fultz and Lonzo Ball for that 1st overall selection, and he also believes that Fultz can "step right in and be great right away". If that is in fact the case and Fultz is that big of a factor right away then this team will be better next season with that dynamic scoring addition regardless of what other additions the C's are able to make.

Beyond Fultz and this year's draft Mannix thinks it's highly unlikely the Celtics would be willing to trade next year's Brooklyn pick either considering how awful the Net's are likely to be and the potential for the C's to be able to add another top selection, perhaps Michael Porter, to a core of Fultz and Jaylen Brown that could be ridiculous in just a few years.

It makes no sense at all for the Celtics to mortgage a very bright future over getting better next season with superteams like Golden State and Cleveland still sitting atop the NBA's summit. Should the C's be able to add a max-level free agent this offseason, *cough* Gordon Hayward, they can put themselves in a better position to be more competitive with those tops teams for the next few years and still set themselves up for a grandiose future down the road. But even if they can't get Hayward Fultz and his dynamic scoring will be NBA ready next year according to Mannix.

Related: Markelle Fultz will be in Boston this week to meet and work out for the Celtics

Photo Credit - Washington Athletics

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