Danny Ainge is Stockpiling 1st Round Picks to Make a Run at Anthony Davis


If the 76ers do indeed trade three #1 picks to move up two spots and draft Markelle Fultz, it’ll put Danny Aingeand the Celtics in position to pull off the unthinkable: Prying Anthony Davis out of New Orleans.

According to Woj, the 76ers are prepared to part with the #3 pick in 2017, the Lakers #1 pick in 2018 (which they acquired via trade, and depending what happens in July, could be a lottery pick), and a 2021 1st round pick. By then, Ben Simmons should have the 76ers in the playoffs.

So to recap, the Celtics are stockpiling 1st round picks. If the Fultz deal goes down, here’s what Boston has going forward:

[UPDATEInstead of a 2021 pick, the Celtics got the the 76ers to toss in the 2019 first round pick from the Kings.]

2017 #3 pick (via Philly)
2017 3 2nd round picks
2018 #1 pick of the Lakers OR 2019 #1 pick from Sacramento
2018 #1 pick of the Nets (good breakdown here)
2018 #1 pick (their own)
2018 4 2nd round picks
2019 #1 pick from Memphis (good breakdown here)
2019 #1 pick from LA Clippers
2019 #1 pick (their own)

The Celtics will now have 7 first round picks in the next three drafts.

Danny Ainge could put a couple together and try to pry Jimmy Butler out of Chicago. He could make a run at Paul George.

Or, the Celtics could get really ambitious and go to the Pelicans at the deadline and say: You guys are not making the playoffs, you’re going nowhere fast, and if you want to rebuild, here are four 1st round picks. Please give us Anthony Davis.

If you haven’t been paying attention, Davis averaged 28.0 ppg and 11.8 rpg, while blocking 2.2 shots a night. He’s only 24-years old, and hasn’t scratched the ceiling because he’s never had a strong supporting cast of teammates. (Psst: Kevin Garnett was dominating in Minnesota early in his career but got no love because they kept getting bounced in the 1st round of the playoffs.)

He’s 6-foot-10 and has added a 3-pointer to his game – he made a total of 3 three-pointers in his first three years in the NBA; he made 35 two years ago, and 40 last season. He’s already lead the league in blocks twice.

In his lone playoff series, the Pelicans were swept … but Davis was phenomenal against the Warriors. At the age of 21, Davis averaged 31.5 ppg, 11.0 rpg, 3.0 blocks a game, and oh yeah, that was before he was shooting 3-pointers.

So Danny Ainge drafts De’Aaron Fox or Josh Jackson 3rd this year, signs Gordon Hayward this offseason, and then trades for Anthony Davis at the deadline. Hand him the Executive of the Year award now.