Some scattered thoughts while navigating Memorial Day weekend (a hail storm that just ripped through our neck of the woods sent us from grilling to blogging):
• CRAZY, STUPID, LOVE: The knee-jerk reaction for many fans after the Boston Celtics landed the No. 6 pick in Tuesday's draft lottery was (1) Throw and/or kick a breakable object and (2) Plead for the team to trade its entire war chest of assets to Minnesota in order to deliver savior Kevin Love. At the right price, pursuing Love is absolutely an explorable option. But it's been refreshing to see many Celtics fans, after examining the potential price tag, come to the realization that the team should be careful not to mortgage its future by overpaying for a singular talent (no matter how talented Love is). We chuckle at the notion that Boston is doomed to irrelevancy if they can't maneuver for Love. The Celtics have plenty of assets to improve their team moving forward and most fans seem to understand that sacrificing half their first-rounders over the next four years simply isn't good business. The end game of this rebuild isn't just to get back to being competitive as fast as possible; it's to stay competitive for as long as possible. There are plenty of paths for Boston to navigate to get back to being a contender in the Eastern Conference. Some are faster than others. But the right path prevents the Celtics from navigating Rebuilding Road again for the longest period of time.
• RAY GOT IT RIGHT? We spent a lot of time in this space this season keeping tabs on Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett and Boston fans seemed genuinely interested and invested in how the duo fared in Brooklyn, particularly when they played the Heat in the postseason. It's interesting to watch the reaction after old friend Ray Allen's fourth-quarter outburst helped the Heat move a step closer to competing for a third straight title. Some friends half-jokingly noted how the Celtics could have used some of those fourth-quarter heroics back in 2010 when the Lakers rallied to top Boston in seven games in the NBA Finals. To be fair, Allen had his share of postseason memories here, but he's had some absolutely monstrous moments for the Heat already in his two-year tenure. For all the disdain he received here for joining the enemy, it's hard to say he made the wrong decision. Boston's roster disbanded a year after he left, while Allen has only cemented his legacy and could be a three-time NBA champ by the end of June.
[Reading: Allen's chance arrives, right on time]
• FEELING A DRAFT: We've long been told that you don't draft for need, you draft the best available player. That said, most mocks have a logjam of power forward-types pegged around where Boston's picking at No. 6 and, if there's one spot on the roster where the C's don't necessarily need immediate young help, that might be it. So the question becomes, does Boston attempt to maneuver around in order to better address needs? We're intrigued by what the cost would be to shuffle up to No. 4 for a shot at Dante Exum (or if one of the Big Three Draftees slides). Unlike the NFL, there's seemingly no firm rules about the value of picks or a trade card to help determine that value. But let's say Boston is on the clock at No. 6 and the first five players off the board are Joel Embiid, Jabari Parker, Andrew Wiggins, Exum and Noah Vonleh. Which way are you leaning, armchair GMs? Marcus Smart really intrigues us at that spot, though the concern is looking past Julius Randle or Aaron Gordon based on Boston's current roster makeup. All of which makes us wonder if Boston would try to trade down and add quantity while, presumably, still getting a quality player a few slots lower.