The Celtics own Dallas' first-round pick in the 2016 draft, a pick that was sent to the Celtics as a part of the Rajon Rondo swap, could become a valuable pick depending on where Dallas finishes next season in the Western Conference standings.
The 2016 first-round pick is protected if the Mavs were to become a lottery team. Meaning if Dallas falls so far down in the standings next season that they earn a top-7 pick in next year's draft then they get to keep the pick. However, if Dallas falls out of the top-7 in next summer's draft, that pick would then go to the Celtics. A few days ago, Dallas was considered a playoff contending team in the west but now that Jordan has changed his mind on becoming a Maverick, Dallas all of a sudden looks like a team that could be left out of the postseason if they're unable to improve their roster.
Dallas lost two big pieces this summer. Their leading scorer Monta Ellis signed with the Indiana Pacers, and big man Tyson Chandler headed to Phoenix to play for the Suns. The Mavs did sign guard Wesley Matthews to a max deal but his health is a cause for concern. Matthews suffered a ruptured Achilles tendon last season and may not return to being the same player he was for Portland throughout his career.
Dallas owner Mark Cuban said he did consider heading towards the tanking route in hopes of getting a lottery pick but this was before Jordan made a commitment to play in Dallas. With players like Dirk Nowitzki and Chandler Parsons still on their roster, it's hard to imagine that the Mavs will fall so far down that they'll be in lottery contention alongside teams like the Philadelphia 76ers, New York Knicks, and the Utah Jazz. But if the Mavs were to fall anywhere between picks 8-12, that pick could be a valuable piece for the Celtics.
The Celtics will potentially have three first-round picks in the 2016 draft. Aside for their own first round pick, the C's also have Brooklyn's 2016 first-round pick. Unlike what we saw two weeks ago, Danny Ainge, Celtics president of basketball operations, will not be keeping all of his 2016 draft picks.
Hopefully next time around Ainge will be using his picks to trade up in the draft, or instead use them in a trade to bring in proven talent.
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