The Boston Celtics have been a very active bunch this past weekend as all the drama and questions surrounding Doc Rivers, Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce are now flooding in with resolution. Boston hasn’t quite secured closure with any of the three situations but it’s looking like that might be around the corner. Rivers is in Los Angeles negotiating a deal, Garnett appears to be back for one more year and Paul Pierce is being shopped for a first round pick, per a report from ESPN.
The Celtics do remain hopeful of acquiring a first-round pick for Pierce this week in conjunction with Thursday’s draft. But sources said the Celtics have shown an inclination to try to work with Pierce to get him to a favorable destination — which essentially translates to a contending team — if they indeed decide to trade him by week’s end.
But the question is will the Celtics really get a first round pick for Pierce? The answer is yes, if it’s truly a contender who acquires him.
The NBA Draft value is far different from that of the much more popular NFL Draft. There you have seven rounds and each round sees depreciation of value from pick to pick. Where a late first round pick is extremely valuable in the NFL, the same pick in the NBA Draft is equivalent to a late-fourth, early fifth round pick in the NFL and that’s pushing it’s value a bit too.
So when you hear that Paul Pierce is being shopped for a first-round pick, know that it’s not going to be a lottery pick. Heck, even the late lottery picks are like second or third round NFL values, so draft picks in the NBA are all over the map in value.
Pierce wants to go to a contender and the Celtics are trying to make sure that happens. A contender like the New York Knicks or Minnesota Timberwolves would be able to surrender a late first-round pick and Pierce would go to a place he wants to play (maybe not Minnesota though). There’s a range of “contenders” he could play for as well as the Miami Heat would use him but might not have the money to pay for it, same goes for the Los Angeles Lakers and Clippers.
But a late first-round pick is not what you’re thinking of it you’re comparing it to the NFL Draft. So before you roll your eyes and laugh at the Celtics for trying to trade an aged and near retirement Paul Pierce for a first-round pick, just know that it’s very possible.