Pierce reveals fascinating ‘what if’ Celtics scenario from 2007 NBA Lottery originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston
The 2007 NBA Lottery was supposed to transform the Boston Celtics franchise.
And in many ways it did, just not in the fashion most would have predicted before the event itself took place.
The Celtics had just finished an awful 2006-07 season in which they had the league’s second-worst record at 24-58. They even had a 17-game losing streak at one point that season. One of the few signs of hope was the upcoming lottery, where the Celtics were hoping to secure one of the top two picks for a chance at drafting Ohio State center Greg Oden or Texas forward Kevin Durant — both were viewed as franchise cornerstone-type of players.
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It was a pivotal lottery not only for the Celtics as a franchise, but for their best player, too. Paul Pierce recently revealed on SiriusXM NBA Radio with Frank Isola and Brian Scalabrine that he thinks if the Celtics got the No. 1 or No. 2 picks in the 2007 lottery, he would have been traded.
Check out his reasoning in the clip below:
Pierce’s rationale makes sense. The Celtics could have built around Oden/Durant, Al Jefferson, Rajon Rondo, etc., who were all around the same age. Trading Pierce could have given the Celtics a couple of players and/or draft picks to continue surrounding that aforementioned young core with talent.
But the Celtics shockingly fell to the No. 5 pick in the lottery, ending their dreams of getting Oden or Durant. Instead of drafting another young player who would have taken years to develop, the C’s traded the No. 5 pick to the Seattle SuperSonics as part of a package to acquire All-Star guard Ray Allen. Not long after that deal, the Celtics acquired superstar forward Kevin Garnett in a trade with the Minnesota Timberwolves.
All of a sudden, the Celtics had a new Big Three of Pierce, Garnett and Allen. Less than 12 months later, they won the team’s first championship since 1986 by beating Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers in the 2008 NBA Finals.
Would the Celtics have still won a championship with Oden or Durant? Would the C’s have traded Pierce if they got the No. 1 or No. 2 picks in that draft? These are all fascinating “What If?” scenarios. And it shows you just how big of a role luck plays in these teams’ fortunes.