The Boston Celtics will certainly make roster changes offseason, armed with the No. 1 pick and en route to the NBA Draft 2017 this coming June. Reports said Lonzo Ball is not keen on wearing the Green Team jersey and would prefer to suit up instead for the Los Angeles Lakers. So the top pick might just go to Markelle Fultz.
And Boston's chief of basketball operations Danny Ainge may just need to tap Fultz. The Boston Herald said Ainge has confirmed that the Celtics is on a mission to boost the team lineup but the priority is acquiring a big man to take care of the boards and on the side to nurture a consistent scorer to complement the C's star - Isaiah Thomas, a point guard.
When head hunting for the summer break, Ainge made clear that Boston is scouting for somebody that towers over Thomas, and ideally one that is a consistent scoring machine too. "I would say that our biggest weakness is rebounding, and I think you can always become better at shooting," the Celtics president, himself a former perimeter threat, was quoted by the report as saying.
The possibilities for Boston out there are too many. The Herald said the Celts can trace back and check out their existing draft options or better yet, explore the free agency market. In the latter, the solid prospect would be Gordon Hayward of the Utah Jazz. At 6-8, Hayward certainly meets Ainge's requirements of a rebounding behemoth.
The big man should be an easy lure as he worked before with Celtics coach Brad Stevens. So going Boston could mean that Hayward has a better chance of upping his game as Stevens will know how to best utilize his skills. And the side benefit is he'll get to increase his NBA value, the report said.
Then Ainge can still go ahead and draw a plan on how to fit in the Celtics' prospective No. 1 pick. To be fair with Fultz, he's not playing hard to get, unlike Ball who has already indicated his intentions to head west and play in LA. According to ESPN, the University of Washington star is so looking forward to become part of the Boston community.
"I don't know a ton about the city ... I know the tradition the franchise has, and that the fans are crazy," Fultz told ESPN. But more importantly, the 6-4 point guard was not shy on joining the Green Team. "I want to be the No. 1 pick really bad ... It's been a dream of mine since I was a little kid, and I feel like I would fit well in Boston," Fultz declared.
And to further convince Ainge, Fultz read out his resume: "I'm a versatile point guard who is unselfish and can score at all three levels ... I can rebound, block shots, push the ball, basically anything you need from a guard." As for the clincher, he added, "Off the court, I'm humble."
On the prospect of playing with his Washington buddy Thomas, Fultz is upbeat on the subject. "I think we'd be great together ... We can both score and also pass," Fultz said.
So the ball is now on Danny Ainge. Will he make it happen - make Markelle Fultz the No. 1 pick? Or he has other things in mind.