Ex-Celtic Brian Scalabrine revealed during the Celtics’ game against the Oklahoma City Thunder that, had the Celtics kept the Nets pick, they would have used it on Shai Gilgeous-Alexander. Scalabrine’s remarks were later shared by Chad Finn of The Boston Globe.
Scal has indicated on recent Celtics broadcasts that he had intel that they would have selected Shai Gilgeous-Alexander in ‘18 had they not traded the pick in the Kyrie deal. Pretty interesting alternative scenario there.
I'm not sure that this is true. I think that guys connected to the team like to romanticize what could have been, and it always seems like these after-the-fact "what if" scenarios benefit the Celtics decision makers. "We would have taken Durant"; "We would have taken SGA", etc.
But, thinking about the fact that we could have SGA now alongside Brown and Tatum -- and not have the memory of the Kyrie era -- is enough to ruin my day. Haha.
I must say that I do still fantasize about a scenario where Ainge selects Mikal Bridges in 2018 with the last Brooklyn pick.
Ainge pays Thomas a reasonable figure (given his injury status) thus never gets his reputation as a cutthroat GM. Horford never leaves the team because Irving never creates mayhem. Gordon Hayward never gets injured from Irving’s lob and has a healthy and productive career as a Celtic.
Smart eventually supersedes Thomas as point guard, Tatum slowly earns his spot over an ageing Hayward and Bridges develops into a cheaper, better fitting version of Jaylen Brown.
In 2020, Ainge selects (and keeps) Desmond Bane. In the 2021 draft Ainge trades Jaylen Brown for Evan Mobley.
Hayward, Williams III, Bane