The Boston Celtics' reported pick-swap trade with the Philadelphia 76ers may only just be the beginning of their big moves.
The Celtics gave up the No. 1 pick for the Sixers' No. 3 pick and either the Lakers' 2018 first-round pick (if it falls between 2-5 next year) or the Kings' first-round pick in 2019.
As a result, the Celtics now have a treasure trove of picks. In addition to the picks received from the 76ers, the Celtics also have all of their own first-rounders, plus the Brooklyn Nets' 2018 first-round pick, and a future first-round pick from the Grizzlies.
See the 2017 Draft order prior to the Celtics' shake-up:
The Celtics could be content to continue drafting young players and adding them to a core that has proven good enough to finish first in the East and make it to the Eastern Conference Finals. But that doesn't seem to be the feeling.
Many around the NBA believe the Celtics could be gearing up for a big trade that could land them a superstar before they even go into free agency with cap space.
There are no official reports on the matter, but there is chatter. In Chad Ford's latest NBA mock draft, he wonders if the Celtics might flip the third pick for Jimmy Butler or Paul George, who is on the trading block.
"Another realistic scenario? The Celtics use No. 3 and the newly-acquired Lakers/Kings pick to make another run at either Jimmy Butler or Paul George."
Likewise, ESPN's Stephen A. Smith said on "First Take" that the Bulls talked to the Sixers about trading Butler for the No. 3 pick. With the Celtics now owning the third pick, Smith thinks they'll engage in trade talks with the Bulls.
"The Bulls were talking to the Philadelphia 76ers. They wanted the No. 3 overall pick and they were willing to unload Jimmy Butler ... Boston and Philadelphia were obviously willing to swap picks, and as a result, Boston is planning on acquiring Jimmy Butler. They don't know if they'll be able to, but their hope is they'll be able to use the No. 3 pick, get themselves Jimmy Butler, go into free agency, get Gordon Hayward... and making a legitimate run at the Cleveland Cavaliers."
The Celtics have close to max cap space this summer to sign a star like Hayward or Blake Griffin, should they leave their respective teams. Hayward has been an obvious choice because of his links to Celtics coach Brad Stevens, who coached him in college at Butler.
If the Celtics were to trade for Butler, they would not have the cap space to sign Hayward to a max-level contract. They would have to include higher-salary players like Tyler Zeller, Avery Bradley, Jae Crowder, or Marcus Smart into the trade for Butler or find teams to take their salaries. However, it wouldn't take much to open that room back up.
Jimmy Butler through his career
Jimmy Butler through his career
CHICAGO, IL - JANUARY 27: Jimmy Butler #21 of the Chicago Bulls shoots a free throw against the Miami Heat on January 27, 2017 at the United Center in Chicago, Illinois. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2017 NBAE (Photo by Gary Dineen/NBAE via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 12: Jimmy Butler #33 of the Marquette Golden Eagles takes a foul shot during a quarterfinal Big East Conferance Tournament college basketball game against the Villanova Wildcats at Madison Square Garden on March 12, 2009 in New York, New York. (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)
Marquette University's Jimmy Butler reaches out for a loose ball during the first half of their second round NCAA basketball game against Xavier University in Cleveland, March 18, 2011. REUTERS/Aaron Josefczyk (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASKETBALL)
DEERFIELD, IL - DECEMBER 11: Jimmy Butler #21 of the Chicago Bulls poses for a portrait during 2011 NBA Media Day on December 11, 2011 at the Berto Center in Deerfield, IL. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2011 NBAE (Photo by Gary Dineen/NBAE via Getty Images)
Dallas Mavericks shooting guard O.J. Mayo (32) fouls Chicago Bulls small forward Jimmy Butler (21) during the second half of their NBA basketball game in Chicago, Illinois, November 28, 2012. REUTERS/Jeff Haynes (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASKETBALL)
Chicago Bulls' Jimmy Butler (top) falls over Boston Celtics' Rajon Rondo as they compete for the ball in the second half of their NBA basketball game at TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts January 18, 2013. REUTERS/Jessica Rinaldi (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASKETBALL TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY)
Miami Heat small forward LeBron James (6) is guarded by Chicago Bulls small forward Jimmy Butler (21) in the second half during Game 1 of their NBA Eastern Conference semi-final basketball playoff in Miami, Florida May 6, 2013. REUTERS/Joe Skipper (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASKETBALL)
Dec 19, 2013; Oklahoma City, OK, USA; Chicago Bulls shooting guard Jimmy Butler (21) shoots the ball while defended by Oklahoma City Thunder shooting guard Jeremy Lamb (11) during the second quarter at Chesapeake Energy Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 30, 2014; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Chicago Bulls shooting guard Jimmy Butler (21) shoots the ball past Brooklyn Nets small forward Joe Johnson (7) during the second quarter at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 12, 2016; Milwaukee, WI, USA; Chicago Bulls guard Jimmy Butler (21) takes a shot against Milwaukee Bucks forward John Henson (31) in the third quarter at BMO Harris Bradley Center. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports
Feb 12, 2016; Toronto, Ontario, Canada; Eastern Conference guard Jimmy Butler of the Chicago Bulls (21) is interviewed during media day for the 2016 NBA All Star Game at Sheraton Centre. Mandatory Credit: Peter Llewellyn-USA TODAY Sports
May 17, 2016; New York, NY, USA; Chicago Bulls guard Jimmy Butler represents his team during the NBA draft lottery at New York Hilton Midtown. The Philadelphia 76ers received the first overall pick in the 2016 draft. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
2016 Rio Olympics - Basketball - Preliminary - Men's Preliminary Round Group A USA v Serbia - Carioca Arena 1 - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - 12/08/2016. Jimmy Butler (USA) of the USA before the game. REUTERS/Marko Djurica FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS.
2016 Rio Olympics - Basketball - Final - Men's Victory Ceremony - Carioca Arena 1 - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - 21/8/2016. Harrison Barnes (USA) of the USA takes a selfie with Jimmy Butler (USA) of the USA, Kevin Durant (USA) of the USA and Draymond Green (USA) of the USA. REUTERS/Dylan Martinez FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS.
Nov 7, 2016; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Bulls guard Jimmy Butler (21) and guard Rajon Rondo (9) celebrate during the second half of the game against the Orlando Magic at United Center. Mandatory Credit: Caylor Arnold-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 6, 2016; Auburn Hills, MI, USA; Chicago Bulls forward Jimmy Butler (21) dunks the ball on a pass from guard Dwyane Wade (not pictured) against the Detroit Pistons in the first half at The Palace of Auburn Hills. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports
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As ESPN's Chris Forsberg notes, there's a chance the Celtics have other moves in mind. Perhaps they think another player, like Kansas' Josh Jackson, will be as good as Fultz, so they took the opportunity to gain more assets by moving down in the draft. But Forsberg also notes that the Celtics don't have to trade any of the picks for players like Butler or Paul George now. What happens if someone like Anthony Davis becomes available? The Celtics can offer any team perhaps the best rebuilding trade package in the league.
Ultimately, the Celtics don't have to be in a rush to make any move. They could take a player they like with the No. 3 pick, see what they can do in free agency, and potentially be on a longer timeline to dominate the East when the Cavs' reign eventually ends.
But with rumors swirling about LeBron James potentially leaving the Cavs in 2018, perhaps the Celtics think now is their time to strike. No other team in the NBA possesses an already-established core, with a surplus of draft picks, and cap space. If the Celtics decide to make a move for a star before the draft, they could be in position to make serious noise in the NBA next season.