Since 2010, the Boston Celtics have made 16 first-round draft selections. We’ll go back and rank the last 10 first-round picks the C’s have made.
Over the years, the Boston Celtics have selected many players in the first round of the NBA Draft who would eventually become integral pieces throughout the course of their careers. Whether their time in Boston lasted for a while or not, they’re NBA journey would start by being drafted to the Boston Celtics.
To start, the Celtics drafted Chauncey Billups third overall in the 1997 NBA Draft and he became a five-time NBA All-Star and an NBA champion after the Celtics traded him away during his rookie season with the team.
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The following year in 1998, the Celtics drafted their franchise player for the next 15 years in Paul Pierce. Pierce was a 10 time NBA All-Star with the Celtics and brought the team its most recent championship in 2008.
A few years after drafting Pierce, the Celtics selected Joe Johnson with the 10th overall pick in the 2001 NBA draft. Johnson, like Billups, was never given a real chance and was traded during his rookie season. Johnson became a seven-time All-Star once leaving the Celtics.
The big issue during the early 2000s for the Celtics was coaching. Unfortunately for the Celtics, they lost a lot of great players due to disagreements and budding heads with head coaches. At this point, had everything worked out, the Celtics could have had the now traditional “Big Three” lineup early on between Billups, Pierce, and Johnson.
It’s important to realize that the Celtics didn’t hire Danny Ainge until 2003 and he didn’t bring in Doc Rivers until 2004. Rivers, who was able to command a room, set a standard for how the team was going to be moving forward, which Ainge was completely on board with.
In a few short years after naming Rivers the head coach, the C’s drafted Al Jefferson and Tony Allen in 2004, along with Gerald Green the year after. Ainge having a coach that he trusted was important to him and in turn allowed him to focus more on the bigger picture and outlook of the team.
The following year, in 2006, Ainge had his eyes set on a point guard that he knew could propel his team to new heights. He traded a future first-round draft pick to the Phoenix Suns for the services of a young Rajon Rondo.
Solidifying Rondo as the point guard moving forward helped set up the franchise-altering trade that brought in Kevin Garnett from the Minnesota Timberwolves and Ray Allen from the Seattle SuperSonics, which allowed the Celtics to win their NBA record 17th NBA title the same year.
Although a lot has changed since then, the Boston Celtics have made 16 first-round selections since 2010. I’m going to rank the last 10 first-round draft choices by the Celtics.