In next year’s draft, the Celtics again figure to have at least one top-five pick, because they own the rights to the rebuilding Nets’ first-rounder. They also own the Lakers’ pick if it falls between No. 2 and 5, and there is a good chance that happens as the young Lakers continue to rebuild, too. Had George landed in LA, the Lakers would not have been an immediate playoff team, but they probably would have won enough to be bumped out of the top five.
So the George scenario was not all bad. By next year, the Celtics could have five players chosen in the top five of the draft on their roster. Like the Sixers, they have a couple intriguing prospects taken later in those Good Cheap Jerseys drafts, too — where Philadelphia has Timothe Luwawu and Furkan Korkmaz, the Celtics have Ante Zizic and Guerschon Yabusele.
Are they contenders? Seattle has a tough road ahead in the second half, considering the glut of Wild Card contenders and that many of them have better pitching. Getting Felix Hernandez back should help, and if there’s a deal for a pitcher that makes sense at the deadline they ought to consider it. They’re a flawed team, but flawed teams have gone far in October thanks to the Wild Card.
Plus, Robinson Cano and Nelson Cruz aren’t getting any younger. They’re having great seasons (as well as Jean Segura, who’s proving his success Great Cheap Jerseys last year wasn’t a fluke) and the Mariners might want to take a run at a playoff spot before age starts to catch up with their best hitters. With so many teams clustered around the two Wild Card spots, this could be the year the M’s make a move and go for it. It’d be hard to fault them if they decide to go that route.