The Boston Celtics have some big decisions to make ahead of the NBA Draft in June.
In Tuesday night’s NBA Draft Lottery, the team beat out the Los Angeles Lakers and the Philadelphia 76ers for the No. 1 overall pick in the upcoming draft, which is scheduled for June 22. While the Lakers and 76ers are in rebuilding mode, the Celtics are currently in championship contention.
But the top of the draft is full of guards, a position Boston has solidified, and the team lacks the amount of stars other title contenders in the league have. The best scenario for the Celtics is to use the pick to pursue a trade for Nike-sponsored Indiana Pacers forward Paul George.
George is a four-time NBA All-Star and currently the stud on an underwhelming Indiana roster. Having him alongside Isaiah Thomas and Al Horford in the white and green would bolster Boston’s starting lineup and give them a better chance at taking out the Eastern Conference’s best teams, including the LeBron James-led Cleveland Cavaliers.
But that’s not where the benefits of trading for George stop.
The classic championship Celtics teams were stacked with stars; forward Larry Bird was paired with the likes of other Hall of Fame players including Kevin McHale, Robert Parish and Bill Walton for his three championship runs. Adding a name like George to a roster that already includes fan favorite Thomas would boost the team’s profile and make it a desirable destination for free agents.
For the sneaker fan, having George and Thomas on the court together provides another reason to watch — George rocks his signature shoe, the Nike PG1 ($110), and Thomas wears selections from the brand’s Kobe Bryant signature sneaker franchise, most recently the Nike Kobe A.D. ($160). (Prior to the January 2017 debut of his signature sneaker, George hit the court in the Nike Hyperlive.)
The Nike PG1 is in stores now and online via nike.com for $110. Thomas’ latest sneaker of choice, the Kobe A.D., is in stores and online now with a $160 price tag.
And it’s a safe bet that Nike wouldn’t mind having two of its star athlete brand ambassadors playing next to each other.