Isaiah Thomas on the Celtics' number three draft pick: "Wasn’t Jordan number three?"

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The Boston Celtics will have the number three pick in the 2016 NBA Draft after the lottery was announced on Tuesday night. 

The C's will have one of this year's top picks having received it via a trade with the Brooklyn Nets that saw Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce head to New York in 2013. 

After a poor season, that trade now looks like a bad bit of business on the Nets' part as they could've used the pick to select a promising young player to improve their roster.

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Brooklyn's loss is Boston's gain, though, and they can now build on an impressive campaign under Brad Stevens in which they finished fifth in the Eastern Conference with a 48-34 record.  

Despite losing in the first round of the playoffs to the Atlanta Hawks, the future of the franchise is extremely bright with a talented young team and coach.  

The Celtics front office, president of basketball operations Danny Ainge in particular, deserve a lot of credit for the moves they've made and how they've rebuilt the franchise after the championship-winning big three era of Garnett, Pierce and Ray Allen came to an end.  

The organisation and its fans may have been keen to secure a top-two pick to bring in one of the top draft prospects in Ben Simmons or Brandon Ingram, but a number three selection should still yield one of the best young players out of college.

All-Star point guard Isaiah Thomas was the team's representative at the draft lottery and, though he was convinced they'd get the number one pick, he put their eventual fate into perspective.  

“Man, the No. 3 pick. Wasn’t Jordan No. 3? Say no more after that,” Thomas told Marc D’Amico of

MJ certainly was selected number three overall by the Chicago Bulls in the 1984 draft and, of course, he went on to become the G.O.A.T.

But it remains to be seen whether the 2016 class will be anywhere near as good as that of '84 as three of the top five selections in that year - Hakeem Olajuwon, MJ, and Charles Barkley - went on to become Hall of Famers.

To give you an indication of just how good that class of '84 was, John Stockton - who later also became a Hall of Famer - was selected 16th by the Utah Jazz.

In recent years, players like Stephen Curry, Kawhi Leonard, Paul George and Draymond Green have proved that you don't need to be a top ten pick to become a star player in the NBA so Boston shouldn't be disheartened at all.

Thomas - who had a career-best campaign averaging 22.2 points per game - is excited about what Ainge and the Massachusetts-based franchise will do over the summer.

"I'm looking forward to seeing what Danny [Ainge] and the front office are going to do to make us a better team," said Thomas. "And whatever we do in the draft and in free agency, I think it's going to make our team that much better. We gotta take that next step and can't kinda stay in the middle. We gotta go for it." 

Avery Bradley
Boston Celtics
Atlantic Division
Eastern Conference
Isaiah Thomas
Evan Turner

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