Franchise fantasy draft for the best all-time Boston Celtics team (2023)

Ahead of the 2019-20 season, five members of our Global Staff are holding fantasy drafts for different franchises to see who can build the best team.

First up were theToronto Raptors,San Antonio Spurs, Los Angeles Lakers and Orlando Magic.Today, we're looking at the Boston Celtics.

The rules of the draft were simple:

  • Each team selected five starters, one sixth man and a head coach
  • Every player and coach who has represented the Magic franchise since 1989-90 was available
  • One specific season had to be selected for each player and the season selected could only be from their time with the franchise (i.e. what Bill Waltondid as a member of the Portland Trail Blazersdoesn't count)
  • It was a snake draft, meaning the pick order was reversed each round

Below are the results from our draft, followed by an explanation from each member about why they made the picks they did. You can also vote for which team you think is best at the bottom of the page.

Draft Order

1. Kyle Irving (@KyleIrv_)

2. Micah Adams (@MicahAdams13)

3. Jordan Greer (@jordangreer42)

4. Gilbert McGregor (@GMcGregor21)

5. Scott Rafferty (@crabdribbles)

Draft Results

1. Rajon Rondo— 2011-12season

Franchise fantasy draft for the best all-time Boston Celtics team (1)

2. Larry Bird— 1985-86 season

3. Bill Russell— 1961-62 season

4. John Havlicek— 1970-71 season

5. Paul Pierce— 2007-08 season

Franchise fantasy draft for the best all-time Boston Celtics team (2)

6. Kevin McHale— 1986-87 season

7. Kevin Garnett— 2007-08 season

8. Bob Cousy— 1956-57 season

9. Ray Allen— 2008-09 season

10. Robert Parish— 1980-81 season

11. Isaiah Thomas— 2016-17 season

Franchise fantasy draft for the best all-time Boston Celtics team (3)

12. Dave Cowens— 1972-73 season

13. Jo Jo White— 1975-76 season

14. Sam Jones— 1964-65 season

15. Bill Sharman— 1956-57 season

16. Dennis Johnson— 1985-86 season

17. Kyrie Irving— 2018-19 season

18. Al Horford— 2017-18 season

Franchise fantasy draft for the best all-time Boston Celtics team (4)

19. Reggie Lewis— 1991-92 season

20. Tommy Heinsohn— 1961-62 season

21. Jayson Tatum— 2017-18 season

22. NateArchibald— 1979-80 season

Franchise fantasy draft for the best all-time Boston Celtics team (5)

23. Cedric Maxwell— 1979-80 season

24. Kendrick Perkins— 2009-10 season

25. Antoine Walker— 2000-01 season

26. Red Auerbach (head coach)

27. KC Jones (head coach)

28. Dee Brown— 1994-95 season

29. Bill Walton— 1985-86 season

Franchise fantasy draft for the best all-time Boston Celtics team (6)

30. Marcus Smart— 2018-19 season

31. Doc Rivers (head coach)

32. Rick Pitino (head coach)

33. Bill Russell (head coach)

34. Jaylen Brown— 2017-18 season

Franchise fantasy draft for the best all-time Boston Celtics team (7)

35. Ed Macauley— 1950-51 season

Team Kyle

Starting Lineup:Rajon Rondo, Isaiah Thomas, Jayson Tatum, Tommy Heinsohn, Robert Parish

Sixth Man:Marcus Smart

Head Coach:Doc Rivers

My No. 1 overall selection is probably raising a couple of eyebrows, but I can explain. Rajon Rondo is my favourite playerof all-time. When I got the No. 1 pick, I couldn't risk not getting him in this draft.

Besides, Rondo orchestrated those Celtics offences to perfection and in 2011-12,Playoff Rondo was playing on a different level than any other guard in the league.

Robert Parish is holding down the paint while Isaiah Thomas provides our team with a prolific scorer at the other guard spot. Tommy Heinsohn filled a void at power forward, creating a legendary Celtics frontcourt, and Jayson Tatum gives this team another versatile scoring punch that pairs nicely with I.T.

Marcus Smart adds some grit and toughness off of the bench as a player that represents the epitome of what it means to be a Celtic and NBA champion head coach Doc Rivers rounds out this dream team of mine perfectly.

Team Micah

Starting Lineup:Nate Archibald, Ray Allen,Reggie Lewis,Larry Bird, Dave Cowens

Sixth Man:Bill Walton

Head Coach:Rick Pitino

I had mentally prepared to take Bird on the assumption that Bill Russell was an automatic No. 1 overall pick. Bird behind Russell would have been quick, it would have easy, it would have been painless. But choosing Bird OVER Russell? Honestly, I think I blacked out a bit after Rondo flew off the board that I didn’t even have time to register what just happened.

Regardless, I’ll take Bird’s third MVP season. Those sweet locks draining jumpers from all over the floor and firing bullets to shooters and cutters … Bird might be the quintessential example of a legend who would be even better in today’s game with all of the spacing.

Now imagine Ray Allen flying off screens with Bird finding him off double teams and it’s game over. Basketball Jesus and Jesus Shuttlesworth on the same team? LET'S GO!!!!

Dave Cowens gives me another MVP while Reggie Lewis, the archetype for the modern two-way All-Star wing, fits perfectly between Bird and Allen. Tiny Archibald may have been past his prime but was still an All-Star in Boston and knows a thing or two about running next to Bird.

1985-86 Sixth Man of the Year Bill Walton is an easy choice off the bench especially for a team thin up front.

As for Rick Pitino … let’s just say I think he does a better job the second time around. This squad might appeal to his fiery style a bit more than the one he floundered with in the mid 90s. And beside, this is a FANTASY draft. And in this fantasy, Pitino ends up a Celtics legend.

Team Jordan

Starting Lineup:Bob Cousy, Jo Jo White, Cedric Maxwell, Al Horford, Bill Russell

Sixth Man:Dee Brown

Head Coach:Bill Russell

I got Bill Russell third? In a Celtics draft? In this economy? Yes, give me the 11-time NBA champion. No need to explain this pick.

Then there's another Hall of Famer in Bob Cousy. We could count the rings and list the accolades, but all you need to know is this man was the original "White Chocolate." How many players can drop a defender without switching hands? A true artist.

Let's add prime Jo Jo White to the backcourt and pair him with Cousy. White averaged 18.9 points, 5.4 assists and 3.8 rebounds per game during the 1975-76 season, and his numbers only improved during the playoffs, ending in a championship. In a joyful Dennis Scott voice: "Winners only, baby!"

For all you millennials out there, here's someone you actually recognize... Al Horford! Super popular with the kids. I bet he plays the Fortnite! (To the previous three guys, Fortnite is — actually, nevermind. We'll talk about it after practice.) Horford fits with any group of players, no matter the era. He can easily slide to power forward with Russell at center. He shot 42.9 percent from 3-point range in 2017-18, so that gives this group a little extra spacing offensively. This frontcourt is also a monster on the defensive end.

MORE: These NBA players turned their passion for Fortnite into business venture

Cedric Maxwell shot 60.9 percent from the field in 1979-80 on nearly 10 attempts per game as a small forward. Not to go full nerd with the analytics terms, but that could be described as "pretty good." Get buckets, Max.

At sixth man, Dee Brown provides more scoring and shooting off the bench. He put up 15.6 points per game and shot 38.5 percent from 3-point range in 1994-95. He did that blind finish in the 1991 Slam Dunk Contest, so that's cool.

Russell will serve as player-coach because if Red Auerbach isn't around, then he's in charge.

Team Gil

Starting Lineup:Kyrie Irving, Sam Jones, John Havlicek, Kevin Garnett and Kendrick Perkins

Sixth Man:Jaylen Brown

Head Coach:K.C. Jones

At first, I was a little unsure about landing the fourth pick, but with a franchise like the Celtics, you're guaranteed a big-time player in the first two rounds regardless of where you select. Needless to say I was pretty pleased when John 'Hondo' Havlicek fell to me at No. 4.

As the franchise's all-time leading scorer, Hondo obviously can fill it up, and the 1970-71 season saw him average career-highs across the board with 28.9 points, 9.0 rebounds and 7.5 assists over 81 games.

This is where I got nervous.

Knowing Scott, I was sure he would take Kevin Garnett with either the fifth or sixth pick, but the moment I realized he'd be taking adifferentKevin, I wasted no time taking KG, who still stands as the only Celtic to win Defensive Player of the Year, which he did during that legendary 2008 season.

From there I had to address my backcourt, and I did so with 10-time champ Sam Jones and polarizing point guard Kyrie Irving, a pick that many C's fans will roll their eyes at – and understandably so – but an All-NBA point guard at No. 17 is the definition of a value pick.

Franchise fantasy draft for the best all-time Boston Celtics team (8)

To round out the starting unit I gave KG a familiar face in Perk to run with in the front court. The numbers might not have been gaudy, but many feel that had Perk not been injured in 2010, Boston would have won that title as well. He's also the consummate teammate.

I'm pretty high on Jaylen Brown, and he wowed me throughout the 2018 playoffs. Easy choice for a sixth man.I went with K.C. Jones to lead my guys as he led the C's to four straight Finals appearances and two titles during his five years as head coach.

Good luck stopping this squad.

Team Scott

Starting Lineup:Dennis Johnson, Bill Sharman, Paul Pierce, Antoine Walker, Kevin McHale

Sixth Man:Ed Macauley

Head Coach:Red Auerbach

This team is going to get buckets.

In Paul Pierce, Kevin McHale, Antoine Walker and Bill Sharman, I have four players who could score 20 points in their sleep. Pierce and Walker are also more than capable of heating up from the perimeter, with them ranking first and second respectively in 3-pointers made all-time by a Celtic.

Figuring out a way for them to all get their touches is tricky, but that's where Dennis Johnson and Red Auerbach come in. Johnson started at point alongside Larry Bird, Robert Parish, Danny Ainge and McHale in the 1985-86 season, helping them win the franchise's 16th NBA title with his tenacious defence and secondary playmaking.

Auerbach, meanwhile, is widely regarded as one of the greatest — if notthegreatest — head coaches in NBA history. I have faith in him being able to figure out how to get the most out of Sharman, Pierce, Walker and McHale.

As for Ed Macauley, I was mostly gaming the system knowing Bill Russell is the only Celtic to have ever posted morewin sharesin a single season, but it never hurts adding a seven-time All-Star, three-time member of the All-NBA First Team and a Hall of Famer with your last pick.

Who wins?

Which all-time Celtics team wins?

Created with Poll Maker

One way to compare these teams is by adding up the win shares for every season of every player selected.

Based on those results, it's Scott's team that emerges victorious (thanks in part to Ed Macauley) with a total of 66.8 win shares. Micah, who assembled a team consisting of two former MVPs and the Sixth Man of the Year, came in second with 61.9 total win shares.

Despite having the first pick, Kyle came in last with 55.0 win shares though his affinity for the players selected might suggest he is still the most pleased with his team.

Full results:

Win Shares From Selected Season
TeamCumulative Win Shares
1.Team Scott66.8
2.Team Micah61.9
3.Team Jordan58.5
4.Team Gil57.0
5.Team Kyke55.0

The views on this page do not necessarily reflect the views of the NBA or its clubs.


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Was the 1986 Celtics the best team ever? ›

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Is Marcus Smart playing Game 3? ›

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On June 17, 1986, Bias was selected by the Boston Celtics as the second overall pick in the 1986 NBA draft, which was held in New York City at Madison Square Garden. Red Auerbach, the Celtics' president and general manager, had dealt guard Gerald Henderson and cash to the Seattle SuperSonics for the pick in 1984.

Who is Boston Celtics biggest rival? ›

The Celtics–Lakers rivalry is a National Basketball Association (NBA) rivalry between the Boston Celtics and the Los Angeles Lakers. The Celtics and the Lakers are the two most storied franchises in the NBA, and the rivalry has been called the greatest in the NBA.

Were the 2008 Celtics the best team? ›

The 2008 Celtics produced one of the best teams of all time, winning 66 games and a championship. Their 11.5 net rating was the highest since the 1996-97 Bulls, per the stats page. It stood as the definitive mark in this century until the Warriors came along.

Why were the Celtics so good in the 60s? ›

The reason the Celtics were so good in the 60s is because they took the defensive side of the game far more seriously than their opposition. They would constantly work on their defensive plays, and a big reason why they did that was because of Russell.

What was the greatest Celtics comeback? ›

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How did Celtics get the number 1 pick in 1986? ›

On October 16, 1984, the Boston Celtics traded Gerald Henderson to the Seattle SuperSonics for a 1986 1st round draft pick (Len Bias). Before the trade, Henderson entered into a holdout with the Celtics for a better contract.

Why did Marcus Smart get thrown out of game? ›

Crew chief John Goble broke down why Smart was ejected from the game in a pool report. “Marcus Smart was assessed a second technical foul for using derogatory language directed at a game official,” Goble said.

Why did Marcus Smart not play in Game 4? ›

Smart was officially listed by the Celtics as questionable for Game 4 due to a lower back contusion.

How many 20 point games has Marcus Smart had? ›

Marcus Smart has played 41 games with 20+ points.

Why are the Celtics mad at Ray Allen? ›

It was the fact that he joined the very Heat team the Celtics were competing against, coupled with his decision not to give his teammates a heads up, that fueled the angst between he and his former brothers. Pierce intimated that sentiment on Monday, and both Davis and Perkins agreed. It wasn't that Allen left.

Why do the Celtics have a black? ›

It's one way the franchise is honoring Hall of Fame guard Sam Jones, who died in December at age 88. Jones, who wore No. 24 in Boston, won 10 championships with the Celtics from 1957-58 through 1968-69. Jones performed at his best when the Celtics needed it most.

What did the Celtics coach do wrong? ›

The independent law firm probe into Boston Celtics coach Ime Udoka found that he used crude language in his dialogue with a female subordinate prior to the start of an improper workplace relationship with the woman, an element that significantly factored into the severity of his one-year suspension, sources told ESPN.

Who is better Lakers or Celtics? ›

Overall, Which Franchise Is the Greatest in NBA History? (Rich) The Boston Celtics (17 titles) and L.A. Lakers (16 titles) are easily the two most dominant franchises in the history of the NBA. From the time of the NBA's inception in 1946, these two teams have won a remarkable 33 titles.

What is the biggest NBA rivalry? ›

Los Angeles Lakers vs.

The Lakers and the Celtics are the biggest and most storied rivals in NBA history. They are the two oldest teams in the league and the two most successful teams of all time. Both teams have won 17 championships.

Who is the stars biggest rival? ›

Dallas Stars
  • 1 St Louis Blues 88.
  • 2 Anaheim Ducks 83.
  • 3 Chicago Blackhawks 74.
  • 4 Los Angeles Kings 70.
  • 5 Edmonton Oilers 65.
  • 6 Arizona Coyotes 61.
  • 7 San Jose Sharks 57.
  • 8 Calgary Flames 46.

Who is the most iconic Celtics player? ›

Ranking the Best Boston Celtics Players of All Time
RankPlayerCeltics Years
1Bill Russell1956-69
2Larry Bird1979-92
3John Havlicek1962-78
4Kevin McHale1980-93
6 more rows
Jan 17, 2023

What is the most 3 pointers by a Celtics team? ›

The Boston Celtics have drained the most threes by a team in a game, with 27 three-pointers versus the Knicks on November 5.

Who is famous number 6 Celtics? ›

William Felton Russell

What was the Celtics worst year? ›

The Boston Celtics had their worst record in a season in 1996-97, with a record of 15-67.

Who is the only player to score 100 points in a single NBA game? ›

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What is Irish about the Celtics? ›

“Boston is full of Irishmen”

The choice was also inspired by the Original Celtics, a well-known basketball team that had been created by Irish immigrants in New York earlier in the 20th century, before folding in 1930.

What is the biggest loss in Celtics history? ›

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What was the Celtics worst record? ›

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Who has the only 3 1 comeback in NBA history? ›

2020 Denver Nuggets (twice)

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Who holds the Celtics scoring record? ›

As of August 2022, John Havlicek was the Boston Celtics player with the most points in franchise history.
Boston Celtics all-time points leaders from 1946 to 2022.
CharacteristicPoints scored
Larry Bird21,791
Robert Parish18,245
Kevin McHale17,335
Bob Cousy16,955
6 more rows
Aug 19, 2022

When were the Boston Celtics at their best? ›

This changed during the 2007–08 season when the Celtics made the greatest single-season turnaround in NBA history, finishing with the league's best record and posting a 42-win improvement after the off-season addition of superstars Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen to a team that already included perennial All-Star Paul ...

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Why can't Marcus Smart play? ›

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Who was ejected from Celtics game last night? ›

BOSTON – Kris Dunn was ejected in the fourth quarter against Boston after getting into an altercation with Blake Griffin and Marcus Smart. Dunn's exit was possibly a result of building frustration. The Jazz trailed the Celtics for the majority of the game.

Why didn t Marcus Smart play in game 2? ›

By Nicole Yang Globe Staff,Updated May 2, 2023, 7:43 p.m. Celtics guard Marcus Smart is questionable for Game 2 with a chest contusion, the team said Tuesday.

What happened to Smart Celtics? ›

Celtics' Marcus Smart: Status uncertain Sunday

Smart fell on his tailbone in the third quarter of Game 3 while trying to secure a rebound. While he was briefly substituted for, he finished the game and tallied 24 points, eight assists, three rebounds and three steals in 33 minutes.

Has Marcus Smart been in the finals? ›

He helped the Celtics reach the NBA Finals in 2022.
Marcus Smart.
No. 36 – Boston Celtics
CollegeOklahoma State (2012–2014)
NBA draft2014 / Round: 1 / Pick: 6th overall
Selected by the Boston Celtics
Playing career2014–present
20 more rows

Is Marcus Smart a good playmaker? ›

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Who has the most 15 point games? ›

LeBron James and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar are tied for the most games with 15+ points, with 1,362 games.

Who has the most 20 point game? ›

LeBron James has the most games with 20+ points, with 1,179 games.

Who has the most 20 point games in a career? ›

LeBron James has the most games with 20+ points, with 1,178 games.

Why did Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen not like each other? ›

Garnett was openly furious with Allen for years over Allen's decision to leave the Boston Celtics in 2012 and sign with the rival Miami Heat. Fans were surprised in October 2021 when Garnett publicly congratulated Allen on making the NBA's 75th Anniversary team along with Garnett and Paul Pierce.

Is Ray Allen friends with Kevin Garnett? ›

Though Allen mended his friendship with Pierce two years ago when both were on a tour in China, he never had the same opportunity to reconnect with Garnett. “I don't think so. We never (saw each other),” he said. “I crossed paths with Paul in China, so we had an opportunity to talk and just talk.

Why are Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett feuding? ›

This whole feud started because Allen left Garnett to join James, one of Boston's two greatest rivals of that era. It seems fitting, then, that Bryant, their other major rival, was a driving force behind the two of them reconnecting.

Are there any white players on the Celtics team? ›

The Boston Celtics have no white players. Yes, it's a news flash, at the very least an obvious talking point. It wouldn't be if we were talking about the Knicks or 76ers or Lakers, but we're talking about the Celtics, the whitest team in the modern history of a decidedly black sport.

What is the African word Boston Celtics? ›

The concept of “ubuntu” in the NBA started with the 2007-08 Celtics and Head Coach Doc Rivers. The Nguni Bantu word means “humanity” and is occasionally translated to “I am because we are.” Kendrick Perkins recalled that Rivers made the rookies research the concept.

Why do Americans say Celtics? ›

This is because language historians desired the word to better reflect its Greek and Classical Latin origins. The soft "c" sound is usually reserved for sports teams now, like the Boston Celtics.

Who was the Celtics coach sleeping with? ›

Ainge allegedly learned about the affair between Lynch and Udoka in the summer of 2021 but did not intervene. The investigation into their affair resulted in Udoka being suspended for the remainder of the 2022-23 season. Lynch did not face disciplinary action over the situation.

Who was Celtics coach banging? ›

The Athletic's Shams Charania nailed down the details hours later. Celtics coach Ime Udoka had an improper intimate and consensual relationship with a female member of the team staff, sources tell @TheAthletic @Stadium. It's been deemed a violation of franchise's code of conduct.

Who did the Celtics coach have an inappropriate relationship with? ›

Actress Nia Long is still upset with the Boston Celtics' decision to reveal her ex-fiancé Ime Udoka's improper affair with a team staffer, which resulted with the head coach's year-long suspension and the end of his 13-year relationship with the 'Boyz n the Hood' star.

Which is the best NBA team of all time? ›

Top 5 NBA teams of all-time
  • #5 1988-89 Detroit Pistons.
  • #4 1986-87 Los Angeles Lakers.
  • #2 2016-17 Golden State Warriors.
  • #1 1995-96 Chicago Bulls.
Jan 29, 2023

Are the Boston Celtics the most successful team in NBA history? ›

Boston Celtics, American professional basketball team based in Boston, Massachusetts. One of the most successful franchises in sports history, the Celtics won 11 of 13 National Basketball Association (NBA) championships from 1957 to 1969. Overall, they have won 17 NBA titles.

Who was number 1 on the Celtics? ›

1 (Walter Brown, 1946-1964)

Brown wasn't honored as a player, but instead as the founder and first team owner in Celtics history.

Who is the #1 all time scorer in the NBA? ›

Basketball hero LeBron James is now the NBA's all-time top scorer. The 38-year-old Los Angeles Lakers star passed Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in career points, scoring 38 to give himself a total of 38,390 regular season points, in a 133-130 loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder on Tuesday (7 February 2023).

What are the 3 best NBA teams? ›

2022 NBA Power Rankings: Utah Jazz take top spot after hot streak
  1. 01 Utah Jazz. USA Today Sports Images.
  2. 02 Golden State Warriors. USA Today Sports Images. ...
  3. 03 Phoenix Suns. USA Today Sports Images. ...
  4. 04 Chicago Bulls. USA Today Sports Images. ...
  5. 05 Milwaukee Bucks. ...
  6. 06 Miami Heat. ...
  7. 07 Brooklyn Nets. ...
  8. 08 Cleveland Cavaliers. ...

Who is the number 1 rated NBA player? ›

The Final List
1Giannis AntetokounmpoBucks
2Nikola JokicNuggets
3Stephen CurryWarriors
4Kevin DurantSuns
26 more rows
Apr 13, 2023

Who is the best player in Boston Celtics? ›

Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum is one of the most talented players in the NBA today, and he talks about whom he thinks sits at the top of the league. Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum has accomplished a lot in his first few years in the league, and has proven himself to be one of its best players today.

What is the largest win in Celtics history? ›

Biggest Boston Celtics Wins By Point Margin
Boston Celtics1955-56119-75
Boston Celtics1952-53131-87
Boston Celtics2022-23139-96
Boston Celtics2021-22144-102
46 more rows

Do the Celtics have a losing record against any team? ›

Against what other team do the Boston Celtics have the worst record against? The Boston Celtics have their worst lifetime winning percentage (minimum 50 games) against the San Antonio Spurs, where the Celtics have a 43-58 record (42.6% win percentage) over their 101 regular season games.

Who was the best player on the Celtics in the 60s? ›

In the 1960s, Red Auerbach, Bill Russell, John Havlicek and four other Hall of Famers led the team to nine titles—a decade of dominance unparalleled in major North American pro sports.


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