- Chris Forsberg, ESPN Staff Writer
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The first letters about the 2014 NBA Draft started rolling in a year ago given all the hype surrounding this year's incoming class, and mail really started piling up around February when it became clear the Boston Celtics were headed towards the high lottery.
What will happen this year? Nobody can know for sure. But let's make a few educated guesses while opening your letters.
Q: How comfortable would Danny Ainge be in drafting Joel Embiid and Dario Saric, knowing neither would potentially contribute for years? I know he's a risk-taker, but those picks would all but guarantee at least another lean year and a Rondo trade/walk. -- @theREALMikeDunn (via Twitter)
A: I don't think the Celtics fear patience. The goal of any rebuilding process is to avoid enduring that phase again for as long as possible. If tolerating another lean year (or two) means that Boston is a sustained contender for the decade that follows, is it worthwhile? Every team wants to accelerate the rebuilding process, but there's a danger in being shortsighted.
Here's how I look at it: If I said a week ago that the Celtics had the potential to emerge from the draft with Embiid and Saric, most fans would have been turning cartwheels. And to do it without having to sacrifice any of the team's future draft pick surplus would have seemed like larceny.
If -- and it's definitely a bit if -- the team is satisfied with what it can uncover about Embiid's medical situation, it's hard to imagine they'd pass up the opportunity to add a franchise-caliber center. And if that happens, it makes waiting to bring over a skilled European forward that much easier. I still think both guys might be off the board before Boston has a shot at them, but I don't think the team would mind the opportunity to make those decisions.