There were 24 selections made during the 2011 NBA draft before the Boston Celtics were on the clock.
That pick, MarShon Brooks, was traded so the Celtics could go back two spots and get JaJuan Johnson, whose time in Boston lasted just one season.
But that draft — which took place nine years ago on this day — has in time helped define and shape this Boston Celtics franchise in ways few would have envisioned.
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Widely considered one of the stronger drafts during the 2010s, Boston’s success in the Post Big-3 era (Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Ray Allen) of the late 2000s was heavily influenced by Danny Ainge’s ability to orchestrate a slew of deals that often found the Celtics roster bolstered by a player from the 2011 draft class.
And most of those players arguably played their best basketball while a member of the Green Team.
Let’s take a look back at how they got to Boston, what they did during their time here, a memorable moment and where they are now.
Draft position: No. 1 overall
How acquired: In 2017, Irving was acquired via trade from Cleveland in exchange for Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, Ante Zizic, a 2018 first-round pick (Collin Sexton) and a 2020 second-round pick from Miami.
Stats in Boston: 24.1 points; 6.1 assists; .404 three-point percentage; .489 field goal percentage
Memorable moment: There’s plenty of material here, but the moment that most defined Kyrie’s time in Boston wasn’t in a game. It was during an open practice for Celtics fans during the preseason in 2018 when Irving told those in attendance that he planned to re-sign with the Celtics, “if you guys will have me back.” The good vibes from that didn’t last long. As the season wore on, Irving’s desire to remain a Celtic steadily declined before Boston’s season ended with a second-round “gentleman's sweep” at the hands of the Milwaukee Bucks.
Where are they now: Irving signed with the Brooklyn Nets in the summer of 2019.
Draft position: No. 3 overall
How acquired: In 2019, Kanter signed a two-year, $10 million deal with Boston.
Stats in Boston: 8.2 points; 7.7 rebounds; 1.0 assists; .566 field goal percentage
Memorable moment: For Kanter, playing on Christmas Day last year in Toronto was a huge deal. It wasn’t the date as much as it was the game being played outside of the United States. Kanter has avoided playing outside of the United States for fear of being arrested by Turkish officials who had issued an arrest warrant along with revoking his passport following his outspoken views towards the Turkish government. The Celtics won the game, which for Kanter felt like a victory regardless of the outcome.
“Coming here and stepping outside (of the United States) for the first time in years … definitely more than a game to me,” Kanter said at the time. “It’s a blessing for me to play on Christmas Day. It feels good to be out, feels good to be free, just enjoying this time. It’s amazing.”
Where are they now: Key rotation player on the Celtics roster.
Draft position: No. 9 overall
How acquired: In 2019, Walker signed a four-year, $141 million deal with Boston.
Stats in Boston: 21.2 points; 4.1 rebounds; 4.9 assists; .421 field goal percentage; .377 three-point percentage
Memorable moment: Walker made eight 3’s and finished with 29 points in Boston’s 116-106 win over Dallas on Nov. 9. It was Boston’s eighth straight win to start the season. To put that in perspective, Walker never won more than seven in a row during his eight seasons in Charlotte.
Where are they now: The second-leading scorer on the Celtics roster.
Draft position: No. 14 overall
How acquired: In 2017, Morris was acquired via trade from Detroit in exchange for Avery Bradley.
Stats in Boston: 13.8 points; 5.8 rebounds; 1.4 assists; .439 field goal percentage; .372 three-point percentage
Memorable moment: Trailing 97-99 with 7.7 seconds to play against the Oklahoma City Thunder on March 20, 2018, Morris drained the go-ahead 3-pointer with 1.2 seconds to play that lifted the Celtics to a 100-99 win. He would later reveal that he had added motivation to drill a game-winner over Paul George and the Thunder.
Where are they now: Part of the rotation with the Los Angeles Clippers.
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Draft position: No. 27 overall
How acquired: In 2011, the Celtics swapped the No. 25 pick (MarShon Brooks) with Brooklyn for No. 27 and a future second-round pick.
Stats in Boston: 3.2 points, 1.6 rebounds while shooting 44.6 percent from the field
Memorable moment: Johnson scored 12 points on 6-for-13 shooting in a four-point win over the Chicago Bulls on Feb. 12, 2012.
Where are they now: He spent this past season playing for Bahçeşehir Koleji of the Turkish Basketbol Süper Ligi (BSL).
Draft position: No. 55 overall
How acquired: Selected by Boston with the 55th overall selection in 2011.
Stats in Boston: 2.9 points; 0.9 rebounds; 0.9 assists; .381 field goal percentage; .378 three-point percentage
Memorable moment: Moore scored 16 points on 5-for-6 shooting, including making all four of his 3-point attempts, in an eight-point Celtics win over Orlando in 2012.
Where are they now: Moore currently plays for the New Orleans Pelicans.
Draft position: No. 60 overall
How acquired: In 2015, Thomas was acquired via trade from the Phoenix Suns in exchange for Marcus Thornton and a 2016 first-round pick from Cleveland.
Stats in Boston: 24.7 points; 6.0 assists; 2.7 rebounds; .443 field goal percentage; .381 three-point percentage
Memorable moment: Thomas scored 53 points in a playoff game against Washington shortly after his sister Chyna Thomas was killed in a car accident on the eve of what would have been her 23rd birthday.
Where are they now: Thomas is currently an NBA free agent after being waived by the Los Angeles Clippers earlier this season.