Jaylen Brown Boston Celtics
A year after drafting Jaylen Brown, pictured dunking at TD Garden in Boston on May 17, 2017, the Boston Celtics have the chance to trade the No.1 overall pick. Reuters/Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

The Boston Celtics find themselves in an extremely unique position after winning the 2017 NBA Draft Lottery. As the owners of the No.1 overall pick in June’s draft and one of the four teams still in contention to reach the NBA Finals, Boston has a big decision to make.

Boston is a longshot to defeat the Cleveland Cavaliers in the Eastern Conference Finals, and they could trade their first-round pick for an All-Star that might be able to get them past LeBron James next year. By keeping the pick, the Celtics can draft a potential superstar in Washington's Markelle Fultz or UCLA’s Lonzo Ball.

Are the Celtics looking towards the future with a young point guard or will they try to land an established veteran for the 2017-2018 NBA season?

The early indication is that Boston plans to keep the pick, likely eyeing Fultz as the first selection in the draft.

“You don’t really want to necessarily trade a number one pick in a really good draft for somebody that’s halfway through their career, already making max money. That’s just a difficult trade to make,” Boston Celtics owner Wyc Grousbeck said, according to WBZ News’ Adam Kaufman. “It just feels like this is a pick we will listen to offers, I’m sure, we will have conversations all the way through June but, for me, making a first pick is an exciting prospect right now.”

Fultz is the top prospect in the 2017 class, leaving Washington after one year of college basketball. The Huskies weren’t good enough to reach the NCAA Tournament, though the freshman was spectacular with 23.2 points, 5.7 rebounds and 5.9 assists per game. The 6’4 18-year-old shot 47.6 percent from the field and 41.3 percent from three-point range.

In addition to possibly landing a young star, drafting Fultz would also give the Celtics flexibility for the future. Fultz will make peanuts compared to even marginal NBA players over the life of his rookie contract. It will probably cost Boston a $180 million contract to keep Isaiah Thomas in the 2018 offseason, and Fultz gives them a replacement at point guard if they decide to let their leading scorer walk.

Not everyone agrees that going with the rookie is the right move. Paul Pierce, who went to two NBA Finals with Boston, believes the team should trade their selection.

“You trade this pick, because he cannot help the Celtics get over the top,” Pierce said on ESPN’s “The Jump” Wednesday afternoon. “The window is now. ... You're a 50-win team, you're the No. 1 seed. You have to build on this momentum. If you can acquire a Paul George, a Jimmy Butler or a Gordon (Hayward) from Utah, you have to do it.”

There were rumors that the Indiana Pacers’ Paul George and the Chicago Bulls’ Jimmy Butler might be available at the 2017 trade deadline, and those rumors will likely persist after both teams had first-round exits. The belief around the league is that George wants to sign with the Los Angeles Lakers when he becomes a free agent next summer, while Boston and Chicago reportedly engaged in trade talks in February.

Hayward has the opportunity to opt out of his contract with the Jazz this summer. Utah is the favorite to re-sign him since they can offer him considerably more money than the Celtics.

Boston is the No.1 seed in the East, having led the conference with 53 wins in the regular season. James and the Cavs haven’t been threatened since their reunion three years ago, and the Celtics seemingly have a chance to be real contenders by adding a known commodity.

The Celtics have over a month to make their decision with the 2017 NBA Draft set for June 23.