Today is draft day in the NBA, and a very important day for the Boston Celtics. Rumors have been swirling around at a frantic pace for most of the NBA for the past 48 hours, so let’s look at some of the trade possibilities, which leads into what the Celtics could do at the draft tonight.
What the Celtics do with their picks depend on whether or not they move any of them before the draft. They tentatively have three first round picks, but just one in the top 25. Danny Ainge has been working tirelessly to try to move them around for something, but other teams do not seem to be biting. The Celtics were heavy contenders for Jrue Holiday, before he was eventually sent to the Milwaukee Bucks.
The biggest actual move the Celtics made yesterday involved the extension of the deadline for Gordon Hayward’s player option. This really gives the Celtics more time to find a way to move him before he is on the books. A sign-and-trade deal is still a possibility here too, and may make more sense depending on the cap circumstances.
It seems like there is a decent amount of interest in Hayward, with the Chicago Bulls and Atlanta Hawks being two of the teams I’ve seen more than others. At the time of this writing, it looks like the Bulls are in the process of moving into the number 2 pick with the Golden State Warriors, so that could potential switch their plans. Any deal with the Hawks would most likely involve Clint Capela, which would most likely be met with some skepticism due to the contract he’s attached with.
One of the more interesting rumors involves the Celtics interest with James Harden. Although some are now saying the Celtics have no interest here, they seemed to be trying to swing Hayward and Kemba Walker for draft picks to get Harden. This seems like a long shot at happening, and it feels like the Celtics would be better off pursuing other deals.
So that brings us to the draft. If the Celtics stand pat leading up to the draft, they will be in good position to add some more immediate help to this squad. Not much has changed from the fact that they need more scoring and a better big man. It feels like Ainge is really pushing to make a deal before the draft, Which could be taken as he doesn’t see anything that can help this team right now in the draft. At some point all the picks and prospects have got to be turned into upper echelon talent, in order to help maximize this championship window for the Celtics, and using picks is a great way to do that.
Ainge should continue to be aggressive throughout the day, and probably even during the draft, in moving those picks. If nothing happens, look for a shooter with the #14 pick, and some big man help in the latter picks. This is a big day for the future of the Celtics, and should be exciting to follow during the day.