BOSTON (CBS) — The Boston Celtics had no luck at the NBA Draft Lottery on Tuesday night, landing the sixth-overall pick in next month’s draft.
Now the question becomes what do the Celtics do with that pick? Brian Robb of CBSBoston.com and CelticsHub.com joined 98.5 The Sports Hub’s The Adam Jones Show on Tuesday night to help answer that very tricky inquiry.
“You have a lot more players to evaluate at that sixth spot. Everything continues to be on the table right now,” said Robb.
Rumors of a potential Kevin Love trade have been the talk of the town in Boston, but with a second first-round selection (17th overall from Brooklyn) the C’s are also in a position to potentially move up to one of those coveted Top 3 selections. Robb says you can expect Danny Ainge to explore every potential trade when it comes to his draft picks.
“You have to think it’s a slight favorite that they move the pick. They have the 17th overall pick as well, so they have a pretty attractive pick that you could package up in this draft, potentially, if you want to get one of those elite guy. Teams will listen when you have another mid-first round pick,” he said.
“Or they have the option where they could trade for a veteran, which has to be the top option right now – whether it’s Love or a mystery player we haven’t heard about yet,” said Robb. “There has to be a want and a need to improve this team right now if they want to keep Rondo around. But at the same time you could see Rondo being dealt if there is no market out there for the sixth pick and they want to go real young and tank it for another season. But I don’t think ownership has the stomach to do that.”
Love has said that he plans to opt out of his deal after this season and test the free agent waters, making it likely that the Timberwolves will look to trade their All Star power forward. It’ll take a hefty package for Ainge to pry a player of Love’s caliber from Minnesota, and the sixth pick may not be enough when it comes to draft picks going to the Wolves.
“You’re going to have to sweeten the deal a lot, but I think the Celtics can outbid pretty much any team right now for Love’s services given their stockpile of draft picks,” said Robb. “With the sixth pick they’ll probably have to package, potentially, the 17th and potentially the 2015 Clippers pick or an unprotected Brooklyn pick in addition to a (Jared) Sullinger or (Kelly) Olynyk type player. That’s the package they’ll need to pry away a player like Love.”
“They’ll have to up the ante a little more with this being the sixth pick.”
As for making a selection should a Love or a different potential blockbuster trade falls through, Robb says Ainge should have a few solid options.
“It’s going to be interesting,” he said. “Julius Randle has a possibility of falling down depending on what happens with (Dante) Exum. Marcus Smart is an option if they decide to get rid of Rondo. I personally like Aaron Gordon; his stock looks like he’ll be there at six right now.
“It’s going to be a lot of athletic power forwards, which the Celtics have a backlog at that position. That makes trading the pick a little more enticing if you don’t want to add a fifth or sixth power forward to this roster.”