BOSTON (CBS) — The NBA Draft is just over a week away, leading to more speculation about what the Celtics will do with the No. 3 pick.
Celtics play-by-play man Mike Gorman joined 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Toucher & Rich on Wednesday to give his thoughts on what Boston should do, and he said finding a true scoring option is Danny Ainge’s top priority this offseason. While Providence guard Kris Dunn has popped up as a potential player Boston will take, Gorman believes they’ll stay away from drafting another guard unless Ainge and company were really impressed with Kentucky guard Jamal Murray. Oklahoma scoring machine Buddy Hield is also an option, but Gorman isn’t sure how much the rest of his game fits with the C’s, or in the NBA.
If Boston keeps the third pick, Gorman says it will be hard for Ainge to pass up the opportunity to draft 17-year-old Croatian star Dragan Bender.
“If Bender comes here and has a really good workout… He is going to be very hard to pass up,” he said. “It’s hard to pass up a 7-footer with talent, especially after Kristaps Porzingis adjusted very quickly in one year with the Knicks. I still think that’s the logical pick if they don’t trade it.
“Unless they’re going to trade it for Jimmy Butler, I don’t think they’re going to trade it,” added Gorman.
Teams are starting to line up for the Bulls star forward, with the Minnesota Timberwolves reportedly entering the sweepstakes. Armed with the No. 5 pick and a slew of young talent, the Wolves could be Boston’s biggest competition for Butler — if that’s Ainge’s end game this summer.
But like before, Gorman is reluctant to give up players on the current Boston roster, worried it would mess with the chemistry the team displayed all last season. Isaiah Thomas, Avery Bradley and Jae Crowder would all be tough to part with, but Gorman understands you have to give up talent in order to acquire talent.
“I do [love Avery Bradley]. I find him a great kid to be around and he was NBA first team all-defense this year. His best years are still in front of him, but Butler is a quality player who makes you much better right now,” said Gorman. “But to give up the No. 3 pick and Avery is a lot, or the No. 3 pick and Crowder would be a lot.
“I’m not quick to pull the trigger on those guys because I was a first-hand witness to the chemistry this team had last year, and I would hate to potentially mess that up bringing in a six or seven year veteran,” added Gorman.
Gorman also discussed other trade options for the Celtics, and looked back on the 1986 Celtics team that is considered one of the best teams of all-time: