BOSTON (CBS) — With the NBA Draft just a day away, the rumors are starting to pour in.
And it should come as no surprise that the Celtics are involved in one of the biggest rumors yet. According to ESPN’s Ryen Russillo, the Celtics are aggressively trying to land a Top 10 pick on Thursday night.
The Celtics currently owns just one selection in the draft — No. 27 overall. But if Danny Ainge has his sights set on a particular player expected to go early, the C’s president of basketball ops. has a slew of assets to offer in his quest to move up, from a plethora of young (and cheap) talent to a hoard of future picks.
What Ainge would have to surrender in a trade to wiggle his way into the Top 10 remains a mystery. Boston currently own the 2019 first-round picks of the Sacramento Kings (No. 1 overall protected, would convey to 2019 Philadelphia 76ers first-round pick), the Memphis Grizzlies (Top 8 protected in 2019 and ’20 before becoming unprotected in ’21) and the Los Angeles Clippers (Top 14 protected in 2019 and ’20, would become 2022 second-round pick).
With a relatively deep draft class this year, Ainge may want to cash in on the uncertainty that surrounds the Kings pick next year. But it will probably cost him a lot more than just a draft pick.
Terry Rozier is the most likely trade candidate on the roster, given he has one more year on his deal at $3 million before hitting restricted free agency in the summer of 2019. Trading away Rozier would mean Boston is focused on re-signing Marcus Smart, who becomes a restricted free agent on July 1.
Earlier this offseason, the Celtics were rumored to be high on Texas center Mo Bamba, who is projected to go within the first five picks. Those rumors were shot down by local Celtics reporters, but Bamba is one of the handful of enticing big men in this year’s draft.
Could a package of Rozier, the No. 27 pick and one of those future potential lottery picks be enough to move up into the Top 10 on Thursday? We’ll find out in about 30 hours.