BOSTON (CBS) — The Boston Celtics have three first-round selections at Thursday night’s NBA Draft. The common feeling around the NBA is that the Celtics will not be making all three of those picks.
So it’s only fitting that Adrian Wojnarowski is reporting that the Celtics will likely trade one or two of those three first-rounders when picks start coming off the board. Woj said the team has essentially reached “the point of resignation” that Kyrie Irving is going to bolt when free agency hits, so the Celtics have set their focus elsewhere. That includes reworking a deal with Al Horford, potentially re-signing Terry Rozier to be their starting point guard, and trading some of those picks.
“Boston has a lot of options. They have assets. I am told they have been really aggressive out on the marketplace,” Wojnarowski said Monday night. “Again, three picks in Thursday’s NBA draft. I am told they don’t want to have three rookies on the team. You can expect one, maybe two of those picks somewhere else.”
On Tuesday, the Celtics were connected with the No. 4 overall pick, which now belongs to the New Orleans Pelicans following their weekend blockbuster trade of Anthony Davis with the Los Angeles Lakers. Boston is reportedly interested in drafting Vanderbilt point guard Darius Garland, though it would take quite the bounty to get up that high in the draft.
The Celtics are slated to pick at Nos. 14, 20 and 22 in the first round of Thursday night’s draft, and they also own the No. 51 pick in the second round. With a roster already chock-full of young talent like Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, Marcus Smart, Semi Ojeleye and Guerschon Yabusele, you can see why C’s president of basketball ops. Danny Ainge doesn’t want to add three more 19 or 20-year-olds to the mix.
Ainge may be able to use a couple of his picks to move up a little higher in the first round, though we all remember when he unsuccessfully tried to trade up in the 2015 NBA Draft to draft Justise Winslow, reportedly offering as many as four future first-round picks to the Charlotte Hornets. If the Celtics can’t move any of their picks this year, they’ll likely take a draft-and-stash player or two, as they did in 2016 when they took Yabusele and Ante Zizic. If the Celtics do make their picks, here is who the mock drafters think they’ll select.