BOSTON (CBS) — The Boston Celtics have reached out to the Cleveland Cavaliers about moving up to the No. 5 pick in the 2019 NBA Draft on Thursday night. But Boston is not alone.
The Celtics were reportedly chatting with the New Orleans Pelicans about the No. 4 pick, but that selection was sent to the Atlanta Hawks in a pre-draft trade that sent picks Nos. 8, 17 and 35 to New Orleans. So Cleveland’s asking price for No. 5 is expected to be pretty steep.
The Minnesota Timberwolves and Chicago Bulls have also inquired with Cleveland about the No. 5 pick, according to Cleveland.com’s Chris Fedor.
The Celtics reportedly covet Vanderbilt point guard Darius Garland at No. 5, with the Atlanta Hawks reportedly looking to take Virginia forward De’Andre Hunter at No. 4. Garland, despite playing just five games in his only season at Vanderbilt, is considered one of the top guards in Thursday’s draft. He’s a solid shooter who could be Boston’s starting point guard next season, in place of the likely departing Kyrie Irving.
The Cavaliers also like Garland at No. 5, but are looking to see what they could get for the pick.
What it would cost Boston is the real question. Danny Ainge has picks Nos. 14, 20 and 22 at his disposal this year, and the highly coveted Memphis Grizzlies pick in next year’s draft (top-six protected). Chances are he won’t be sending that Memphis pick away on draft night unless it’s for a current star, but Boston would reportedly love to send off their trio of picks this year, not wanting to add three more rookies to their young core.
The NBA Draft gets underway at 7:30 p.m. Celtics fans would be wise to find a comfy seat.
Update: No trade for the No. 5 pick for the Celtics. Cleveland kept the pick and drafted Garland.