By Matthew Geagan, CBS Boston
BOSTON (CBS) — It has been a while since we saw Danny Ainge shift into full “Trader Danny” mode, but the Celtics president of basketball ops. is trying his hardest ahead of the NBA Draft. Unfortunately for him, there are no takers for Boston’s three first-round picks.
According to Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer, Ainge has offered up picks nos. 14, 26 and 30 in an effort to move up in the draft board. Thus far, “no one is biting.”
Moving up makes perfect sense for the Celtics, considering they already have a pretty full roster with a good collection of young talent. The Celtics don’t have room at the moment, and the last thing that Ainge or head coach Brad Stevens needs are three more young players to add to the Celtics’ mix in 2020-21.
But with a somewhat weak draft class, it’s also understandable that teams aren’t jumping at the chance to add additional picks to their plans for Nov. 18. Adding first-round talent means adding guaranteed contacts to the books, and that isn’t something that teams selecting in spots that Boston would like to trade up into are always willing to do.
It seems like jumping into the Top 10 is Ainge’s dream heading into the draft, but teams aren’t always eager to help out the noted trade swindler. He may have to get creative and add a player to his offerings, while retaining one of Boston’s three picks, in his quest to move up in the draft.
But really, chances are the Celtics will end up taking someone at No. 14 in hopes of that player being able to help with some scoring off the bench (O’Connor likes point guard RJ Hampton of the New Zealand Breakers if that were the case), and then Ainge will draft-and-stash a player or two or pawn off one of the later picks for a selection next year or somewhere down the road.
Rumors will continue to surround the Celtics, because they always do leading up to the draft. But chances are it will be the same old story, with very little actual movement on draft night.