On Monday, the Celts will host Julian Wright of Kansas and Keith Simmons of Holy Cross. Wright is reportedly low on the club’s list of eight primary players, but, as mentioned before, the C’s could very well move down from their high pick for something of value (veteran player, cap relief to help keep Al Jefferson) and a later selection.
Asked about the need to check out players beyond the range of 5, Ainge said, "It’s important. It’s very important. I don’t know (if the Celts will trade down). I’m planning on taking 5 right now, but I’m in the phase of listening to what people have to say and evaluating the talent one through 60.'’
The Celtics are also evaluating key veterans who may be available, but one shouldn’t yet read anything into the rumors that have been circulating. The club has questions about Shawn Marion, and, as noted in the Herald earlier in the week, word is the Suns want to clear out some bad contracts if they do move him.
"A lot of what you’re hearing now is stuff that was looked at and knocked down weeks ago,'’ said one source.
As for Rashard Lewis, the best chance at getting something done would likely have to be after the draft. To repeat, Lewis is an unrestricted free agent and cannot be spoken to about a sign-and-trade until July 1. That makes a deal involving the No. 5 pick highly problematic (a future No. 1 would make more sense).
Take into account also that newly hired Sonics GM Sam Presti — pride of Emerson College and Concord — has barely gotten a chance to warm his chair.