Trading days are here again, the summer evenings grow; Wyc has his money, Ainge has his assets, Brad has a system that flows. Considering the amount of options the Boston Celtics have, it's unlikely this offseason goes over like a Led Zeppelin, but it shouldn't be a heartbreaker for fans if there aren't any fireworks.
With that said, it'd be somewhat surprising if at least one move wasn't made on draft night. With so many assets and movable pieces, at the least Boston's front office should be able to make a transaction to grab the prospect that they want.
But which moves could realistically happen on June 26th? After researching each NBA team's situation heading into the draft for my 2014 NBA Draft Guide, I believe I have a good handle on some possible trading avenues for the Celtics.
For the sake of staying realistic with these hypothetical trades, they will not involve players even though blockbusters or smaller trades are always a possibility. Here are ten possible deals that could occur on draft night involving Boston's 6th, 17th, and/or future picks:
Trades Involving #6
It's hard to see many teams ahead of Boston willing to trade down to the #6 spot, but there will be plenty of teams after the pick, especially if someone like Joel Embiid, Dante Exum, or Noah Vonleh slips. And if you're Boston, those potential offers are worth considering since the players available in the #8 to #12 range are arguably of near equal value.
#6 and 2015 PHI 1st* to Orlando for #4
Joel Embiid's injury changes everything. There is a strong possibility that he slides to the sixth spot, but if Boston wants to guarantee that they can grab him it might be worth trading up to #4. Despite the huge risk, Embiid has the highest upside of any player in the draft, and he would fill a huge team need as both a go-to scorer and a rim protector. You know, sometimes risks are just worth taking.
That thought process also applies to combo guard Dante Exum. If Orlando truly does value Marcus Smart over Exum (or even if they have their eyes set on a guy like Noah Vonleh), then trading down two spots and acquiring an extra pick might not be such a bad idea for them. And for the Celtics, Exum could slide in as a backup behind Rajon Rondo and Avery Bradley before potentially taking over the reigns in the future.
*Boston owns Philadelphia's 2015 first round draft pick, but they will only receive it if the 76ers make the playoffs. In the event that the pick is not conveyed, Boston will instead receive Philly's 2015 and 2016 second round draft picks.
#6 to Charlotte for #9 and #24
If Dante Exum slips to the #6 spot, I wouldn't be surprised if Charlotte is willing to trade up since they desperately need a go-to wing scorer. Even though Doug McDermott or Nik Stauskas are available at #9, they don't have the immense upside of Exum, who could come in and play behind Gerald Henderson for a year before taking over as a starter.
For Boston, they'd be able to pick up an extra asset and still have a chance at the likes of Aaron Gordon, Doug McDermott, Nik Stauskas, or even Dario Saric. Gordon could fall as far to #10 to Philadelphia, so it's not unrealistic to still have a chance at acquiring him (especially since the Lakers are hot for Randle or Smart and the Kings appear to be targeting a guard).
#6 to Philadelphia for #10, #32, and #47
Depending on what Philadelphia does at #3, I can see them trading #10 and selling off two of their five second rounders if it meant grabbing the player they wanted at #6, maybe Dante Exum or Joel Embiid. Boston would be able to shift down and target one of the names above, but they'd also add loads of versatility later in the draft without having to compromise any of their future first rounders.
Trades Involving #17
If Boston is looking to trade up from #17, then Denver is really the only realistic target. There's no reason for Orlando (#12) or Minnesota (#13) to trade down, Phoenix (#14) already has too many picks, and moving up only slightly with Atlanta (#15) doesn't make much sense. However, there appears to be three main possibilities if they look to trade down into the #19 to #24 slots.
#17 and 2015 1st to Denver for #11
Even though it might take a lot to move up six spots this year, it could be completely worth it if they believe one of those five listed names is someone that could be a perfect fit in Brad Stevens' motion offense. I still have Dario Saric ranked at #6 player on my big board, and I think he presents incredible value at that spot. McDermott and Stauskas would both seamlessly fit into the system as sharpshooters, and drafting Elfrid Payton could mean a Rondo-less era of Celtics basketball is forthcoming.
#17 to Toronto for #20 and #37
It's easy to see Toronto looking to move up to snatch a player like Tyler Ennis or Elfrid Payton, especially since they could lose Kyle Lowry to free agency. Boston is in a perfect spot to take advantage, since they could trade down three spots and still be looking at similar players like T.J. Warren, K.J. McDaniels, and Kyle Anderson. All three forwards bring different skills -- Warren, a scorer; McDaniels, a defender; Anderson, a playmaker -- and they have all had successful workouts with the Celtics.
#17 to Utah for #23 and #35
I've got a feeling that Utah is the type of team that could target a "high risk/high reward" player like James Young or Zach LaVine since they really need to hit a homerun with at least one of their picks. Boston is in a prime spot for at least one or both of those players to be there and could pick up an extremely valuable early second rounder in the process.
#17 to Charlotte for #24 and #45
Charlotte is pretty much in the same boat as Utah as in they really need to hit on one of their first rounders. Even though this offer is less appealing for Boston, the Hornets are one of the few teams that can offer a second round draft pick along with their first rounder within this draft range.
Trades Involving Future Picks
There's no doubt that teams are going to try and sell second round draft picks this year, but the asking price may be high. This draft is unusually deep and presents loads of value into the #40 to #55 range of the draft. Fortunately, the Celtics have plenty of assets they can deal off in the event a player they are targeting is sitting there on the board.
2015 PHI 1st* and Cash to Phoenix for #27
Everyone is going to be throwing Phoenix offers for this pick since they have three first rounders. Sure, Phoenix could just sell it off, but Boston is in a spot where they can easily offer one of their less valuable first round picks for it in addition to cash. I will be surprised if Boston doesn't at least try to acquire this pick on draft night. They have worked out a handful of players who are ideal targets for this spot of the draft, especially center Walter Tavares and combo guard Jordan Clarkson.
2015 PHI 1st* to Philadelphia for #39 and #54
Philadelphia has five second rounders, which gives them loads of flexibility on draft night, but what happens if they aren't able to make a significant move? I think trading one of their early seconds along with one of the late ones to Boston while reacquiring their own pick next year is a fair exchange. Boston would be able to target a player that possibly slips at #39, and they'd be able to snatch a potential steal like Kendrick Perry at #54, instead of having to fight for him during the undrafted free agency period.
2018 BOS 1st to Minnesota for #40
The Timberwolves have three first rounders, so at least one of them has to go. I can see one of them going to the Celtics in the event of a Kevin Love trade, but even if that doesn't happen, the Celtics have the cash and future picks they can afford to trade off. Dealing a far distant first round draft pick wouldn't be much of a problem, especially since they also own the rights to Brooklyn's 2018 first.
Which of these ten deals would you most like to see happen? Vote in the poll and comment below with your thoughts! And if you enjoyed this article, please click here to check out a preview of my 2014 NBA Draft Guide.