Chris Forsberg as ESPNBoston.com considers what the Boston Celtics might be able to do in the way of trading up for an impact player in the 2015 NBA Draft.
We can use the Celtics' recent history as a bit of a guide to maneuvering from spot No. 16. It was just two years ago, with Boston in that same spot, that the Celtics moved up three spots to nab Kelly Olynyk by trading away No. 16 (Lucas Nogueira) to Dallas, along with a pair of 2015 second-round picks, which went on to be Nos. 34 (Cleanthony Early) and 47 (Russ Smith).
But getting to No. 13 might not be enough this year for Boston to get what Ford suggested was a real difference-maker. Ford ranks Cauley-Stein at No. 8 on his most recent big board (with Turner at 10). So what could Boston offer to get up even higher?
In that same 2013 draft, Utah used picks Nos. 14 (Shabazz Muhammad) and 21 (Gorgui Dieng) to move up to No. 9 and select Trey Burke.
The Celtics own picks 16, 28, 33 and 45 in this year's draft. Would Danny Ainge sacrifice some swings of the bat to shuffle up and nab a player who might have a better chance of helping this team in the more immediate future? Ainge has admitted Boston won't use all of its picks moving forward -- and there's a lot of them -- but he has to maximize those assets in order to jump at the best opportunity.
Looking ahead to future draft picks, the Celtics have Minnesota's 2016 first-round pick that is protected 1-12 and otherwise becomes a pair of second-round picks. With the likelihood of the latter, it might be better off moved if another team valued it more like a true first-round selection. Boston also has Dallas' first-round pick next year, protected spots 1-7, but the Mavs' uncertain future might leave Boston leery to move it unless it was an opportunity it couldn't pass up (and the same can be said for all the future Brooklyn picks it owns).
Forsberg mentions Kentucky's Willie Cauley-Stein as one of the potential draft targets in this scenario. What do you all think? Is Cauley-Stein worth making a move? there a player you want to see the Celtics trade up and snag with the sacrifice of other draft picks?
There's also other alternatives to finding players.
If we use the 16th pick to get an impact player, my guess is that it will be by packaging it with other assets in a trade. Not trading up.— CelticsBlog (@celticsblog) May 7, 2015