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Rumor: Hornets, Kings unlikely to trade draft picks to Celtics

The Celtics are running out to partners to trade with to get into the top 10 in the draft.

Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports

We've been hearing all week that the Boston Celtics are interested in trading up in tonight's NBA Draft, but it takes two to tango. Saying that you want to trade up is a lot easier than finding another team willing to trade back. While there have been whispers around the league of several teams willing to consider moving back, those teams would need to be interested in what Boston has to offer.

Apparently one team may already be off the table.

The Celtics are known to have interest in Willie Cauley-Stein, but they may need to leap ahead of the Indiana Pacers at No. 11 to ensure they can get him. Larry Bird is on record saying he is a fan of the big man from Kentucky, so he may not make it past that spot. There are some concerns about Cauley-Stein's ankle that could result in a Sullinger-like drop in his draft stock, but the Celtics can't assume he'll still be on the board at No. 16. If they want him, they may need to move up.

Danny Ainge may try to find another team in the top-10 to trade with, but Sacramento doesn't seem willing to play ball.

If the Kings don't like what Boston can offer for the No. 6 pick, you can bet they aren't interested in trading DeMarcus Cousins here. Unless the Celtics can find a third team to facilitate a three-way deal, it sounds like they can cross the No. 6 pick and Cousins off their wish list.

The Celtics may have their eye on a bigger prize and could potentially put together an offer enticing enough to move into the top-5. If a prospect they are targeting is available at a spot they can trade into, Ainge could pull the trigger. Especially if he runs out of options to trade with in the 6-10 range.

There's still a few hours to go until the draft, so a lot can change in that time. Some teams may merely be putting up a smokescreen to mask their true intentions or they could be holding out for more. There is still hope for those looking for the Celtics to move up in the draft, but they seem to be running out of options.

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