According to former CelticsBlogger and current Ringer Kevin O’Connor, the Celtics are looking to trade up before next week’s NBA Draft:
Sources: The Timberwolves are attempting to acquire a second lottery pick. They’ve had talks with the Hawks for #6. A possible deal could include Jarrett Culver and #17.— Kevin O'Connor (@KevinOConnorNBA) November 11, 2020
A number of teams are interested in Atlanta’s #6 pick—the Pelicans and Celtics being among them, sources say.
If you’ve been following current mock drafts and rumors, there seems to be a consensus top-3: Georgia’s Anthony Edwards, Memphis’ James Wiseman, and LaMelo Ball. After that, it’s anybody’s guess as to who teams are targeting in the lottery. As Keith Smith notes, the vibe around the league is that teams at the top are willing to trade back in order to accumulate more talent and contenders are looking to trade up to get their guy with the accelerated pace of next season’s start confirmed.
Of course, this could all be classic smokescreen strategy from Danny Ainge. Every offseason, there’s always a buzz about potential transactions that he’s interested in and more times than not, it’s the least expected move that comes to fruition. However, at #6, let’s consider who Boston could be targeting.
The conventional wisdom is that the Celtics will look to shore up their back up point guard and center spot either through the draft or in free agency. Outside of the top-5, the draft is rich in playmakers and big men, but none that particularly stand out. Adam Spinella profiled Iowa State’s Tyrese Haliburton as a potential trade-up candidate:
He could be a 6’5” point guard, with the ball skills, elite IQ and creation to facilitate for others. But he needs to improve as a scorer to have the ball in his hands. He could be a toolsy wing, with a great deal of skill but is best served utilizing his spot-up jumper. But he needs to fill out and perhaps speed up the release on his jumper. He’s a thin, lanky body with average athleticism and there are questions about which position he’s best-served guarding.
Boston has also been linked to centers like Precious Achiuwa out of Memphis and USC’s Onyeka Okongwu. Ainge’s war chest of assets isn’t as full as it once was, but he still has pieces to deal. In addition to the #14, #26, and #30 picks in this year’s first round, he has a bevy of young players like Robert Williams, Grant Williams, Romeo Langford, and Carsen Edwards that could packaged in a trade.