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Rumor: Celtics exploring trade into top-3 of tonight’s NBA Draft

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Ball, Edwards, Wiseman, or Okongwu - who are the Celtics trying to get?

Boston Celtics Vs. Atlanta Hawks At Philips Arena Photo by Jim Davis/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

With just hours to go until the NBA Draft gets underway, rumors have surfaced that the Boston Celtics are exploring ways to move up into the top three as reported by the New York Times’ Marc Stein.

Currently the Minnesota Timberwolves (1). Golden State Warriors (2), and Charlotte Hornets (3) hold one of the draft picks the Celtics reportedly covet. If this rumor is true, it would indicate the Celtics have their eye on one of LaMelo Ball, Anthony Edwards, James Wiseman, or Oneyka Okongwu.

There are multiple ways the Celtics could look to get a deal like this over the line. With the team and Gordon Hayward agreeing to delay his decision to opt-in into his player option, the Celtics could be exploring sign-and-trade scenarios that would see them move up into their desired range. Rumors are also simmering around Kemba Walker, with the Celtics reportedly shopping him in an offer for Jrue Holiday per The Ringer’s Kevin O’Connor.

Alternatively, packaging their slew of first round draft picks along with some young talent may entice a rebuilding team such as Charlotte. Unfortunately, most of the Celtics young prospects project to have low value due to poor rookie seasons or struggles with injury - think Romeo Langford.

Given the price other teams have paid to bring in high-level talent over the last few days, the most logical move here would be to include Hayward in any package. Due to his expiring contract, it’s fair to assume teams would want a long term commitment from the Indiana native, which indicates a necessity for a sign-and-trade.

Tonight’s NBA Draft is scheduled to begin at 8:30 pm ET. Until then, expect the rumor mill to go into overdrive.