Boston Celtics

By Matt Dolloff, 985TheSportsHub.com

It’s always hard to tell whether a team is being honest in its true intentions at the draft. The latest report on the Boston Celtics says, well, exactly that.

According to ESPN’s Ryen Rusillo, whose “Rusillo Show” is one of the most popular sports podcasts in the world, tweeted on Wednesday that the Celtics and Los Angeles Clippers are the two teams he’s heard are being most “aggressive” to move up into the top-10 of the 2018 NBA Draft, which kicks off Thursday night.

Rusillo’s report came after that of 98.5 The Sports Hub’s own James Stewart, producer of Felger & Mazz, who tweeted on Tuesday that the Celtics are trying to move into the top-5 and could be interested in top European prospect Luka Doncic. Stewart himself wouldn’t tell you he’s a reporter, but he’s had great information on the Celtics in the past. So if the C’s do move way up in the draft, you know who to credit for having it first.

Feb. 1, 2018; Moscow, RUSSIA: Luka Doncic of Real Madrid drives the ball during the 2017-2018 Euroleague Basketball match between Moscow CSKA and Real Madrid. (Photo Credit: Xinhua/Sipa USA via USA TODAY NETWORK)

Feb. 1, 2018; Moscow, RUSSIA: Luka Doncic of Real Madrid drives the ball during the 2017-2018 Euroleague Basketball match between Moscow CSKA and Real Madrid. (Photo Credit: Xinhua/Sipa USA via USA TODAY NETWORK)

Rusillo couched his report by noting that it’s hard to tell “if teams are really trying to move up or everyone just calls each other to see what the action is.”

In the case of Danny Ainge, it could most certainly be the latter.

Remember the avalanche of trade rumors involving the Celtics and the No. 3 pick in the 2016 draft? None of those deals happened and they stood pat, drafting Jaylen Brown. The pick surprised many and drew boos from the crowd in attendance at TD Garden for a draft viewing party, likely due to the letdown of passing on the sexier move. Turns out that Brown not only isn’t a bust, but could be a foundational piece for the C’s moving forward.

NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 23: Jaylen Brown poses with Commissioner Adam Silver after being drafted third overall by the Boston Celtics in the first round of the 2016 NBA Draft at the Barclays Center. (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)

NEW YORK, NY – JUNE 23: Jaylen Brown poses with Commissioner Adam Silver after being drafted third overall by the Boston Celtics in the first round of the 2016 NBA Draft at the Barclays Center. (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)

Boston has previously been linked to Texas big man Mo Bamba, who is widely projected as a top-5 pick on Thursday. But according to the Boston Globe’s Adam Himmelsbach, Bamba hasn’t had any interactions with them since the combine. The Celtics have certainly done their due diligence with the top picks in the draft.

In addition to interviewing Bamba, they met with big men like Missouri’s Michael Porter Jr., Michigan State’s Jaren Jackson, and Duke’s Wendell Carter Jr. They also interviewed guards like Oklahoma’s Trae Young and Alabama’s Collin Sexton, according to the Boston Globe. Danny didn’t travel to Europe to see Doncic play – but his son Austin, who is the Celtics’ director of player personnel, did.

It would obviously take a major move for the Celtics to move from 27th all the way up to 10th or fifth or even higher. Which is why it’s also prudent to keep an eye on the guards they could take at No. 27, as well as their frontcourt options for the end of the first round. But as always, it’s interesting to hear the C’s continue to be mentioned among the teams likely to make moves.

Matt Dolloff is a digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for Matt? Follow him on Twitter @mattdolloff or email him at matthew.dolloff@bbgi.com.