By Matt Dolloff, 985TheSportsHub.com
Rumors are swirling about the Boston Celtics ahead of the 2018 NBA Draft. A series of new reports indicate that Danny Ainge & Co. have a chance to set off some serious fireworks.
Despite holding just the 27th pick in the draft as of this writing, the Celtics are already rumored to be aggressively pushing to get into the top-10, even the top-5. Multiple reporters would agree with that notion: the C’s are apparently one of the teams in play to acquire the No. 3 pick from the Atlanta Hawks or the No. 4 pick from the Memphis Grizzlies.
The Ringer’s Kevin O’Connor first tweeted on Wednesday that the Celtics are a “dark horse” to get No. 3 from the Hawks, with the Chicago Bulls, New York Knicks, Orlando Magic, Los Angeles Clippers, and Dallas Mavericks also interested in the pick. O’Connor named Slovenian guard Luka Doncic and Texas center Mo Bamba, both of which drew pre-draft attention from the C’s, as the players that teams are looking to grab at that spot in the draft, which starts Thursday at 7 p.m. on ESPN.
Jared Weiss of The Athletic later tweeted that the C’s are interested in moving up to the No. 4 pick, currently occupied by the Grizzlies. Coincidentally, any deal would include Memphis getting back the future first-rounder that they traded to the Celtics in the 2014 Jeff Green trade. Weiss credited ESPN draft analyst Jonathan Givony for reporting the Celtics’ interest in No. 4.
Chandler Parsons would have to be included in any deal for the No. 4 pick. Parsons is due over $24 million in 2018-19 and $25 million in 2019-20. Weiss believes the C’s are trying to get a third team involved to take on the Parsons contract.
Despite all these rumored trade talks, it could all end up being for naught. It’s hard not to think about the 2016 draft, when Ainge was on the other side of these reports. The Celtics were involved in all kinds of speculation around the No. 3 pick, which they eventually used to select Jaylen Brown.
If these reports are to be believed, it’s a clear sign that Ainge would be comfortable punting on the top of the 2019 draft in order to land a prospect that he covets in the 2018 class. The mere possibility of some fireworks from the C’s would arguably make the entire first round of the draft must-see TV for fans.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.