NBA Draft Rumors: Celtics aiming to trade up for USC's Onyeka Okongwu

Darren Hartwell
·2 min read

Report: Celtics aiming to trade up for Onyeka Okongwu originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

The Boston Celtics have three first-round picks in the 2020 NBA Draft and an apparent plan for how to use them.

The Ringer's Kevin O'Connor recently reported the Celtics are trying to package their No. 14, No. 26 and No. 30 picks to trade up in the Nov. 18 draft.

NBADraft.net's Aran Smith seconded that report Tuesday and added that Boston has its eye on USC big man Onyeka Okongwu.

Smith has Okongwu going No. 3 overall to the Charlotte Hornets in his latest mock draft, while our Chris Forsberg and Rob Snyder have the Washington Wizards taking Okongwu at No. 9.

Check out NBC Sports Boston's latest NBA Mock Draft

Either way, the 6-foot-9, 245-pound Los Angeles native likely is a top 10 pick who wouldn't fall to Boston if it stayed at No. 14.

Okongwu would be a good fit with the Celtics: He's a versatile defender and an excellent rim protector (2.7 blocks per game at USC last season) with a strong offensive skill set (16.2 points per game on 61.6 percent shooting) whom O'Connor compares to Bam Adebayo.

The Celtics won't have much frontcourt depth behind Daniel Theis, Robert Williams and Grant Williams if Enes Kanter (player option) doesn't return this season, so Okongwu could be a quality reinforcement.

Danny Ainge and Co. have yet to find a trade partner, though, and may have difficulty moving into the top 10 by solely offering draft picks.