NBA Draft Rumors: Which teams could trade for Celtics' first-round picks?

Darren Hartwell
·3 min read

Could one of these teams trade for Celtics' first-round picks? originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

The Boston Celtics reportedly are trying to sell off their first-round picks. But can they find any buyers?

That's the challenge facing Danny Ainge and his staff, who own the No. 14, No. 26 and No. 30 picks in the 2020 NBA Draft yet can't add three more rookies to their already-full roster without cutting bait elsewhere.

Per reports, Boston is trying to solve this conundrum by packaging its picks to acquire A) a higher draft pick or B) a "solid veteran." 

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The good news? In his latest NBA mock draft, The Athletic's John Hollinger notes that "lots" of teams with top-14 picks are looking to trade down in the draft, while the Celtics are one of the few teams (if not the only team) interested in trading up.

That bodes well for Boston's prospects of finding a trade partner, and Hollinger speculated about three clubs in particular that may look to do business with the Celtics.

Washington Wizards (No. 9 overall)

Hollinger's take: "I think a swap with Boston for picks 14, 26, and 30 starts to make a lot of sense here. It gives the Wizards three shots at young talent to push the rebuild, and I’m not sure the player they get from 14 is really any different from the one they get at 9."

According to Hollinger, the Celtics could use the No. 9 pick to draft USC big man Onyeka Okongwu, who reportedly is on their radar and could beef up their frontcourt depth. The question is whether Okongwu is still on the board at No. 9, but if so, this deal would make a lot of sense for Boston.

San Antonio Spurs (No. 11 overall)

Hollinger's take: "One wonders if the Spurs are looking at trade-down scenarios with Boston that could put them in a position to have picks 14 and 26 if the player they want isn’t here at 11."

Okongwu likely isn't falling out of the top 10, but if a player like Florida State guard Devin Vassell or Auburn wing Isaac Okoro interests the Celtics, the C's may consider moving up a few spots to snag them and avoid a repeat of the Tyler Herro situation.

Cleveland Cavaliers (No. 5 overall)

Hollinger's take: "My favorite draft trade ... is for Boston to flip (the No. 14) pick to Cleveland for Larry Nance, with the Cavs then taking either (Saddiq) Bey or (Aaron) Nesmith in this slot.

This would be the "solid veteran" route, with the Celtics spending their No. 14 pick to land Nance and his $11.7 million salary for the 2020-21 season.

Nance, who averaged a career-high 10.1 points per game last season with 7.3 rebounds per game, would be a slight upgrade from Enes Kanter should the veteran big man decline his player option and test free agency.

The Celtics have just eight days to find a trade partner before the draft, but it sounds like a few teams would pick up their phone calls.