NBA rumors: Could Celtics trade with Warriors to move into top three?

Josh Schrock
·3 min read

Report: Could Celtics, Warriors strike draft-day trade? originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

The Warriors undoubtedly will be fielding a number of calls Wednesday as teams look to vault to the top of the 2020 NBA Draft.

Golden State and the Chicago Bulls reportedly are discussing a trade centering around Wendell Carter Jr. and the No. 4 pick. But the Bulls aren't the only team potentially in the mix.

Marc Stein of The New York Times reported Wednesday, citing league sources, that the Boston Celtics are trying to find a way to move into the top three of the draft.

The Celtics have three first-round picks (No. 14, No. 26 and No. 30), but those won't be enough to pique the Warriors' interest. In order for the Celtics to move up to No. 2, they would have to include Marcus Smart in the deal, giving the Warriors a playoff-proven wing who can knock down 3-pointers and defend one through four. 

Would the Celtics be willing to part with Smart, who is a fan favorite and the engine that makes their team go? That depends on how much they like certain prospects atop the draft.

Boston has two young stars in Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown, but the Celtics have not been able to surround them with a third young star despite the wealth of draft picks in Danny Ainge's treasure trove. Boston signed Kemba Walker last offseason, and still has Gordon Hayward for now, but they need to find a third player who is on the same timeline as Tatum and Brown.

Ainge has refused to deal picks in recent years and it has cost the Celtics on numerous occasions. It seems he is willing to strike a deal now, but it might cost him more than he would like to pay.

Smart would be a great addition for the Warriors. He would fit in nicely alongside Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green and Andrew Wiggins in a small-ball lineup and is capable of initiating the offense when Curry is on the bench. He's a relentless defender with untold amounts of energy and out-of-this-world confidence. Smart is the perfect role player for a team planning to jump into NBA title contention this season.

RELATED: Final 2020 NBA mock draft

Would Smart and the No. 14 pick be enough for the Warriors to move down 12 spots? Or would they need more?

Is acquiring Carter and the No. 4 pick from the Bulls a better offer than one that nets them Smart?

President of basketball operations Bob Myers will have a lot of balls to juggle prior to going on the clock. But this is his time to prove he can build a winner in the draft.

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