The Boston Celtics have stood pat on the trade front for the first three months of the 2016-17 season, but that doesn’t mean Danny Ainge and his staff haven’t been gauging the trade market.
In his weekly appearance with Toucher and Rich on 98.5 The Sports Hub, Ainge confirmed the Celtics are listening to offers, including deals that involve the 2017 Brooklyn Nets first round draft pick.
“Yes they have [started],” Ainge said when asked about potential trade talks. “Nothing is close or imminent, but there are people calling [about the Brooklyn pick]. It’s a valuable pick so we’re going to explore that.”
The Nets (8-25) currently have the worst record in the NBA, giving them the best odds (25 percent) at the No. 1 overall pick. If the Nets finish the regular season in last, the Celtics would come away with no worse than the No. 5 overall pick after the NBA Draft Lottery (via the swap).
Ainge also touched on the depth in the 2017 draft class, a group that is expected to feature plenty of young backcourt talent such as UCLA’s Lonzo Ball and Washington’s Markelle Fultz.
“Every draft is different,” Ainge explained. “I think that sometimes you have the top one is better than other drafts…This one is a little bit more equal in the top few picks of the draft as it appears right now. This is something that we’re spending all our time (on). We have people all over the world evaluating this as we speak. So I think that at this point in time, I think that, yeah, there’s four or five guys. There’s not a lot of separation at the top of this draft.”