For the first time since since 2015, the Celtics will head into the NBA draft without a lottery pick. But that doesn’t mean Danny Ainge isn’t equipped with plenty of potential trade assets.
The Celtics have the 27th pick in the 2018 draft, which takes place at 7 p.m. EST on June 21 in Brooklyn’s Barclay’s Center. Currently, Boston doesn’t have a second-round pick. The last draft in which Boston made only one selection was 2013, when Lucas Nogueira was taken 16th and immediately traded for Kelly Olynyk).
Aside from the single 2018 pick, the Celtics possess future selections that are potentially valuable, as well as a few player trade pieces.
Had the Celtics not made the Kyrie Irving trade, Ainge would once again possess a lottery pick as a result of the famous (or, if you’re a Brooklyn fan, infamous) Garnett-Pierce deal from 2013. Instead, Celtics draft assets consist of a singular pick in 2018, with a series of contingencies for the future:
- Rights to their own first \-round picks in future seasons (currently, none have been traded)
- Rights to the Clippers’ first round pick in 2019 (top 14 protected), or 2020 (top 15 protected if not already conveyed), or 2022 as a second-round pick if not already conveyed
- Rights to either the 76ers or Kings’ first-round pick in 2019, whichever pick is higher. The picks are top-1 protected
- Rights to the Grizzlies’ first-round pick in 2019 (top 8 protected), or 2020 (top 6 protected if not already conveyed), or 2021 as an unprotected pick
Depending on the rumors of a given day, Ainge could be shopping anyone on the roster. Even Irving’s name has been bandied about to be traded for the second summer in a row. Al Horford has also been linked in a few Kawhi Leonard trade scenarios. Here are a few other potential more realistic names:
Terry Rozier: After filling in admirably for the injured Irving, Rozier undoubtedly helped his trade value. Virtually every potential Celtics trade scenario involves Rozier, who is still on a very affordable rookie contract.
Marcus Smart: The versatile guard is a restricted free agent, but has been identified as a possible trade piece if he re-signs on a three-year deal for $36 million.
Marcus Morris: Morris was an important part of the playoff run, but has already acknowledged an uncertainty about his role next season. With the return of Gordon Hayward and the potential growth of Semi Ojeleye, Morris may find himself as an odd man out (and involved in a trade).
Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum: Each of the Celtics’ talented youngsters seems an unlikely trade chip, but are simultaneously some of the team’s most valuable pieces. Brown has been the candidate to receive more trade speculation, though it would likely only be in another blockbuster.