FROM

There’s good reason why the Celtics are scouting the nation’s best college players

Duke's Zion Williamson and other top players could actually be in play for Boston.

Zion Williamso of the Duke Blue Devils dribbles the ball against the Kentucky Wildcats.
Zion Williamson of the Duke Blue Devils dribbles the ball against the Kentucky Wildcats during the State Farm Champions Classic at Bankers Life Fieldhouse on November 6, 2018 in Indianapolis, Indiana. –Andy Lyons / Getty Images

The Celtics remain at least one of the favorites to reach the NBA Finals. Their first-round pick should land somewhere in the late 20s, yet they are scouting the nation’s best college talent because of two astute Danny Ainge deals that could land them two lottery picks in 2019.

The Celtics acquired a first-round pick from the Philadelphia 76ers in exchange for the No. 1 overall pick in 2017, which Philadelphia used on Markelle Fultz. The Celtics took Jayson Tatum third and still own the rights to that first-round pick in 2019, which originally belonged to Sacramento.

If that Kings’ pick is not first overall, it goes to the Celtics. Sacramento is off to a surprising start but the Kings are expected to slip considerably in the treacherous Western Conference.