Danny Ainge sounds like he’s gearing up to make a big, big run at a big man on draft night.
The Boston Celtics president of basketball operations isn’t afraid to deal anything or anyone and he’s entering the 2015 NBA Draft loaded with assets. The man Ainge might have in his sights is Duke center Jahlil Okafor.
For Ainge’s reported master plan — or at least one of them — to really go into action, it would require the Los Angeles Lakers selecting point guard D’Angelo Russell with the No. 2 pick.
If the Lakers do that (and Minnesota takes Karl Anthony-Towns with the No. 1 pick), it would allow Okafor to fall to No. 3. That’s where things can get really, really crazy, according to ESPN’s Brian Windhorst.
“All of a sudden, at No. 3, the Philadelphia 76ers are going to run one of the most intense 5-minute auctions you’re ever going to see in the NBA because they’re going to be looking to trade out of that slot,” Windhorst explained Thursday on “SportsCenter.”
“A lot of rival executives believe Danny Ainge of the Boston Celtics are prepared to give a Godfather offer to get in there for Jahlil Okafor if he’s available at 3 — including multiple first-round picks, potentially Marcus Smart. Who knows what he’ll put on the table?”
According to a report earlier in the week, the Celtics already offered a blockbuster deal to Philly but were turned down.
Even if Ainge isn’t able to get up to No. 3, the C’s still could have options, especially depending on how things shake out.
Also from Windhorst: “Then you’re going to have potential action with the Knicks at (No. 4) and the Magic at (No. 5). Perhaps the team most anxious to trade its pick are the Orlando Magic at 5, but they have no idea what they can get because they don’t know who’s going to be on the board.”
Stay tuned. It should be a wild day and night.
Thumbnail photo via Michael Shroyer/USA TODAY Sports Images