The Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Lakers aren’t exactly used to being lottery teams, and it sounds like — for the right deal — either team would love to move its lottery pick in the upcoming NBA Draft.
FOX Sports’ Colin Cowherd reported earlier this week that he heard from two sources that the Lakers — who finished with the NBA’s second-worst record — are open to trading the pick, even if they win the No. 1 pick in next month’s draft lottery.
HBO’s Bill Simmons isn’t known for breaking news, but he is an NBA expert, and he not only confirmed Cowherd’s report, but Simmons added that the Celtics also want to trade their pick for “impact players.” The Celtics own the Brooklyn Nets’ first-round pick and Boston has a legitimate chance at the No. 1 selection after Brooklyn finished with the NBA’s third-worst record.
It’s probably not any sort of earth-shattering revelation that Boston might look to move its draft pick. The Celtics have come up in trade rumors since acquiring the Brooklyn pick (and a host of other first-round picks), and they’re much closer than the Lakers to contending for a title. Boston finished as the Eastern Conference’s No. 5 seed before the Atlanta Hawks eliminated them in six games in the first round. It’s not a stretch to think the Celtics might mortgage some of their future — especially with a draft pick surplus — in order to get an impact player or two who will help them in the near future.
The Lakers’ reported interest in potentially dealing a top pick is much more puzzling. The Lakers stink. They’re in the middle of an extensive rebuild in a very tough Western Conference and look to be at least two or three years away from really contending. Adding an impact player (Paul George, perhaps?) will help, sure, but many feel Los Angeles would benefit more from staying put and drafting a player like Duke’s Brandon Ingram or LSU’s Ben Simmons. However, as Cowherd reported, the Lakers are tired of rebuilding.
But, as Simmons pointed out, teams might be looking to deal as the draft approaches.
Things are about to get real interesting in the NBA.
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