We’ve heard for a while now how many assets the Boston Celtics have at their disposal. But appears turning those assets into tangible results appears to be easier said than done.
The Celtics have shopped trade packages involving their No. 3 overall pick in the upcoming NBA Draft with the hope of landing “established veterans,” league sources told ESPN.com’s Marc Stein. But, according to Stein’s sources, Boston has been “rebuffed” in its efforts to land four specific targets: Chicago Bulls guard Jimmy Butler, Utah Jazz forward Gordon Hayward and Milwaukee Bucks teammates Khris Middleton and Jabari Parker.
That’s obviously not great news for the Celtics, as acquiring a solid veteran talent like any of the four players above would go a long way in luring a big-name free agent to Boston — namely All-Star forward Kevin Durant, who is looking more and more like a long shot for the C’s.
The Celtics unsuccessfully tried to trade for Butler in February before the NBA’s trade deadline, and the Bulls “continue to show little interest” in dealing him to Boston, sources told Stein. The Jazz have been telling interested teams Hayward isn’t available, while the Bucks view Middleton and Parker as “young cornerstones” who are “untouchables,” according to Stein’s sources.
However, Boston’s No. 3 pick appears to be enticing to the Philadelphia 76ers. The Sixers have been trying “for some time” to convince the Celtics to trade their No. 3 pick as part of a deal for either center Jahlil Okafor or fellow big man Nerlens Noel, but Boston has “resisted those pitches,” per Stein. It’s been rumored Philly is high on Providence point guard Kris Dunn, who should be available at No. 3.
The Celtics have until Thursday night to determine their draft plans and likely will keep trying to shop their third overall pick. If they don’t, things could get interesting — who Boston will target at No. 3 has emerged as one of the “bigger mysteries of draft week,” sources told Stein.
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