The NBA offseason is far from over, and the Boston Celtics are right in the thick of things.
The Celtics, who lost out to the Golden State Warriors in the Kevin Durant sweepstakes, reportedly have their eyes on some premier trade targets, most notably Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook and, per the latest reports, Los Angeles Clippers forward Blake Griffin.
Sporting News’ Sean Deveney added to the Griffin rumors Thursday, reporting via league sources that Griffin, not Westbrook, now is Boston’s likely trade target, and that “a major deal” involving the club is “coming soon.”
The trade for Griffin reportedly would be a three-team deal involving the Sacramento Kings sending Rudy Gay to the Clippers, but there could be a hang-up on the Celtics’ end.
“The Celtics would give up some number of their upcoming draft picks,” Deveney writes, “but opposing front-office members say they don’t want to give up either Brooklyn pick Boston can own in the next two years.”
The Celtics own the rights to the Brooklyn Nets’ first-round picks in both the 2017 and 2018 NBA Drafts, and given the current state of the Nets, both could be high lottery selections. The 2017 draft also is expected to be one of the strongest in recent memory, which could explain president of basketball operations Danny Ainge’s reported hesitation to part with two of his most prized assets.
That said, the C’s are in a great position to succeed after acquiring Al Horford in free agency, and adding a player like Griffin or Westbrook could make them legitimate title contenders. Deveney threw a bit of cold water on the Westbrook rumors, however, reporting that the All-Star guard’s representatives “have been given no word of a potential deal” and that a deal is “unlikely.”
Ainge and Co. clearly have some decisions to make going forward, but it appears the Celtics will be the team to watch as trade season heats up.
Thumbnail photo via David Butler II/USA TODAY Sports Images
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