If you thought the Boston Celtics’ offseason would be completely uneventful, you don’t know Danny Ainge.
The Celtics have expressed interest in top 2018 NBA Draft prospect Mo Bamba and interviewed the Texas star two weeks ago at the pre-draft combine in Chicago, Sporting News’ Sean Deveney reported Wednesday, citing sources.
Landing Bamba would require a draft-day trade, as the 20-year-old is expected to be selected no later than No. 6 overall by the Orlando Magic and could go as high as No. 3 to the Atlanta Hawks, per Deveney.
Boston owns the No. 27 overall pick in this year’s draft.
So, what would the Celtics need to give up to acquire a top-six pick? According to Deveney, they’d likely need to part with either Jaylen Brown or Terry Rozier, as well as their No. 27 pick in this year’s draft and at least one of their 2019 selections. Boston currently owns the Sacramento Kings’ first-round pick (protected for the No. 1 overall pick) and the Memphis Grizzlies’ first-rounder, which is top-8 protected.
Parting ways with the 21-year-old Brown, who more than doubled his scoring output during his second NBA season while blossoming into a legitimate, two-way NBA starter, seems like a steep price to pay for the C’s. But the possibility of trading Rozier is intriguing: If Boston re-signs restricted free agent Marcus Smart, the 24-year-old point guard could be the odd man out in a crowded backcourt with Kyrie Irving returning to the fold.
The Celtics also may need an interior presence with Aron Baynes and Greg Monroe hitting free agency. Bamba’s 7-foot-10 wingspan is the longest ever recorded at the NBA combine, and he averaged a double-double (12.9 points, 10.4 rebounds per game) while blocking 3.7 shots per game during his only season with the Longhorns.