That said, Ainge has been known to be aggressive, and the Celtics president of basketball operations made it clear Boston still will do its due diligence leading up to the Feb. 7 NBA trade deadline.
The Celtics have no shortage of assets — from talented young players to a bevy of draft picks — so they theoretically could go in a number of different directions in the coming weeks. They ultimately might decide to stay the course, though, and do their heavy lifting this summer.
The Celtics could have as many as four first-round draft picks in 2019, with two having the potential to be lottery selections. But league sources recently told Sporting News’ Sean Deveney that none of Boston’s picks are expected to be available at the deadline.
Here are the first-round draft picks the Celtics could end up with in 2019:
— Their own draft pick
— Sacramento Kings’ pick (unless it’s the No. 1 pick, in which case it goes to the Philadelphia 76ers and Boston receives Philly’s pick)
— Memphis Grizzlies’ pick (top-eight protected in 2019, top-six protected in 2020, unprotected in 2021)
— Los Angeles Clippers’ pick (top-14 protected in 2019 and in 2020 — if not conveyed by 2020, then Boston receives second-rounder in 2022)
Keeping the picks now would allow Boston to be more aggressive this offseason, when New Orleans Pelicans superstar Anthony Davis might be among the players available on the trade market. The Celtics, of course, have long been linked to Davis, a five-time All-Star who’s established himself as one of the NBA’s best players since being selected No. 1 overall in 2012.