The Boston Celtics seem to be preparing for life without Kyrie Irving, but will that prompt them to make some nuclear moves on draft night?
The 2019 NBA Draft is set to take place Thursday, and the C’s currently own three first-round picks: Nos. 14, 20 and 22. Boston reportedly does not plan to use all three picks, and that kind of draft capital typically can land a decent return in trades.
So might they use those picks to move up? Like, way up?
According to ESPN draft guru Jonathan Givony, Vanderbilt guard Darius Garland is going to have a last-minute workout with the New York Knicks, who own the No. 3 overall pick. But in sharing that news, Givony slipped in a little nugget that the Celtics are among the teams considering moving up to No. 4 in the draft with the intent of taking Garland.
As of now, the New Orleans Pelicans own the No. 4 pick, which came to them from the Los Angeles Lakers in the reported Anthony Davis trade. The Pels, of course, also own the No. 1 overall pick, which they all but certainly will use on Duke big man Zion Williamson.
Givony noted that Garland, who had knee surgery back in November, has quite a few suitors.
Garland played just five games for Vanderbilt as a freshman before undergoing knee surgery, so there’s a pretty small sample size of him playing at the collegiate level. But in that stretch, he averaged 16.2 points, 2.6 assists and 3.8 rebounds per game. NBA teams clearly have been impressed with him, so it seems like many might be willing to take a chance come Thursday.