Rumors have been swirling about the Boston Celtics, and specifically the organization having its eyes on trading first-round picks in the 2020 NBA Draft.
Now, we’re not going to say it would be a terrible idea for the Celtics to trade those picks — No. 14, 26 and 30. It wouldn’t. But they shouldn’t do it for another player in the draft.
The reality is the Celtics aren’t all that far away from competing for an NBA title now. And trading for a higher draft pick, even a top-10 selection, won’t solve Boston’s problems.
There are two major reasons why the Celtics shouldn’t do so.
First and foremost, teams holding top-3 or top-5 picks aren’t going to let Celtics’ president of basketball operations Danny Ainge fleece them. Ainge has pulled the wool over the eyes of many, benefiting the Celtics in the process of course, but it has made opposing general managers cautious when dealing with him.
With that said, teams drafting in the top-3 like the Minnesota Timberwolves, Golden State Warriors and Charlotte Hornets could be looking for a Celtics player to replace Boston’s No. 23 or, at the very least, No. 30 selection. Imagine a team asking for Marcus Smart/Jaylen Brown and the No. 14 for the No. 2? Obviously, that’s not a good way to improve the Celtics’ current roster.
Another reason the C’s shouldn’t trade up in the draft is, again, the fact they’re a player away, but that player isn’t a rookie who is going to take two, three, four years to get acquainted to NBA rigors. Instead, that player is an NBA veteran or, at the very least, has proven to be an impactful piece on an NBA team.
Could the Cleveland Cavaliers be willing to trade someone like Larry Nance Jr. for the No. 26? Could Detroit Pistons’ Luke Kennard or Sacramento Kings’ Harry Giles be available for a combination of picks? Or would Boston be able to land a bigger fish like Bradley Beal from the Washington Wizards for all three first-rounders and another player outside of Boston’s Core Four of Jayson Tatum, Kemba Walker, Smart and Brown?
The possibilities, as they say, are endless. But the decision to trade up in the NBA Draft shouldn’t be among them.