The Boston Celtics will be on the clock at No. 30 overall in next week’s NBA draft. It actually will be their first selection in the first round since 2020.

But instead of using that pick on a player who can develop in the G League while the Celtics look to defend their title, The Ringer’s Bill Simmons wants Boston to go in a completely different, and perhaps controversial, direction.

Simmons wouldn’t mind the Celtics scooping up Bronny James, who is the son of NBA superstar LeBron James, at No. 30. The elder James is on record of wanting to play with his son, so Simmons suggested the Celtics should draft the USC product in an effort to see if the Los Angeles Lakers come calling like their Liam Neeson in “Taken.”

“Here’s my case: everybody says this draft sucks,” Simmons said on the latest episode of “The Bill Simmons Podcast,” as transcribed by the New York Post’s Erich Richter. “The Celtics are so deep… anyone in this draft isn’t going to play for them. Why not take Bronny, and you basically hold him hostage? Because all these other teams want him, right?”

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Simmons added: “I’m saying for the asset. The Lakers, you want him? Well, we took Bronny, so give us Max Christie. How bad do you want him? I would say Bronny the asset at 30 as a trade thing is worth more than anyone they could get here.”

That certainly would be a bold strategy for the Celtics. Bronny James, who averaged 4.8 points on 36.6 % shooting from the field and 26.7% from 3-point range in his only season at USC, is expected to be a late second-round pick.

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The 19-year-old has been linked to Boston in at least one mock draft, but that was with the Celtics selecting James at No. 54, which is one spot ahead of the Lakers’ second-round pick.

It’s unlikely the Celtics draft James in the first round, but not out of the question if he’s still available deep into the second round. And if James does get selected by Boston despite wanting to play with his dad in Los Angeles, it could reignite the Celtics-Lakers rivalry.

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Featured image via James Snook/USA TODAY Sports Images