NBA Trade Rumors: Celtics Smart to Explore Trading Up in 1st Round of NBA Draft
The Boston Celtics are making a smart decision by exploring the possibility of trading up in the first round of the 2012 NBA Draft in order to add a quality player for another deep playoff run next year.
According to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports, the Celtics have interest in getting into the lottery.
Boston is aggressively working to move up into the late lottery, if not higher, league sources tell Y!. Celtics own No. 21 and 22 picks.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) June 28, 2012
Boston's two biggest needs in this draft are a center who can excel at both ends of the floor and an athletic perimeter player who can dominate in transition and score at a consistent rate.
If the Celtics want to make Kevin Garnett's decision on his future a bit easier, then they will draft a center that can allow KG to play at power forward where he is most comfortable.
Which players should Boston trade up for?
Which player is the best fit for Boston?
UConn star Andre Drummond is the best center in this draft class, but the Celtics will probably need a top-five pick for the chance to draft him. Tyler Zeller of North Carolina is another center with NBA-ready skills that will likely be selected in the last portion of the lottery.
Zeller's North Carolina teammate John Henson is another good big man for the Celtics. His rebounding and shot-blocking skills would be fantastic additions to a Celtics roster that has very few players who can block shots.
Harrison Barnes, also of North Carolina, would be another good fit in Boston. His struggles in the NCAA tournament may cause him to fall a bit in the lottery, and if he does, the Celtics should consider trading up for him. He's an impressive offensive talent, and like Celtics small forward Paul Pierce, Barnes has an incredible ability to create his own shot from anywhere on the court.
Finding long-term replacements for veterans Paul Pierce, Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett is possible in this draft. Boston won't replace all three in the draft, but finding a superstar player in the first round is certainly a possibility.
Trading up is a great idea
The Celtics need a player who can make a strong impact as a rookie, and trading up for a quality big man or an athletic swingman is the best possible outcome for Boston in this draft.
Since this is a deep draft at nearly every position, there is a smaller amount of risk in trading up than there normally is.
With two first-round picks and some good players on their roster, the Celtics have the ammo needed to trade up. How far they are willing to trade up and at what price are the real questions for Boston on draft day.
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