Boston Celtics

NBA Draft Rumors: Boston Celtics Must Trade into Lottery

BOSTON - JUNE 17:  Head coach Doc Rivers and Executive Director of Basketball Operations Danny Ainge of the Boston Celtics celebrate after defeating the Los Angeles Lakers in Game Six of the 2008 NBA Finals on June 17, 2008 at TD Banknorth Garden in Boston, Massachusetts. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
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Ian HanfordFeatured ColumnistJune 28, 2012

The Boston Celtics hold picks No. 21 and 22 in Thursday night's NBA Draft.

According to Adrian Wajnarowski of Yahoo! Sports, the Celtics front office isn't satisfied.

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

Two first-round selections would be a blessing for most teams. If the Celtics have to keep theirs, it won't be the end of the world, but in their situation, one marquee talent is better than two rotation players.

I'm not saying you can't find a sleeper at No. 21. You can—and that's especially true in this year's deep class—but it's less likely.

If the Celtics stay in their current position they should take some combination of Royce White, Andrew Nicholson and Fab Melo. They need size, and these three players fit their draft value. White and Nicholson would bring additional scoring to the Celtic lineup, and Melo will be a physical defensive presence in the paint.

But none of these players are future NBA stars.

Boston, realistically, isn't going to move into the top 10. Its picks are its biggest asset. And I can't see another team giving up its top-ten pick for that price.

The Celtics should shoot for anywhere between 11-14. Meyers Leonard, Tyler Zeller, Terrence Ross and Terrence Jones could all be available. They would all fill a need and make an impact next season.

The Boston brass must find Rajon Rondo a capable running mate for the future. Avery Bradley is scrappy but limited offensively. E'twaun Moore is unproven, and Jeff Green's health is a question mark.

They need to find an exciting offensive-minded player in this year's draft. This is an easy way to do it.

In 2007, Danny Ainge acquired Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett on draft night. He isn't going to find that kind of talent in this year's talent pool, but he should certainly try.

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