Celtics Rumors: Trade Possibilities with Draft Approaching

Steve Silverman@@profootballboyFeatured ColumnistJune 23, 2015

Boston Celtics president Danny Ainge has two first-round draft picks at his disposal.
Boston Celtics president Danny Ainge has two first-round draft picks at his disposal.Stephan Savoia/Associated Press

The Boston Celtics have been quiet in recent days with the NBA draft approaching. However, that doesn't mean they are content to sit quietly with the 16th and 28th picks and then go about their business.

Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated reported Monday that the Celtics are trying to make an aggressive move to improve the team.

Mannix tweeted that an NBA executive told him the Celtics are one of the few teams that are "thinking big" with the draft coming up Thursday night from the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.

With that event as the backdrop, it seems likely the Celtics want to use their two first-round picks as part of a package that would allow them to get a higher pick. Mannix did not speculate on what the Celtics could receive, but an "aggressive" trade scenario could include a high draft pick and an established player.

Gery Woelfel of the Racine Journal Times published an item in the Bonus Shots section of his June 10 NBA column that pertained to the Celtics' draft intentions. He said NBA sources had the Celtics looking to get into the top 10, with their No. 16 and No. 28 picks as the primary bait. 

How high they can draft with those two picks serving as the enticement has not been determined, but it seems unlikely a top-three or top-four pick would be surrendered. A pick from No. 5 through No. 10 seems more realistic at this point.

Celtics head coach Brad Stevens
Celtics head coach Brad StevensCharles Krupa/Associated Press

A rumor published by Marc Stein of ESPN.com had the Los Angeles Lakers as an ardent trade suitor for All-Star center DeMarcus Cousins of the Sacramento Kings.

Kings vice president Vlade Divac told Ailene Voisin of the Sacramento Bee that the team is not interested in trading Cousins. However, that does not mean Divac won't pick up the phone and listen to trade offers. The Kings currently have the No. 6 pick in the draft, and Divac would like to add a long and athletic shot-blocker to complement Cousins as well as more three-point shooting.

That means the Kings are in the market to upgrade via trade in addition to the draft. Sports Illustrated reported that the Celtics and the Denver Nuggets have been mentioned in previous rumors for Cousins, but Divac's denial would seemingly apply to them as well.

However, general managers always have the option of changing their minds, especially when the head coach is pushing for such a trade. Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports reported Tuesday morning that George Karl has an "intense desire" to trade Cousins.

Cousins and Karl reportedly have a poor relationship, and that would be the impetus for the trade.