NBA draft rumours: Celtics open to trade talks involving these players

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Report: C Considering Trade In NBA Draft, Could Move These Players Originally Appeared On NBC Sports Boston

The Boston Celtics have never gone consecutive years without a first-round pick in the NBA Draft. Could Brad Stevens keep this streak alive?

The Celtics own only one second-round pick in the 2022 NBA Draft (No. 53 overall) after dealing their first-round pick to the San Antonio Spurs in the Derrick White trade. But there have been rumors that Boston may be looking to trade in the first round.

Bleacher Report’s Jake Fischer added to those rumblings on Wednesday by listing the Celtics, Indiana Pacers, Detroit Pistons and Danny Ainge’s Utah Jazz as four teams “seeking to acquire picks in the second half of the first round.”

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What would it take for Boston to jump from No. 53 to a pick in the 20s or late teens? Fischer reports that the C’s “seem willing to start conversations about rotating players like Grant Williams and Payton Pritchard, but only for the right price.”

The Celtics should be thinking very hard about a prospect of parting ways with a rotation player, even if it’s a reserve like Pritchard or potentially Aaron Nesmith. This team is coming off two NBA championship wins, and while the bench unit struggled in the NBA Finals against the Golden State Warriors, Stevens stressed the importance of roster cohesion during his press conference earlier this week.

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“With our group in particular, it’s not so much about blindly acquiring talent as it is about building a team,” Stevens said.

Again, there is talent to be had in the back half of the first round. This is where the Celtics found starting center Robert Williams (#27 overall in 2018) and key reserves Grant Williams (#22 overall in 2019) and Pritchard (#26 overall in 2020) .

Ringer’s Kevin O’Connor named LSU’s Tari Eason — a versatile winger who can defend multiple positions and is a solid playmaker — as a potential first-round target for the Cs if they advance. Boston could also be looking to land a big, athletic man like Arizona’s Christian Koloko, who just won Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year and could be an attractive replacement for Robert Williams.

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Given Grant Williams’ playoff contributions and his strong fit into the Celtics’ system, it seems unlikely that Boston will move him unless he gets a very strong comeback package. It looks like the Cs are at least exploring their options, so fans might want to tune in to the first round at 8 p.m. ET Thursday night to see if Stevens has a trick up his sleeve.

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