Sunday, May 31, 2015

Celtics will look to move up in Draft

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With hopes of acquiring talent this summer, the Celtics will try to trade up in next month's NBA Draft in order to bring in one of its most promising athletes.

Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge told that he is interested in moving up in the draft but doesn't have his eyes on any particular player.
"There are some guys I'd like to acquire, sure," Ainge said. [CSNNE]
One team that Ainge will definitely be calling on draft day will be the New York Knicks. Rumors about the Knicks willing to listen to trade offers for their 4th overall pick almost immediately picked up after the NBA lottery was announced.

But Ainge knows that trading up is easier said than done.
"It's hard to move up or ask a team to move down until they know who they like," Ainge said. [CSNNE]
Celtics have the 16th and 28th picks in the first round. Ainge can package those picks along with a player and send them over to New York in exchange for the Knicks' 4th overall pick. If I'm Danny Ainge here's what I would offer the Knicks:

Kelly Olynyk
16th overall pick
28th overall pick

New York's 4th pick: Draft Willie Cauley-Stein

Three of the Celtics' biggest weaknesses:
1) Rebounding
2) Defending the paint
3) Defending the pick-and-roll

Willie Cauley-Stein can do all three of those things. When it comes to defending the pick-and-roll there isn't another prospect in this year's draft who can do it better than Cauley-Stein. This seven-footer can also block shots and defend the paint. He can rebound, won't pull down a lot of boards and he's not a scorer, two reasons why he will fall out of the top three, but his defense is what makes him a top five pick.

The Knicks will have to pay Olynyk a little over $2 million next season but because of the team option in his contract they can choose to let him go next summer or bring him back for another season at $3 million. The Knicks will have to use a trade exception that they got out of the Iman Sumpert and J.R. Smith deal to Cleveland in order for the deal to go through. The Celtics may need to throw in future picks or possibly another player in order for the Knicks to agree to a deal but Celtics' offer will focus around the two first round picks and Olynyk.

Cauley-Stein is the reason why Ainge wants to trade up. Olynyk is the best player to offer the Knicks (not including players the Celtics should keep) in my opinion, because of his offense. Olynyk is a seven-foot power forward/center who can shoot from outside, much like Andrea Bargnani - who will be a free agent this summer. Bargnani has been a disappointment in New York and hasn't been playing like the player he was in Toronto.

The chances of this deal actually going down are slim to none. Much like the Celtics, the Knicks are going through a rebuilding phase and will look to sign a free agent this summer to place alongside Carmelo Anthony. However, New York doesn't have a first round pick in next year's draft and may want to consider drafting two first-round players this summer.

If the Celtics can't strike a deal with the Knicks, the Celtics will most likely end up sticking with their picks, drafting at 16th and 28th. There aren't a lot of teams willing to trade their lottery pick, and if the Celtics want to draft a player like Cauley-Stein, the Knicks are they're best bet.

Josue Pavon
Twitter: Joe_Sway10

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