With an 8-25 record so far this season, the Nets currently hold the top spot in our 2016/17 NBA Reverse Standings. If Brooklyn remains in that position at season’s end, the team’s pick will be a guaranteed top-four selection, with a 25% chance of it being No. 1 overall. Nonetheless, the Celtics, who have the rights to that pick, will listen to offers for it, according to A. Sherrod Blakely of CSNNE.com (Twitter link).
General manager Danny Ainge indicated today that, while nothing is “close or imminent,” he has had some trade calls, per Blakely. This year’s deadline is about six weeks away, so Ainge has plenty of time to continue scouring the market and fielding inquiries.
The Celtics don’t technically hold the Nets’ first-round pick in the 2017 NBA draft, but they have the ability to swap first-rounders with Brooklyn, and given how the first half of the season has played out, they’ll certainly be taking advantage of those swap rights. Boston’s own pick – which the Nets would receive – currently projects to be No. 23.
If they were to deal away the rights to the Nets’ 2017 pick, the Celtics would be left without a first-rounder in this year’s draft, and the ’17 class is expected to be a deep and talented one. Still, Boston would be well-stocked for future years — the team owns the Nets’ 2018 first-round pick outright, and is owed first-rounders from the Clippers and Grizzlies in 2019.
The Celtics have been linked to a number of potential trade candidates already this season. According to multiple reports though, the team is intent on finding a deal for a star player, rather than settling for a complementary piece, so it makes sense that the Nets’ pick is in play. If Ainge and the C’s are unable to land that sort of impact player, they could circle back to someone like Andrew Bogut or Nerlens Noel closer to the deadline, but Brooklyn’s 2017 pick would almost certainly be off the table in that sort of deal.