The Celtics face long odds in their quest to deal for a lottery pick, writes A. Sherrod Blakely of CSNNE.com. Boston is expected to continue its effort right through draft night, but trading into the top 14 is much tougher than fans realize. Blakely points out that draft-night trades to enter lottery territory have only happened five times in the last decade. “It takes two to trade,” said Austin Ainge, the Celtics’ director of player personnel. “We can’t force that on anyone else, nor is that always smart. The [New England] Patriots have done very well moving back.” If the Celtics are able to swing a deal, Blakely writes that they would be interested in frontcourt help, possibly Kentucky’s Willie Cauley-Stein or Texas’ Myles Turner.
There’s more news from the Eastern Conference:
- The Celtics could pull off a surprise and draft a point guard with one of their two first-round picks despite selecting Marcus Smart last June, Mark Murphy of the Boston Herald speculates. They could consider Jerian Grant, Delon Wright or Tyus Jones with the No. 16 overall pick, while Terry Rozier might be an option at No. 28, Murphy adds.
- The Bucks have made a last-minute decision to work out UNLV’s Christian Wood, tweets Gery Woelfel of The Journal Times. Wood’s workout session will take place Monday. Milwaukee holds the 17th pick in Thursday’s draft.
- The Cavaliers‘ J.R. Smith is thankful to be in Cleveland, but that doesn’t guarantee he will opt in this summer, according to Joe Vardon of the Northeast Ohio Media Group. Smith, who has a $6.4MM player option for next season, went from the bottom of the league to the NBA Finals thanks to a January 5th trade that got him out of New York. He was effective during the regular season, but had an up-and-down performance in the playoffs. Smith has stated that he would like to opt out and then re-sign with Cleveland.
Dana Gauruder contributed to this post.