And-Ones: Celtics, Sixers, Bender, Free Agency

The unprotected first-rounder that the Nets owe the Celtics for this year’s draft is available for the right price, Boston president of basketball operations Danny Ainge said Thursday in an appearance on the “Dale & Holley with Thornton” show on WEEI radio. That price is high, Ainge cautioned. Sean Deveney of The Sporting News wrote earlier this week that the pick was “definitely not available,” but while that might not technically be true, it sounds like that’s effectively the case for all but the most enticing offers.

“It would have to be, certainly, a very good player. And also it probably wouldn’t be someone in their 30s,” Ainge said to the radio hosts. “That would have to be a good young player, because again, even if we had a 5% or a 10% or a 15% chance at one of the top picks in the draft, that’€™s worth keeping.”

The Nets pick is No. 3 in the lottery order for now, as our Reverse Standings show, so if that position holds, it would give the Celtics a 17.8% chance at the No. 1 pick and about 50-50 odds of picking somewhere in the top three. See more from around the NBA:

  • Brett Brown understands the Sixers front office has the task of improving the team for the future, and the roster he has isn’t exactly a coach’s dream, but he would prefer that Philadelphia stands pat at the trade deadline, as he told Tom Moore of Calkins Media“All coaches beg for consistency,” Brown said. “You feel like your teaching message, your purpose, your points of emphasis have a chance to resonate and be delivered and improved upon better with time.” 
  • Versatility and an underrated toughness are some of the qualities that make Dragan Bender easily the top overseas prospect for the 2016 draft, but as the draft’s youngest prospect, his frame isn’t close to being ready to handle the NBA, according to Jonathan Givony of DraftExpress and The Vertical on Yahoo Sports. Still, he’ll almost certainly enter the draft this year, Givony hears, and his vast potential has him No. 3 in Givony’s prospect rankings.
  • The ability to match competing bids in the summer, an understanding of the player’s contract demands from the extension window, and low rookie scale salaries are reasons why soon-to-be restricted free agents are intriguing trade candidates, SB Nation’s Tom Ziller posits, offering a few names as particularly interesting cases.
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