Celtics, Magic, Wizards Exploring Trading Up In Draft?

The Celtics, Magic, and Wizards are among the teams exploring the possibility of moving up from their current spots in the first round of the draft, league sources tell Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer.

Boston, which currently holds the 14th, 26th, and 30th overall selections, have offered all three of those picks in an effort to move up into the middle of the lottery, but no one is biting so far, according to O’Connor.

Orlando has the 15th overall pick and is also trying to move into the middle of the lottery, per O’Connor, though it’s not clear what the club is offering to sweeten the pot for potential trade partners. The Magic do hold all of their future first-rounders and could make one of those available if they want to move up badly enough.

As for the Wizards, they’re currently set to pick at No. 9, but O’Connor hears they’re angling to move up from there. General manager Tommy Sheppard acknowledged immediately after August’s draft lottery that trading up would be a possibility for his club, though it’s unclear whether Washington is targeting a specific player or spot. O’Connor wonders if a high-upside prospect like LaMelo Ball might pique the Wizards’ interest, especially if he slips beyond the top few picks.

Plenty of teams picking in the top half of the lottery, including the Timberwolves (No. 1), Warriors (No. 2), and Bulls (No. 4) have reportedly looked into trading down or would have interest in doing so. In other words, there should be options for the Celtics, Magic, Wizards, and any other teams that would like to move up.

However, given this year’s unusual pre-draft process and the perception that the 2020 class lacks star power, it may be a challenge for teams to agree on fair value for swapping picks separated by a few spots. The draft is still more than two weeks away and the league’s transaction moratorium has yet to be lifted, so we’ll have to wait a little longer to see how much movement there is in the first round.

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