Shocker of shockers, Danny Ainge is being aggressive.
Here are the assets the Celtics have, in order (my opinion) of value
- Rajon Rondo
- Draft picks (a combination of 21 & 22, plus future #1’s)
- Avery Bradley
- Paul Pierce
- JaJuan Johnson/E’Twaun Moore
Yes, I ranked Pierce 4th because of his age and contract, I’m sure other teams would see more value in everything above him. I don’t expect him to be moved. And there’s no player in this draft worth moving Rondo for. Even if Danny was considering trading his #1 asset, it wouldn’t be to move up in this draft.
If Danny is trying to move into the top 14, it’s possible to get a 10-15 pick in exchange for Boston’s two picks and maybe the second rounder. Let’s look at the teams at 10-14 (New Orleans, Portland, Houston, Phoenix, Milwaukee).
New Orleans is in flat out rebuilding mode. Trading down for picks and/or a young player would make sense since they’re looking to (a) collect assets that they can flip into better players and (b) fill a number of holes as they try to build a team.
Portland is trying to build around LaMarcus Aldridge, so they might be looking for an impact player, either via the draft or trade. If anything, I’d see Portland either trading up to get a good player, or trading out in exchange for one. I don’t think they make sense as a trading partner for Boston.
Houston is trying to accumulate picks in a bid for Dwight Howard, Josh Smith, or other impact-type player. I feel like they’re trying to move guys for higher picks too so they have a better package to offer. I’m not sure they’re looking to move down, but they’d also potentially be getting 2 picks.
Phoenix is rebuilding. If Danny sees a guy he wants at 13, I see Phoenix agreeing to a swap of 13 for 21 and 22. In this draft, you have equal quality players, and if Phoenix sees that it can get two decent young guys in exchange for one slightly better guy, then why not? For Danny, if he sees a Perry Jones (for example) available at 13 and not at 21, then he might do that.
Milwaukee is in that weird “purgatory” where they may be trying to win now (with Monta Ellis and Brandon Jennings, plus some other decent players) but also maybe thinking about blowing it up too. Maybe a first and second rounder can convince them to part with 14?
I’ll repeat that nothing Danny does tonight will shock me (well, unless he trades Rondo). Ainge is an aggressive guy on draft day. He will try whatever he can to move up in this draft to get a better player, but he won’t go crazy, either.