So much for the conjecture about the Boston Celtics trying to shop their first-round pick. When it came their turn to pick at No. 19, the Celtics drafted Avery Bradley, a combo guard out of the University of Texas. Bradley left after just his freshman season in Austin and certainly has plenty of work to do offensively before his game is NBA-ready. But he's an elite defender even at his young age. Rivers called Bradley an 'NBA ready defender' after the selection, as well as 'the guy we wanted.'
Boston still holds the No. 52 overall selection. And according to ESPN, they are trying to shop that first-round pick.
Citing "sources," ESPN reports that the Celtics would be willing to deal the 19th pick in hopes of using the guaranteed money owed to a first-round selection on a veteran free agent, and make one more legitimate run at another NBA title.
While the Celtics like some of the players who could be available at No. 19, they don't consider any of them likely to make an impact as rookies. And the team's mindset is to not use the pick on a developmental player when adding a free agent who can contribute immediately would improve their chances next season.
Apparently, GM Danny Ainge is none too interested in the possible draft selections that are expected to be there when the Celtics go on the clock. As such, any Boston movement would be based on what happens with picks No. 1-18.
Boston's desire to flip the pick will likely depend on the activity in the 18 spaces before them. The team might not be enamored with the bodies they currently project to be remaining by the time their selection comes around, but there's always the potential a lottery-type player slips within the Celtics' reach. President of basketball operations Danny Ainge is likely examining the market that exists for that No. 19 pick and considering whether the talent available in that range is outweighed by the value in moving the selection. If Boston thinks it can get the same style of player at No. 19 at the latter stages of the first round, or into the second, it makes complete sense to trade down the board.