What to Watch for Tonight – Boston Celtics


Today is the biggest day of the NBA season for the fans of most teams, and these hours before the draft are often times the most exciting and excruciating. Will your team draft Fab Melo or will it trade picks away for Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett? Will you endure another season and circle next years ping pong date already, or will you start to check for season ticket packages that include first rights to playoff seating?

As of right now, all of these things are in play. Be optimistic, but be on high alert, many a fan have gotten their hopes up only to draft players to be named later (or never, in Philadelphia’s case).

The Boston Celtics are one of the “teams to watch” across the NBA in just a few hours. Here is a breakdown of what actions other teams might make, and how these set the ball rolling for Boston. These are set in order by selection number tonight, but keep in mind that teams can move while they are not on the clock.

Los Angeles Lakers: This is the first MAJOR move of the night, and could set the tone for the entire draft. If the Lakers take Jahil Okafor, as many initially expected them too, it will make things less interesting. Okafor is obviously a huge reach, but Boston could pursue him if the stars align. If the Lakers draft D’Angelo Russell, which @Ramonashelburne has stated is the frontrunner right now, it could really get things moving.

This is still a stretch, but Boston has looked to couple the 16th pick and a player (reports had Jared Sullinger) in a deal to Charlotte for the 9th overall pick. Now, initially this was reported as a possible move so the Celtics could acquire Myles Turner or Willie “Trill” Cauley-Stein. However, another source has said this could lead to a mega deal in which the Celtics send Marcus Smart, the 9th overall pick (from Charlotte), and the 28th overall pick to Philadelphia in exchange for the number 3 overall pick, and Jahil Okafor. Watch this space, as this would definitely be the biggest shock of the draft from a Boston standpoint.

VERDICT: If Lakers take Russell, watch for potential Boston and Philadelphia deal.

New York Knicks: Mock Drafts all over have Kristaps Porzingis going to New York at 4, but these draft boards also have Okafor going second to L.A. Let it be known that this is the absolute last place Okafor could go. If he is gone, which is likely, the Knicks will have a choice between Porzingis, Emmanuel Mudiay, and essentially Willie Cauley Stein due to the Knicks loving his potential to be a franchise center.

If the Knicks take Porzingis, it will be due to the fact that Cauley Stein going fourth would be too high, and Mudiay is too much of an unknown. If Cauley-Stein slips past New York, he could potentially fall to late lottery area which is HUGE for Boston. Boston probably can’t trade higher than the 8th or 9th pick, due to the teams above “falling in love” with their picks, but Cauley-Stein could still be an if he falls past New York.

VERDICT: If Knicks pass on Willie Cauley-Stein, watch for potential Celtics trade into 8-12 range in an attempt to acquire him.

Charlotte Hornets: The Hornets could be in position to land Devin Booker here, which they have spoken out about and are likely to do. However, look for Boston to move into this position with a trade, potentially Sullinger and the 16th pick. Some say that the 16th pick and the 28th pick may be enough to move into this slot, but it is also thought the Hornets will need a proven and tested player if they are to leave this spot.

VERDICT: This is a likely destination for Boston if Cauley-Stein slips.

Indiana Pacers: The Pacers are pretty much looking at a choice between Cauley-Stein and Murray State PG Cameron Payne if all goes accordingly towards the middle of the lottery. They need offense, but the return of Paul George may satisfy that. With Roy Hibbert’s future completely unclear, this is a likely destination for Cauley-Stein if he is available.

VERDICT: If the Celtics do not pass Indiana on the draft board, we are likely to target Myles Turner over Cauley-Stein.

Utah Jazz: Could take Myles Turner immediately following the selection of Cauley-Stein by Indiana. Boston needs to get in front of either of these two teams for a CHANCE at an elite young center with huge upside. Turner is considered a high risk and high reward type of player, with a great shooting touch and size for a big man, coupled with an awkward movement style and injury risk.

VERDICT: Utah selecting Turner and Cauley-Stein being off the board could mean the Celtics are targeting a big in Free Agency rather than the draft, thus switching draft night focus to a scoring guard/forward or Bobby Portis

Atlanta Hawks: The pick right before Boston tells you everything you need to know about draft night. If the Celtics are still sitting at 16, and the Hawks select Bobby Portis, it is safe to say the Celtics faithful will have had a disappointing night. If they pass on him, he is almost certainly the Celtics selection at 16.

VERDICT: Let’s hope they don’t take Bobby Portis.

Portland TrailBlazers: This is the only pick from the list that sits below the Celtics first of two first round selections tonight. In this slot, the 23rd pick, Portland is projected to get Justin Anderson. Watch this space simply because there are a few trade packages circulating between the two teams, and this pick could be included. Also, Justin Anderson is reportedly a player who Boston likes a lot, and could try and move up from 28 to get.

VERDICT: If you are still watching the draft at this point, I truly and honestly love you.