Celtics Among Teams Angling for Warriors’ First-Round Draft Pick: Source

Kansas' Christian Braun, a potential target at No. 28 in the NBA draft.

Getty Kansas' Christian Braun, a potential target at No. 28 in the NBA draft.

The Warriors certainly do not have to give up the No. 28 pick in Thursday’s NBA draft. But with three young recent lottery picks—James Wiseman, Moses Moody and Jonathan Kuminga—in need of development and with an ever-mounting tax bill, Golden State is said to be willing to listen to offers for the pick, rather than adding another rookie to the mix.

Several teams are interested in it.

Among them, a source said, are the Celtics, who are without a pick in this draft after sending their pick to San Antonio in the Derrick White trade. Boston, also facing a future luxury-tax bill, has an interest in bringing in low-cost players who can contribute, and there could be a handful of polished, older players available late in this year’s first round.

The Knicks, trying to collect assets create a package that could move them into the Top 5 of the draft, where Purdue guard Jaden Ivey is the target, are also among the teams that have inquired about No. 28. Orlando, which has the first pick and is looking to collect a core that can grow together, has also asked about the pick, sources said.

The Warriors might be willing to let the pick go in favor of future interests, including multiple second-rounders. That might be tricky for the Celtics, who have traded away their second-rounders in the next three drafts, but do have two incoming second-rounders next year to offer.

Warriors Have Options at 28

ESPN analyst Bobby Marks, who was the Nets’ assistant general manager for five years, told Heavy.com that the Warriors might not be opposed to absorbing the cost of the pick, but that the team could look for second rounders, either in this draft or down the road.

Said Marks:

Maybe, do you move back where Orlando is picking, at 32 and 34? They have two picks, early seconds, does that make sense? That is what I would be looking for.

I don’t know if the tax is that big of a deal for them considering they’re probably going to extend Poole and Wiggins, and bring back Payton and Looney and pay $400 million this year, when you can have a guy on an inexpensive contract for four years instead of always signing a veteran minimum, year after year, that takes some into consideration.

Moving out of the first, it is hard to say they’d get a future (round) one because it is so late in the first, unless it is heavily protected. But can you get a good second there in the 30s and maybe a future second? Maybe there is something there where you get two in the early 20s, but you also have got 51 and 55 and those are ones that, maybe you sell off on those, maybe we get cash, maybe we get a future (second-round pick).

Polished Picks Available at No. 28

Whoever winds up with the No. 28 pick will be able to either take a swing at a prospect or land a polished veteran who might be more NBA-ready.

Solid two-way wing Christian Braun from Kansas is expected to be on the board at that point, as well as Gonzaga point guard Andrew Nembhard, who has impressed in workouts this spring. Twenty-two-year-old shot-blocking Arizona center Christian Koloko is also a potential target at No. 28.

But younger prospects like Nebraska’s Bryce McGowens, and G-League Ignite players Jaden Hardy and MarJon Beauchamp could also be of interest with the pick.

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