Celtics ‘High’ On Potential Lottery Pick, Willing to Trade Up in Draft

Tari Eason

Getty Tari Eason #13 of the LSU Tigers.

The Boston Celtics do not have a first-round pick in the 2022 NBA Draft because they traded it in their deal to acquire Derrick White from the San Antonio Spurs on February 10, 2022. With their first-rounder gone, Boston has rights to only the 53rd overall selection in the draft. However, it appears that their interest in LSU forward Tari Eason may be high enough that they’re willing to trade their younger players to draft him.

Zach Harper of The Athletic revealed that the Celtics are interested in drafting Eason and are willing to dangle some of their younger guys to get him in the first round. Harper also said the higher up in the draft order they get, the better their chances are of getting Eason because the Houston Rockets are also high on him and may take him with the 17th overall pick in the draft.

“Sources have told me the Celtics are high on him and could be looking to move into the first round to grab Eason by dangling a young role player like Payton Pritchard or Aaron Nesmith. They may have to get above No. 17 to do so, because it’s also believed Houston loves Eason at that selection if they end up keeping that pick.”

Celtics Might Kick the Tires on John Collins

Harper also revealed in the same article that Boston could have some interest in John Collins of the Atlanta Hawks, though he points out that working out a trade for the 24-year-old center would be difficult.

“There’s also some chatter the Celtics could be interested in a deal for Collins. Al Horford is 36 years old, and he has one more year on his deal, which is non-guaranteed. As great as he was for them in the postseason, the Celtics shouldn’t plan on him being a viable part of this rotation for the long term. Collins is only 24 years old, and putting him with Robert Williams III and Jayson Tatum in the frontcourt would give the Celtics a young, dynamic trio up front. The problem is … who do you give up for Collins in this scenario? It isn’t Horford.”

Harper points out that while Jaylen Brown alone would be enough to entice the Hawks to pull the trigger on a deal, Brown has proven to be the superior player, which would make trading him for Collins seem like an overpay on Boston’s end.

“Would Jaylen Brown be in the mix here? This is where it gets quite complicated. Brown is a far better player than Collins is. Unless the Celtics have a guarantee at the point guard position that moves Marcus Smart to the two, finding some version of a Collins-for-Brown swap doesn’t make a lot of sense. Brown is from Georgia, so it would be a nice homecoming for him. My guess is Boston’s to-do list doesn’t have “get Brown back home” as a high priority. The Celtics were two wins away from a championship, and tinkering is a better operation here than an overhaul.”

Celtics Looking to Acquire Late First-Round Pick

The Celtics are exploring every avenue they can to acquire a first-round pick in the 2022 NBA Draft. Among the 2022 first-round picks potentially available to acquire comes from their most recent playoff opponent, the Golden State Warriors.

According to Heavy’s Sean Deveney, the Celtics are among the teams interested in acquiring the 28th overall pick from the reigning champions. Because Golden State already has young talent to develop, like James Wiseman, Jonathan Kuminga, and Moses Moody, as well as a high luxury tax bill to pay, they are listening to offers from interested suitors regarding their first-round pick.

Besides the Celtics, the New York Knicks have also inquired about the availability of the no. 28 pick.

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