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


Tari Eason #13 of the LSU Tigers.

The Boston Celtics have no first-round pick in the 2022 NBA draft because they traded them in their deal to acquire Derrick White from the San Antonio Spurs on February 10, 2022. With their first-rounder gone, Boston has only rights to the 53rd overall pick in the draft. However, it appears that their interest in LSU forward Tari Eason is high enough that they are willing to trade their younger players to draft him.

The Athletic’s Zach Harper revealed the Celtics are interested in drafting Eason and willing to dangle some of their younger boys to get him through to the first round. Harper also said the higher they are in the draft order, the better their chances of getting Eason, as the Houston Rockets also rank high on him and potentially pick him in a 17th overall draft pick.

“Sources have told me the Celtics could be standing high on him and trying to move into the first round to nab Eason by dangling a young role-player like Payton Pritchard or Aaron Nesmith. They may have to get to that via 17th place because it also thinks Houston will love Eason on that pick if they keep that pick.

Celtics could get in the way of John Collins

Harper also revealed in the same article that Boston may have some interest in the Atlanta Hawks’ John Collins, although he cautioned that it would be difficult to work out a trade for the 24-year-old center.

“There are also rumors that the Celtics may be interested in a deal for Collins. Al Horford is 36 years old and he has one year left on his contract which is not guaranteed. As great as he was for them in the postseason, the Celtics shouldn’t plan on him being a viable part of that rotation long-term. Collins is just 24 and putting him up front with Robert Williams III and Jayson Tatum would give the Celtics a young, dynamic trio at the helm. The problem is…who are you giving up for Collins in this scenario? It’s not Horford.”

Harper points out that Jaylen Brown alone would be enough to get the Hawks into a deal, but Brown has proven to be the superior player, which would make trading for Collins seem like an overpayment on Boston’s end.

“Would Jaylen Brown be involved here? This is where it gets pretty complicated. Brown is a far better player than Collins. Unless the Celtics have a guarantee on the point guard position that moves Marcus Smart to the two, finding a version of a Collins-for-Brown trade doesn’t make much sense. Brown is from Georgia so it would be a nice homecoming for him. My guess is that Boston’s “bringing home Brown” to-do list isn’t a high priority. The Celtics were two wins away from a championship and tinkering is better than an overhaul here.”

Celtics looking to acquire late first-round pick

The Celtics are exploring every possible avenue to earn a first-round pick in the 2022 NBA draft. Among the potentially available 2022 first-round picks is their recent playoff opponent, the Golden State Warriors.

According to Heavy’s Sean Deveney, the Celtics are among teams interested in taking 28th place overall from the reigning champions. With Golden State already having young talent to develop like James Wiseman, Jonathan Kuminga and Moses Moody, as well as a hefty luxury tax bill to pay, they are listening to offers from interested applicants regarding their first-round picks.

In addition to the Celtics, the New York Knicks have also picked up after the #28’s availability.

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