Chad Ford thinks Celtics will have hard time moving up in draft unless they include Smart
Reader: If the Celtics wanted to move up to get WCS, what team might be a target to move down?
Ford: Orlando (pick No. 5), Sacramento (No. 6), Denver (No. 7) and Detroit (No. 8) is the sweet range. All would be willing to consider trading their pick. The issue? I'm not sure what the Celtics have that would really entice them. All want an established young player that could help them now. But at the 5-8 range, they're going to have to be really good. Marcus Smart could get them there, but I think he's untouchable. Not sure there's anyone else on the Celtics roster (even when you factor in future picks the Celtics can offer) that get them that high.
There's two interesting thoughts put in here. Let's start with the easy one -
It does seem like the Celtics playoff position will make it difficult for them to get into a position where they'd be able to draft Willie Trill Cauley Stein by simply leveraging assets. A team moving back 8-10 spots at that point in the draft is just too big a drop just to gain the Clippers pick (28th). At least to me, the Nets pick presents too much upside value to relinquish in addition to the Celtics pick, but certainly isn't definitive enough to entice a team by itself. If the Celtics are to move down, I think it's much more likely that the Celtics land a player like Miles Turner whose a little less coveted.
The other interesting, and I'm sure much more controversial one, is the idea of moving Marcus Smart. On the surface, it seems preposterous - We all love Marcus Smart, right? He's the best. We've seen what he's able to do already, we dream about what that translates into three years. We think very, very highly of Marcus Smart. So it makes sense the immediate reaction to including him in a trade is, probably an internal sentence that isn't super-nice.
But if you get past the emotions, it's at least worth a little more thought. Take the names out of it - On one hand you have a proven commodity. A bull dog defensive point guard, whose shown flashes of being an average to above average shooter from distance. He is a valuable commodity today, and his potential would appear to be comparable to Kyle Lowry.
On the other hand is a 7 foot rim protector entering the draft. He's far from proven, but he's shown himself to be a very impressive, and very versatile defender. He has the potential to be a game-changing defensive force, and he happens to play position that's not only a real need for the Celtics, but one that's extremely difficult to fill with above-average talent. It's why players like Omer Asik get talked about so frequently.
That being said it's worth mentioning that Cauley-Stein will hardly be the first highly touted athletic defender to come out of the draft, and the Boston Celtics certainly have a bad taste in their mouth from the last time they gambled on one.
Personally, I'm inclined to hold onto Smart - who, for the record, happens to be my favorite Celtic in a while - mostly because I prefer having the known commodity.