After Mo Bamba said he hadn't heard from the Celtics, it seemed pretty likely the team would be selecting someone with their own pick, or perhaps even making some moves into the second round or even another year.
But today, on draft day, the rumbles that Danny Ainge and company might try to get into the lottery are bubbling up again, sparking yet another round of speculation on who they might take, and what it could take to get there.
The Athletic's Jared Weiss hears the team is interested in not just Bamba, but also Luka Doncic and Jaren Jackson Jr. should they fall to a spot Boston can reach with a package including the Sacramento Kings/Philadelphia 76ers pick the team is due next summer, and possibly Terry Rozier.
Sources: Celtics expressing interest in trading up to top 4 of NBA Draft to pursue Luka Doncic, Mo Bamba or Jaren Jackson Jr. with Terry Rozier being potentially available.
At the same time, we're hearing that the Memphis Grizzlies may be interested in attaching their pick to a deal to get off of the contract of Chandler Parsons; a third team with cap space like the Atlanta Hawks might be able to absorb that player, who can still provide some decent play when healthy despite the health issues that have plagued Chandler in recent years, particularly if enticed with a solid first-round pick in exchange.
Unfortunately, that decent play comes attached to a very large contract - about $25 million per year over the next two seasons - so the pool of teams who'd be willing to absorb his deal can't be very big barring inclusion in a sign-and-trade to Memphis, which seems unlikely given the voluntary nature of such deals and the current state of that team.
Realistically speaking, that would limit the potential partners to the Hawks, Chicago Bulls, Indiana Pacers, Sacramento Kings, Phoenix Suns, Philadelphia 76ers, Dallas Mavericks, and both teams from Los Angeles (Lakers, Clippers). Out of those teams, only the Hawks, Bulls, Kings and Mavs are clearly rebuilding over a time arc that would make sense for such a deal, so if a team does end up taking Memphis up on its offer, expect one of these four to be involved.
If Terry Rozier ends up being a part of such a deal, I would guess the presence of Dennis Schroeder on Atlanta and Dennis Smith, Jr. on Dallas to be an impediment, and with Chicago potentially having space for two max deals in 2019-20, my bet is that the Kings would be the ideal partner for such a deal. Sending Parsons their way won't be an issue for future free agency, as they'd still have room for two max deals in 2019 with only about $8 million committed the season after next. If the deal is finalized on draft night, they have plenty of salary to send back, and whatever team that might be involved can always take the route of waiting until the new league year has begun and drafted players are allowed to be traded.