Why the Celtics should acquire a second-round pick
The Boston Celtics currently hold just one selection (No. 27) in the 2018 NBA Draft. That's the fewest picks the Celtics have had in a draft in recent memory. Last year they had four draft picks, in 2016 they had a whopping eight picks, and in 2015 they also had four. In fact, it's been half a decade since Boston held just one selection in the 2013 draft.
That puts GM Danny Ainge in quite a precarious situation. Restricted free agent guard Marcus Smart could potentially receive an offer that Boston simply can't match. Kyrie Irving and Al Horford can opt out of the final year of their respective deals in 2019. Gordon Hayward can opt out in 2020, the same offseason Jaylen Brown is up for his rookie extension. And then it's Jayson Tatum's payday a year after that.
Could Boston buy a second-rounder on draft night?
Barring more big trades, which isn't something to put past Trader Danny, the Celtics are due to spend a fair bit of capital over the next three seasons.
Boston will likely move deep into the luxury tax to retain their star power. That will put them in a tough situation to land free agents due to cap space. Ainge has expressed his desire in the past to continue stockpiling draft picks so that the Celtics can have cost-controlled talent under contract for multiple seasons due to their lack of future cap space.
The Celtics recent success with second-round picks could play into their plan to acquire one. Semi Ojeleye became a crucial defensive matchup in the playoffs. Jabari Bird and Kadeem Allen spent some time with the main club in Boston. Abdel Nader signed a four-year deal with the C's.
By drafting players, Boston can retain their Bird Rights to make salary negotiations more favorable in the future. If an NBA team keeps a drafted player for at least three seasons, they can go over the salary cap to resign them. There are also quite a few quality players who could be around early in the second-round.
But how much would a second-round selection cost the Celtics?
The Chicago Bulls infamously sold their No. 38 overall pick, Jordan Bell, to the Golden State Warriors in 2017 for $3.5 million in cash considerations.The Washington Wizards received just under $2 million for sending Jordan Clarkson (No. 46 pick) to the Los Angeles Lakers in 2014.
Boston and Golden State are among multiple NBA teams looking to acquire more picks in the draft. The Celtics could use some of their lower-end assets or cash considerations to unearth another gem.
Currently, prospects such as Anfernee Simmons, Josh Okogie, Grayson Allen, Bruce Brown, and Dzanan Musa are projected to be available in the late first-round or early second-round.
Boston has been rumored to have interest in all five of these prospects. Brown has visited the Celtics twice during the pre-draft process. Brad Stevens picture - Darren McCollester/Getty Images North Amerca