Celtics could potentially trade up to #8 in this draft if they so desire
People love to say it's not that easy to trade up in a draft. Heard that when lamenting that Tyler Herro was taken one spot ahead of the Celtics pick in the last draft. But the reality is unless you are trying to trade up to draft a Tim Duncan, Kevin Durant, LeBron James, or Zion Williamson type at the very top of the draft, it is actually not that hard to trade up. Most often it means you simply have to include another 1st with your pick.
Now future first rounders are very valuable currency> They are assets that don't take up a roster spot and don't count against your cap. And if you get draft someone good with the pick well then you have a young, cost controlled player on a team friendly deal. So the Celtics shouldn't just jump to trade up to #8 unless it makes sense, but if they are so inclined, there is a reported seller in the New York Knicks.
At No. 8, the Knicks have staged internal talks about swapping back with a team in the Nos. 12-15 range to gain a young player in his rookie contract while still making a lottery pick.
The Knicks reportedly want either LaMelo Ball or James Wiseman and neither is likely to still be on the board by #8. Honestly with no conference tournaments nor an NCAA tournament, my knowledge of this draft is shaky right now. By the time draft week rolls around and especially draft day, I'll have a much better idea of who would be worth trading up for and at what cost.
It sounds basic, but typically during the draft if you just monitor the players who were expected to be drafted higher based on multiple final edition mock drafts you have a great idea who the Celtics should select. Think Brandon Clarke, Bol Bol, Michael Porter Jr, etc. The Celtics don't often select these players as Ainge's draft board is very different than everyone else's.
So this post isn't to say who the Celtics should be targeting at #14 or who it would be worth trading up to #8 for. Just a report that at least one considerably higher pick is in play. Cap wise the Celtics would be much better off adding a real impact piece in the draft than trading the pick (or picks) for a veteran who would likely be on the books for considerably more per year and limit the Celtics roster flexibility.
Just for reference here's Tankathon's big board, but it appears they haven't updated it in 2 months:
And nbadraft.net's big board which unfortuanely also hasn't been updated since August:
Celtics 1st round draft picks since Danny Ainge took over way back in 2003:
2003: Troy Bell (16) and Dahntay Jones (20) were traded to Memphis for Marcus Banks (13) + Kendrick Perkins (27)
2004: Al Jefferson (15), Delonte West (24), Tony Allen (25)
2005: Gerald Green (18)
2006: Randy Foye (7, traded to Portland for Sebastian Telfair), Rajon Rondo (21, acquired from Phoenix)
2007: Jeff Green (5, traded to Seattle for Ray Allen)
2008: J.R. Giddens (30)
2009: - None -
2010: Avery Bradley (19)
2011: Marshon Brooks (25, traded for JaJuan Johnson (27)
2012: Jared Sullinger (21), Fab Melo (22)
2013: Lucas Nogueira (16), traded with two 2nd round picks for Kelly Olynyk (13))
2014: Marcus Smart (6), James Young (17)
2015: Terry Rozier (16), R.J. Hunter (28)
2016: Jaylen Brown (3), Guerschon Yabusele (16), Ante Zizic (23)
2017: Jayson Tatum (3)
2018: Robert Williams (27)
2019: Romeo Langford (14), Grant Williams (22)
The Celtics have drafted some players that stuck in the NBA for a bit in the 2nd round under Ainge's tenure, but no All-Star types or anyone of significant consequence. I suppose the best were Etwaun Moore, Glen Davis, Ryan Gomes, and Semih Erden.