The 2014 NBA Draft is now just more than a week away and while much of the attention is focused on the higher profile picks at the top of the draft, it appears that Boston Celtics’ general manager Danny Ainge may be working on a way to acquire a second-round pick in addition to the sixth and 17th overall selections he owns in the first round.
The Celtics have been hard at work for weeks working out draft hopefuls and a look down the list of players that have come in for workouts shows a large number of prospects who are expected to go in the second round.
Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe explains that player agents are also hearing that this is a very real possibility for the Celtics on draft night.
With the players they are inviting for workouts and from what agents are hearing, fully expect the Celtics to trade to get back into the second round. The club is looking at guard prospects such as Xavier Thames, Semaj Christon, Johnson and Russ Smith. The Celtics traded their second-round pick to Dallas to swap picks last year to select Kelly Olynyk, and that pick is now a valuable No. 34
The Celtics have a track record, as recently as last year they acquired the 53rd pick in the 2013 pick from Indiana in order to select big man Colton Iverson.
The Celtics’ owners have shown a willingness to back Ainge financially if he likes a player and you would expect that to be the case again if someone has impressed the Celtics’ management in recent workouts.
The Celtics had a guard-dominated workout on June.2, with some of the more interesting names including point guards such as Nevada’s Deonte Burton, Xavier’s Semaj Christon and Louisville senior Russ Smith.
Ainge and the Celtics have commented on the depth of the point guard position in this class and were said to be impressed by a number of players during their first private workout.
More recently, on June.11, the Celtics held a big man workout that included Indiana freshman Noah Vonleh, who will be in contention for the sixth overall pick.
To compete with Vonleh the Celtics brought in a number of players who are expected to go in the second round or go undrafted, highlighted by Russian center Artem Klimenko and Baylor’s Isaiah Austin. With the lack of real centers on the Celtics’ roster both Klimenko and Austin could be an interesting pick-up for cheap in the second round.
There are a number of teams that currently hold multiple picks in the second round of the draft which could make Ainge’s plan to acquire one somewhat easier.
Philadelphia, who has five picks in the second round alone, looks the most likely, while the Minnesota Timberwolves and Milwaukee Bucks each have three.
Usually purchasing a pick in the second round is the simplest way to acquire one, but there also must be some speculation that the Celtics could be receiving one in a larger trade going down on draft night.
Whatever the case, it looks like Ainge and the Celtics will be one of the busiest groups on June. 26 and a move for a second-round pick could well be part of a much larger agenda.