For the Boston Celtics, the NBA Draft 2017 rumors are still swirling. The team has already made a deal with the Philadelphia Sixers to swap the No. 1 pick for the No. 3 pick and a future pick. However, that still gives Boston a top level draft pick. There are plenty of analysts out there that feel Danny Ainge and the Celtics have a clear prospect as their target with that No. 3 pick in Thursday’s NBA Draft. Others believe that there still could be an NBA trade in the works behind the scenes. With the rumor mill buzzing that Boston might go after Indiana Pacers’ star Paul George or the Chicago Bulls’ Jimmy Butler to bolster their roster, will a deal happen at the NBA Draft?
It was reported earlier today by Bleacher Report that ESPN‘s Chad Ford said the Celtics are leaning towards the Duke Blue Devils’ Jayson Tatum with the No. 3 pick. Reportedly, Boston’s staff ranks Tatum above Kansas’ Josh Jackson, who received a medical evaluation but didn’t work out for the team. That would seem to indicate that Tatum is the Celtics’ top choice. However, it doesn’t really indicate if the Boston Celtics are drafting him for their roster or for another interested team.
Tatum and Jackson had similar numbers after just one season of college ball. Tatum put up 16.8 points, 7.3 rebounds, and 2.1 assists per game. Jackson averaged 16.3 points, 7.4 rebounds, and 2.1 assists a game. However, it’s believed that Tatum would be an ideal fit for the Celtics’ current roster. He hit shots at a rate of 50 percent from the field, while also hitting free throws at an 85 percent rate. Jackson was much more of a liability at the line, hitting just 56.6 percent of his shots from the charity stripe. There have also been concerns over his picking up fouls, especially technicals due to the way he plays the game. So with that, it appears that the Celtics have their eye on Tatum as the more solid prospect.
Will the Celtics keep Tatum or package him with other players and picks to get a veteran star, though? The Mass Live website recently presented 10 possible trades that the Boston Celtics still could still make. Among the players mentioned were the big names involved in most of the recent NBA trade rumors, including Paul George, Jimmy Butler, and Kristaps Porzingis. While there’s still the potential for those players to change locations, it seems that right now, the Pacers and Bulls have a bit more leverage to shop for the best deal they can find. Not to mention, George could make any team that trades for him a one-and-done stop before heading to the Lakers, while Jimmy Butler becomes a free agent in just two years.
With that said, the recent rumors have claimed the Boston Celtics will keep their No. 3 pick that they wanted all along. In addition, there’s talk that the organization wants to add Gordon Hayward’s skills to the roster, which could help them contend better with the likes of the Cleveland Cavaliers in the East. One thing is for sure, and that is Boston’s management, including Danny Ainge, has a plan, which will likely reveal itself more over the summer offseason. As for a draft night trade, it wouldn’t be shocking to see either, based on the fact Boston has already made a big move.
Sports fans, will the Boston Celtics keep that No. 3 pick to draft Jayson Tatum or Josh Jackson? Will they make another trade via the NBA Draft?
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