Take a good look at the NBA’s draft order for Thursday's NBA Draft. Now, forget the whole thing.
The chances are strong that a good number of the teams slotted to pick where they are currently will be picking from a different spot – or picking in that same spot but for another team – once things really get underway in Brooklyn.
We’ve heard plenty of rumors leading up to Thursday, including the increased likelihood that Sacramento’s DeMarcus Cousins will be on the move, the interest the Knicks have in trading out of the No. 4 spot, and the aggressiveness of the Celtics as they try to make something happen.
What we do know: Karl-Anthony Towns and Jahlil Okafor are the likely top two picks in this year’s Draft. Everything else appears to be up for grabs.
“Right now, we don’t know where we are drafting, what position we’ll be in,” Celtics President of Basketball Operations Danny Ainge told reporters on Tuesday. “There’s going to be a lot of activity on draft night. So stay tuned. Our draft pick may have been traded before we even make the pick. So I’m excited about the draft. It’s going to be fun.”
Some experts have predicted International prospect Kristaps Porzingis to go as high as No. 3 after very strong pre-draft workouts. Kentucky’s Willie Cauley-Stein has been slated anywhere from No. 5 to No. 11.
Could the success of the Warriors with Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson prompt a team to take Georgia State sharpshooter R.J. Hunter earlier than some think? There are still tons of questions to be answered in what has turned out to be a deep draft – deeper than last year’s and expected to be deeper than next year’s, too.
We can be sure the Celtics will have their hand in something. Ainge has already gone on the record as saying he doesn’t want to make all four Celtics picks. And the C’s have been quite active in recent drafts.
Who can forget the franchise-altering trade in 2013 that sent Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett to Brooklyn? They also traded up for Kelly Olynyk that day. In 2011, they swapped first round picks with the Nets, acquiring JaJuan Johnson (hey, nobody said they always make good trades).
The Celtics have some talent on their roster, currently, but nobody is untouchable. Add in all the assets they’re able to package in a deal and it’s no wonder they’ve been on the phones.
“Just there’s a lot of talk; a lot more talk,” Ainge told reporters “I guess I’m hopeful that there’s some movement. We have a lot of things going on, a lot of possibilities. But yeah, usually nothing happens. But we’re hopeful.”