If the Celtics don’t make a move before the 2016 NBA Draft, they’ll likely have three first-round picks and five seconds. Tony Massarotti believes that’s an issue because they’d lose “leverage.”
“If they wait until draft night and they have all those picks, someone is going to hold them over a barrel and say, ‘you have no choice, you have to move your picks,’" said Mazz. “They need to make moves in one way, shape, or form now.”
The Celtics wouldn’t have enough roster spots to select that many rookies, and they likely wouldn’t want that many on the roster anyway, but they wouldn’t lose leverage. If anything, the opposite could be true.
If the Celtics don't make a move they'll retain their war chest of assets. But if they do trade them away, they'll lose their leverage in the event an opportunity arises to trade for a star. Even if no impactful move is on the table, the Celtics will have the flexibility of a contortionist to package picks together and move where they want within the draft.
If they wanted to move up a few picks in the middle of the first, like they did in 2013 to acquire Kelly Olynyk, they’d have the ammo to do so. Even if the Brooklyn pick ends up No. 4 or No. 5, they could, in theory, assemble a package that’s appealing enough to move into the top three for a chance at Brandon Ingram, Ben Simmons, or Dragan Bender.
Teams looking to acquire more picks aren’t going to “hold them over a barrel,” because it’s not like the Celtics have to pass on selecting college players if no trades are available.
This year’s draft is ripe with International talent the Celtics could stash overseas, so they don’t count against their salary cap or 15-man roster. Shooting guards like Furkan Korkmaz and Timothe Luwawu would be options in the middle of the first, while Juan Hernangomez, Paul Zipser, among many others, would be appealing choices in the late-first or early-second round.
It’s preferable for the Celtics to consolidate their assets and make an impactful move before Thursday’s trade deadline, but if they don’t it won’t be all doom and gloom. In reality, they could possibly control the course of the draft.