The Celtics didn't reach the NBA Finals and we've grown accustomed to them being gifted high picks from other teams (no one in particular; rhymes with "Mets" though), so it's only natural to talk about top prospects out of habit.
Of course, the Celtics don't have a high pick this year because they traded their last pick from Brooklyn to the Cavaliers for Kyrie Irving. They're slated to pick 27th, but they have the assets (as usual) to basically make any move they want. If they wanted to get into the top 10 or even top 5, they could.
So it should come as no surprise that the "they love this player!" murmurs began Wednesday with Mohamed Bamba out of Texas. Sean Deveney of Sporting News reported Wednesday that the Celtics have "expressed interest" in the gigantic center and interviewed him at the combine in Chicago. Bamba is expected to go anywhere from No. 3 overall to No. 6 overall.
This is not to discredit Deveney's report -- he was told this information and it's correct -- but here's the thing about these pre-draft "interest" reports: Everyone talks to everyone, especially when it comes to combine interviews. After, reporters check in with agents to see which teams they met with, and the answer's always the same with specific teams. It's either "haven't met yet" (shout out Michael Buble) or "yep; they met and they love the player."
The Celtics should obviously do their homework on all the big men at the top of this draft. DeAndre Ayton is almost certainly Phoenix-bound, but Marvin Bagley, Jaren Jackson Jr., Wendell Carter and Bamba should at the very least receive looks from a team that could use a big man and, should they love one, move up to get one.
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Deveney simply did his diligence and conveyed that they gave Bamba a look. He also correctly pointed out that, if they wanted to, they could trade up in the draft. This will certainly turn into "the Celtics want to trade up for Mo Bamba," which Deveney did not report. Let's try not to get carried away just yet.