Celtics

NBA Rumors: Celtics eyeing trade for No. 4 pick to take Darius Garland

NBA Rumors: Celtics eyeing trade for No. 4 pick to take Darius Garland

The Boston Celtics and their three first-round picks could be a wild card at the 2019 NBA Draft.

The Celtics are one of three teams considering trading up to the No. 4 overall pick in Thursday's draft with the intention of selecting Vanderbilt point guard Darius Garland, ESPN's Jonathan Givony reported Tuesday.

The New York Knicks own the No. 3 pick, and Givony reports they're seriously considering taking Garland over Duke's R.J. Barrett. Garland suffered a meniscus injury just five games into his lone season at Vanderbilt but was a five-star recruit out of high school who's drawn comparisons to Damian Lillard.

ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski recently reported that Boston would rather not use all of its 2019 draft picks, so president of basketball operations Danny Ainge could solve that problem by packaging some combination of the No. 14, No. 20, No. 22 and No. 51 picks to land the No. 4 pick from the New Orleans Pelicans.

Garland averaged 16.2 points per game on 58.1 percent shooting in those five games for the Commodores and would fill a need for the Celtics if Kyrie Irving and/or Terry Rozier depart in free agency.

Update (3:45 p.m.): Another team has jumped into the mix for the No. 4 pick. According to The Ringer's Kevin O'Connor, the Indiana Pacers have discussed a trade with the Pelicans for the fourth overall pick. The C's Eastern Conference foe is looking to pair shooting guard Victor Oladipo with a playmaking point guard, as both Darren Collison and Cory Joseph are off Indiana's books. 

O'Connor reports that New Orleans is open to trading the pick — which it acquired in the Anthony Davis blockbuster trade — for either a draft pick-centered package or a player-based offer. The Celtics have both players and draft picks, but unless they value De'Andre Hunter or Darius Garland particularly highly, it's unlikely they part with the Memphis pick or a key player like Marcus Smart.  

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Tacko's dunk contest assist comes up short for runner-up (again) Aaron Gordon

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Tacko's dunk contest assist comes up short for runner-up (again) Aaron Gordon

CHICAGO — Aaron Gordon was down to his final dunk, in need of a 49 or better to win his first slam dunk contest. 

He wanted to do something special, like dunk on a big man. 

Former Celtic Shaquille O'Neal was nearby, but he declined. 

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Gordon took a quick glimpse into the crowd and saw Boston's Tacko Fall nearby. 

Fall —all 7-foot-5 (without shoes) of him—stood in the paint for what was a crowd-razing dunk that many felt would secure Gordon his first slam dunk title. 

Then came back the scores. To the surprise of many, Gordon fell one point short, 48-47, to Miami's Derrick Jones Jr. 

After Gordon's dunk over Tacko, it was clear Jones had doubts about whether he was going to win. 

"He's a very tall human being," Jones said.of Tacko. "If I thought of it earlier, I would have did it."

Gordon added: "What are we doing? Who set the dunk contest up? Who set this up?" 

Then he explained both his disappointment in not winning, and his rationale for involving Tacko. 

"I wanted to jump over Shaq. He didn't want to do it," Gordon explained. "So, it was really for the people. Everybody was like, 'Tacko, Tacko!' He's the tallest dude in the gym. Dunking over somebody whose 7-5 and dunking it, it's no easy feat. What I get like a 47? Come on, man. What we doing?"

Fall is in Chicago this weekend participating in the NBA's Basketball Without Borders as a counselor, along with making some promotional appearances. He's also appeared at some of the All-Star events and more often than not, has received a louder ovation from fans than some of the players who will be playing in Sunday's All-Star Game. 

Aaron Gordon dunks over Tacko Fall in 2020 NBA Slam Dunk Contest

Aaron Gordon dunks over Tacko Fall in 2020 NBA Slam Dunk Contest

After Jayson Tatum was eliminated in the first round of the 2020 NBA All-Star Skills Contest, it was assumed that the Boston Celtics' involvement in NBA All-Star Saturday night was finished.

Oh, how wrong we were.

The Celtics did get involved in one of the most epic and controversial Slam Dunk Contests in the history of the NBA. Or rather, one Celtic got involved: Tacko Fall.

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In double overtime of the contest, Aaron Gordon of the Orlando Magic came out to perform the final dunk of the evening. He beckoned for the 7-foot-5 rookie to come out onto the floor with one purpose. He wanted to dunk over Tacko. Fall was reluctant at first but ultimately agreed to do it.

And Gordon was able to clear Tacko and complete the dunk on his first try. Here's a look at the unbelievable moment, courtesy of the NBA's official Twitter account.

What an amazing dunk. There are very few players who could pull this off, but Gordon is obviously one of them.

Despite the epic dunk from Gordon, he was only awarded a 47 on the dunk and as a result, lost by a single point to Derrick Jones Jr. of the Miami Heat. It was the only dunk of Gordon's evening on which he didn't receive a max score of 50.

This dunk will surely be talked about in the coming days and Gordon's defeat will be scrutinized in another close and contentious NBA Dunk Contest.