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.
Darius Garland will conduct a last-minute workout in Tarrytown with the New York Knicks tomorrow, a source told ESPN. Garland is in serious consideration for the No. 3 pick. Minnesota, Boston, Chicago are teams looking at potentially trading up to No. 4 with Garland in mind.— Jonathan Givony (@DraftExpress) June 18, 2019
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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