The Boston Celtics have the best record in the NBA through 11 games, but also could use an upgrade at center if they want to be a legitimate title contender.
Turns out they have the perfect asset to swing a deal for a big man ahead of the NBA trade deadline -- or so we thought.
That asset is the Grizzlies' first-round draft pick, which is Top-6 protected in 2020 and would become an unprotected first-rounder in 2021 if Memphis lands inside the top six in 2020.
Boston could dangle that pick to target a top-tier big man, but a "rival" NBA general manager told Heavy.com's Sean Deveney he doesn't see that happening.
"It wouldn’t make sense to move the Memphis pick," the GM told Deveney. "If it’s Anthony Davis then, OK, you change your plans. But there’s not really anyone on the market who is going to get them to move that."
Which big men could be on the market, you ask?
Deveney cited sources who told him the Indiana Pacers "would be unlikely" to trade center Myles Turner, then added the Celtics would be "reluctant" to pursue San Antonio Spurs big man LaMarcus Aldridge if it meant giving up Gordon Hayward.
Houston Rockets rim-runner Clint Capela also has been speculated as a Boston trade target, but as that GM suggested, the Celtics have placed a high value on a Memphis pick that should be a lottery selection and may not want to deal the pick unless they can land an elite player.
There's one wrinkle, though: Ja Morant, Jaren Jackson Jr. and the young Grizzlies have exceeded early expectations. They have the NBA's 12th-worst record as of Tuesday and could leave the C's with a low lottery pick in 2020 if they continue to improve.
But president of basketball operations Danny Ainge won't unload draft assets without getting good value in return, and it seems good value is hard to come by at the moment.
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