Wizards

If Celtics want to move up, they should call the Wizards

Wizards

The Washington Wizards are open to moving either up or down in the 2020 NBA Draft. General manager Tommy Sheppard has floated such possibilities in public interviews.

They may be able to find a trade partner in the Celtics, as Kevin O'Connor of The Ringer now reports Boston is willing to use their three picks in the first round to go up from No. 14, their highest selection.

Here's what O'Connor wrote on Tuesday:

"The Celtics have offered their three first-round picks (nos. 14, 26, and 30) in trades to try and move up, according to multiple league sources. So far, no one is biting."

The Wizards may make as much sense as any team to strike a deal, as they are picking ninth overall and could likely still find a player who would fit what they need at No. 14. They need rim protection and rebounding and that leaves three likely candidates: Onyeka Okongwu of USC, Precious Aciuwa of Memphis and Jalen Smith of Maryland.

Okongwu may not be there at nine. Achiuwa is projected to go later in the lottery and Smith is expected to go later than that.

If Okongwu is gone and the Wizards really want Achiuwa or Smith, they could take them at nine and ignore the noise when people call it a reach. Or, they could trade back to 14, likely get one of them and add other picks and players.

If the Wizards got the Celtics' three picks, they could then use No. 26 or 30 on a long-term project. Tyler Byrum and I actually presented a similar scenario in our latest mock draft for NBC Sports Washington. We had the Wizards moving back in a deal with the Celtics and taking Smith at 14. They then selected Aleksej Pokusevski at 26.

 

Either way, getting three picks would give the Wizards more resources as they aim to add depth and retool their roster around John Wall and Bradley Beal.