Clippers should pursue trade with Celtics in 2016 NBA Draft

Jun 25, 2015; Brooklyn, NY, USA; NBA commissioner Adam Silver addresses the crowd before the first round of the 2015 NBA Draft at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 25, 2015; Brooklyn, NY, USA; NBA commissioner Adam Silver addresses the crowd before the first round of the 2015 NBA Draft at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports /

With the Boston Celtics having so many picks at their disposal, the Los Angeles Clippers may look to them as a trade partner to move up in the 2016 NBA Draft.

If there’s one team that’s primed to trade in the 2016 NBA Draft, it’s blindingly obvious that it’s the Boston Celtics. Beyond the fact that Danny Ainge won’t simply want to add a ton of rookies and little else this summer, their eight picks (three first rounders and five second rounders) gives them more selections than any other team to acquire a wide array of young talent. Or, more likely and more wisely, Ainge will combine a bunch of those picks and trade, with the Los Angeles Clippers being a possible parter.

After it was reported that the Clippers are planning on trading up in the draft, it seems almost guaranteed that they’ll at least aim to move inside the top 20. With the 25th pick in the first round already, moving up a few spots might not be worth it.

Moving just inside the top 20, though, or possibly higher into the teens, opens up their options significantly, giving Doc Rivers a chance to land some real rookie talent that could contribute right away.

That should be his aim, as the Clippers need all the help they can get with minimal cap space for free agency and several players opting to test the market.

And with the Celtics at the opposite end of the scale, looking to make trades with their expendable cap space, picks and role players, they look like the solid trade partner for Doc to call.

What the Celtics will do with their 16th and 23rd picks is unclear, but it has been reported by A. Sherrod Blakely of CSN that they’re looking to shop the 3rd pick at the moment:

"I’m hearing that number 3 pick overall is the one that they are really shopping, trying to be as aggressive as possible in trying to move that pick because they want to get a difference making impact player right now and they believe using that number 3 pick and maybe some other players and or picks might be the best way to make that happen."

Well, that’s not remotely attainable for the Clippers, but don’t be surprised if it goes to another team instead.

Dragan Bender, Jamal Murray, and possibly even the rising Marquese Chriss are some of the top possibilities for the Celtics at No. 3, but as Blakley said, that’s the pick they’re also shopping to land a proven veteran who can take them further in the near future. With that in mind, it looks like a selection such as their 16th pick could be right in the Clippers’ range to trade up for.

So, what could they offer the Celtics?

The problem with Boston already having so many picks is that they’ll be less inclined to trade down, at least to the Clippers’ spot at 25. And that’s really all Doc has to offer. A combination of the 25th and 33rd overall picks, along with some of the limited existing (and expendable) NBA players he has to offer, in the form of C.J. Wilcox and Branden Dawson. While Wilcox is an intriguing young shooter with more experience than a rookie, Dawson hardly has much value.

Although, if Doc can combine anything he has for a higher pick, or whether the Celtics would take on Wilcox and then bundle the Clippers’ 25 and 33 picks to use in another trade for a veteran player, it’s worth his time.

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Yes, this may sound like a downgrade for the Celtics to lose the 16 pick, and that is the case to an extent in terms of acquiring the 25th selection. However, from the late teens through the rest of the first round, this draft is widely considered to be relatively hard to gauge, without a clear-cut definition in talent over that range of the draft class.

For the Celtics to add extra picks to then use through a trade along with Wilcox does have value, especially if they don’t have anyone they’re desperate to take in the teens. Plus, they can acquire a player in the process.

Equally, to the disappointment of the Clippers, they may be eager to use the 16th pick if they trade the 3rd.

Next: Final Mock Draft: New lottery picks and Clippers' top target

This offer may not be enough for the Celtics, but the Clippers should at least try. If it isn’t enough, don’t be surprised if the 16th pick goes to another team, and the possibility of the Clippers inching up ever so slightly to the Celtics’ 23rd pick (just in case someone such as DeAndre Bembry may go earlier than expected) is still alive.