The latest on the C’s draft plans: Danny Ainge wants to deal the #19 pick and move down in the draft. Andy Katz has the latest on TrueHoop:
Boston is considering two offers for its No. 19 pick, one from Memphis and one from New Jersey, a source with knowledge of the selection told ESPN.com Wednesday night.
The Celtics are mulling over an offer from Memphis for the Grizzlies No. 25 and 28 picks while the Nets are looking at shipping the No. 27 pick in the first round and No. 31 in the second round to the Celtics for No. 19.
This contradicts an earlier report from Katz and Peter May:
But according to a league source, the Celtics and Ainge are seriously considering trading the pick for a future first-rounder.
The reasoning behind such a move, according to the source, would be to take the money that would be guaranteed to a first-rounder and spend it elsewhere, likely on a veteran free agent.
The two first round picks in the Memphis offer would cost about $650,000 more in guaranteed money than the #19 pick, according to the rookie contract scale for 2011.
The New Jersey deal could save Boston cash/cap room, because the team could waive the #31 pick or stash a player overseas.
The earlier May/Katz report puzzled me when I first read it. If Rasheed Wallace is indeed retiring, the C’s have just five players signed for next season. The league requires teams to carry at least 13 players. The C’s therefore would need to sign eight players. If Paul Pierce sticks with his current deal—not a given—the C’s will be over the projected salary cap, which means they have only four ways to fill 8 spots:
• the draft
• lop-sided trades/sign-and-trades (i.e. 1 Celtic for three players from team X)
• salary cap exceptions—the mid-level exception and the veteran’s minimum exception.
• re-sign their own free agents using Bird Rights
The Celtics would have to work very, very hard to sign 8 players without getting a single one from the draft. This is especially so given Boston only has definite interest in one of its Bird free agents (Ray Allen), lukewarm interest in another (Tony Allen), chilly interest in a third (Nate Robinson) and very little/no interest in the others (Brian Scalabrine, Shelden Williams, Michael Finley, Marquis Daniels, etc.).
There’s also the reality that Boston could use a young rotation player, and that Danny Ainge believes his chances of getting one at, say, #27 are about what they are at #19.
I continue to think Boston will be making a first round pick tomorrow night.