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Ainge: Celtics 'Always Looking For Quality Over Quantity'

BOSTON (CBS) -- The brass of the Boston Celtics is hard at work, getting ready for any situation that may arise between now and Thursday's NBA Draft.

Rumors have them "thinking big" ahead of Thursday night. Does that mean trading up into the top 10? Maybe trading picks for a veteran? Could it even be standing pat and making their assigned selections?

Boston is hoping the latter isn't the case come Thursday night. In fact, Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge, who has a plethora of picks this year (two each in the first and second rounds) and the near future, all but put up an "Open For Business" sign outside of Causeway Street, letting the rest of the NBA know they're ready for some wheeling and dealing.

The Celtics own the 16th and 28th overall pick in the first round, along with the 33rd and 45th overall picks in the second round, and reports have them working the digits around the league to jump into the Top 10.

"We think there is going to be a lot of activity on draft night, so stay tuned," Ainge told reporters on Tuesday, adding he isn't even sure where Boston will be picking when it comes time for their first selection. "Our draft pick may be traded before we even make the pick. I'm excited; it's going to be a fun day."

While Ainge knows that talk is sometimes just that -- talk -- the amount of chatter leading up to this year's draft has him confident the Celtics can get a deal done.

"I'm hopeful that there is movement. We have a lot of things going on and a lot of possibilities. Usually nothing happens, but we're hopeful," he said. "We're having discussions to move up with both of our picks. We're trying to move up with at least one of them…. I'm hopeful."

While there are players on their roster they hope are part of the core in the future, Ainge was adamant that no one is "untouchable." And with such a young core already, the last thing he wants to do Thursday is add four more players to that crowded depth chart.

"We're always looking for quality over quantity," he said. "We have a lot of picks, so we'd like to make fewer picks this year and next year and so forth. That's really hard to do, especially around draft time. People fall in love with these players, with the names and the potential of all these players. Draft time is not an easy time to make deals to move up in the draft, especially in the Top 5 or 6."

Ainge said the Celtics should be able to find help in what is a good  -- not great -- crop of prospects in the draft. In addition to the numerous players the Celtics worked out in Waltham over the last month, Ainge also traveled to Los Angeles to check out 70 other prospects the Celtics may call when it's their turn to pick on Thursday.

But he hasn't fallen in love with anyone -- not yet.

"I'm picky," he joked.

Ainge said he always drafts the best player available and not based on the team's need, which is why there have been so many late nights assessing talent from all over the country.

"Always the best player; rosters change a lot,"Ainge said adamantly. "To break a tie you'd go by need, and there are a lot of ties going on right now with our front office. We were up until midnight last night discussing the draft and watching film. There are ties and we're trying to break those and get organized, so we know every scenario that could be presented on draft day."

No matter how the draft plays out for the Celtics on Thursday night, Ainge and his team will be ready to pounce when an opportunity presents itself.

Ainge also said no one on his roster is untouchable. 98.5 The Sports Hub's Adam Jones and Rich Keefe discussed those comments on Tuesday night's show: 

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