BOSTON (CBS) – The NBA Draft has finally arrived and if the last few days of rumors are any indication, it's going to be a busy night across the NBA landscape. Multiple trades were already finalized on Wednesday, and big names like DeMarcus Cousins and Danilo Gallinari are just a few of the candidates reportedly being shopped heading into tonight's festivities.
What can Celtics fans expect from today's proceedings? Here's what you need to look out for as Danny Ainge and the rest of the Celtics front office attempt to add to the roster and build upon the team's surprise playoff appearance last season.
Don't Expect The Celtics To Use All Their Picks
Outside of Philadelphia, the Celtics have the most picks out of any team in the NBA Thursday night. Those four selections (No. 16, No. 28, No. 33, No. 45) will almost certainly not be used by Boston. Ainge is looking for quality rather than quantity when it comes to young players on his roster at this point, making it foolish to bring in four rookies to a crowded depth chart.
There are alternatives for Ainge, if the trade market isn't appealing. The team could use a second-round pick or two to stash an international prospect overseas. Boston could also trade current picks for future picks, but the team already has a truckload of those for the next two seasons anyway.
The safest bet is the team trading up in some form. The question most fans are wondering though: how high can they get?
How Likely Is A Trade Into The Top-10?
Moving up a couple spots in the teens shouldn't be a steep price for Ainge this year, as we saw in 2013 when Boston gave up two second-round picks and the No. 16 spot for Kelly Olynyk at No. 13. However, there is a bit of a drop-off after the first 10-12 picks in this draft, so if Ainge wants elite talent, he's going to have to pay a higher price.
Does Boston have the pieces to get to the 8-10 pick range? Absolutely. They aren't desperate to make a deal though. Barring a blockbuster trade or two, this team is still at least a couple years from contending again, so Ainge isn't going to overpay for a pick just because he has major assets. It's going to take more than the team's 2015 first-round picks to move into the top-10. Additional players or future first-round picks will need to be included as well.
It will all come down to the team's evaluation of specific prospects. Whether it's a shooter like Devin Booker or a promising young big man like Myles Turner or Willie Cauley-Stein, the team will put a price on each player. If one of those guys fall to the right spot, Ainge will pounce with a package.
Don't Rule Out Ainge Adding A Veteran Or Two
Much of the talk around the Celtics tonight is focused on what prospects they are targeting, or whether they can make a move for a big fish like DeMarcus Cousins. The Cousins proposition is unlikely, but don't rule out a deal to add a younger veteran or two to the team's roster.
Boston has two sizable trade exceptions ($12.9 million and $7.7 million) that allows the team to pick up significant salary without having to trade back a player (picks would suffice). That's a huge potential advantage over other teams around the league when dealing with franchises that may be looking to cut some salary.
All in all, look for "Trader Danny" to live up to his nickname, but Celtics fans should temper their expectations as far as a big move goes. Boston has assets, but unless they put all of their chips in one basket this evening, they don't have the capital to make a blockbuster.
Brian Robb covers the Celtics for CBS Boston and contributes to NBA.com, among other media outlets. You can follow him on Twitter @CelticsHub.
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