Should Celtics consider trading first-round pick in 2024 NBA Draft?

Is it a smart move for the Celtics to trade their first-round pick in the 2024 NBA Draft? This question has been raised by “rival executives” who believe that Boston is open to trading the No. 30 overall pick, as reported by Michael Scotto of HoopsHype. With the Celtics aiming to end their three-year drought without a first-round pick, the decision to trade it raises arguments for both sides.
The NBA’s new collective bargaining agreement has placed a greater emphasis on the importance of drafting and developing talent internally. For the Boston Celtics, who are facing a significant luxury tax bill this summer and potentially an even larger one in 2025-26, it is crucial to find ways to save money. One way to do so is by securing a promising young player on a rookie contract, who could provide valuable depth or even become a future rotation player. The Celtics have a track record of finding talent in the later stages of the draft, such as Robert Williams at 27th overall in 2018 and Payton Pritchard at No. 26 in 2020. Therefore, it makes sense for them to aim for similar success in this year’s draft.
Meanwhile, the Celtics have a strong desire to win in the immediate future. Therefore, if they can trade the 30th overall pick for an experienced and skilled big man, it would be difficult for them to pass up on such an opportunity. Just a year ago, Celtics coach Brad Stevens utilized the team’s first-round pick (25th overall) in a three-team trade that sent Marcus Smart to Memphis and brought Kristaps Porzingis to Boston. Porzingis played a significant role in the Celtics’ quest for their 18th championship title.

While it is unlikely that the Celtics will make a deal of the same magnitude as the Porzingis trade during this offseason, considering that their “top six” players – Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, Derrick White, Jrue Holiday, Porzingis, and Al Horford – are all under contract, there is still a possibility that they will seek frontcourt depth if either Xavier Tillman Sr. or Luke Kornet departs in free agency. In such a scenario, the Celtics may explore the option of trading the 30th overall pick along with a seasoned veteran big man.
Due to financial limitations, Stevens may opt to maintain the status quo and make a selection at the 30th spot unless a perfect trade opportunity arises. However, he remains open to exploring all possibilities.

The NBA Draft’s first round is scheduled for Wednesday, June 26, followed by the second round on Thursday, June 27. In Round 2, the Celtics possess the 54th overall pick.