Draft day is finally upon us, and it doesn’t look like we can call Danny Ainge a liar for promising it would be a busy one for the Celtics. Brian Windhorst of ESPN is reporting that the Celtics are prepared to send a “monster package” over to the 76ers in exchange for the third pick, if Jahlil Okafor is available.
However the question remains, will he be available? The Lakers control the second pick, and seem to be considering a number of different options. It has been well documented in the last few days that they are going after Demarcus Cousins, but that deal doesn’t look like it will get done by tonight, so what’s the next plan for our rivals?
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Kevin Love opted out of his contract with the Cavaliers, and the Lakers have been on record talking about how they plan to go after him. They have also been on record noting their interest in signing Lamarcus Aldridge. Many close to the situation feel that the Lakers will be able to sign one of the two, and that would eliminate the need for drafting a big man.
Now there is a report surfacing from Bleacher Report that says the “Lakers are drawing closer to drafting D’Angelo Russel, believe his game resembles Steph Curry.” This would mean that Okafor would slip to the third spot, and it would open the door for the Celtics to get the deal that brings him to Boston done.
Apr 6, 2015; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Duke Blue Devils center Jahlil Okafor (15) scores after being fouled by Wisconsin Badgers forward Frank Kaminsky (44) during the second half in the 2015 NCAA Men
Jahlil Okafor has the potential to be one of the best big men in basketball in the very near future. He has excellent offensive tools, but still has a lot of work to do before he fulfills his potential. He isn’t great defensively, and his free throw shooting is horrendous. However, if a guy is willing to put in the work, the defense usually falls into place, and young guys usually get better at shooting free throws as they grow older.
Getting Okafor would be a huge boost for the Celtics. This kid has the potential to be the superstar that they need, but what will it cost to get him in green? There was a rumor earlier this week that the Celtics offered Marcus Smart along with the 16th and 28th overall picks to the 76ers for Nerlens Noel and the 3rd Pick, but the 76ers wouldn’t even entertain that offer. I can’t help but wonder what this “monster package” would need to include.
I’m sure the Celtics won’t be the only ones calling Philadelphia for the third spot, and it could create a bidding war. Chances are that if the Celtics get up to the third spot to draft Okafor it will cost Marcus Smart, Kelly Olynyk, the 16th pick in this years draft, and a future first rounder that we got from Brooklyn. That is a pretty steep price to pay for the third pick, but Okafor should be worth it. It will be interesting to see how this story develops as we get closer to the draft.