If the Celtics choose the former path, a real possibility given Boston’s roster crunch, it’s fair to assume president of basketball operations Danny Ainge might do so with a specific prospect in mind.
Well, Sean Deveney of Heavy.com reported Friday, citing league sources, that Boston has long had eyes for Isaac Okoro. And if the Celtics trade up, according to Deveney, they’ll likely target the Auburn wing.
Deveney projected in his latest mock draft Friday that the Chicago Bulls will select Okoro with the No. 4 overall pick.
Here’s the scouting report Deveney received from a league scout:
It’s a little bit of a leap of faith because he is not a finished product. But his physical skills are there. He is strong, he has a good lower half, so he can post up and he can guard the post and does a good job guarding multiple positions. He can use either hand, he can go up over either shoulder. He is explosive but he is smart, too, so he uses start-and-stop ability really well. He does a lot of little things really well, like setting screens and moving without the ball, good, clean passing. I think the thing with him is you have to wait until his experience level catches up with his physical level.
Deveney has LaMelo Ball, James Wiseman and Anthony Edwards going in the top three to the Minnesota Timberwolves, Golden State Warriors and Charlotte Hornets, respectively.
Those players’ final destinations could wind up being different, with so many teams reportedly looking to wheel and deal picks, but it certainly appears they’ve emerged as the draft’s top-tier prospects.
If the Celtics are enamored with Okoro, as Deveney suggests, it’ll be interesting to see how far they’ll need to trade up. Boston ultimately might have to wait and see how things shake out, striking only if/when the perfect opportunity presents itself.