Celtics reportedly hoping Grizzlies pick does not convey this year
The Boston Celtics acquired a future first-round pick from the Memphis Grizzlies back in 2014 as part of a three-team trade involving Jeff Green, but they are hoping to wait at least another year before cashing in on it.
Memphis is currently 32-48 with two games remaining in the season. Depending on how things play out, they could wind up with the No. 9 overall pick in the NBA Draft. If that happens, the Celtics would get the pick. If it falls within the top eight, Memphis would keep it this year. Boston desperately wants the latter to happen.
We’ve know for a while that the Celtics don’t want the Grizzlies’ pick to convey, but I was a little unsure about how badly, because the No. 9 overall pick would still be a trade chip. But a Cs source tonight said they *really* don’t want it this year.
— Adam Himmelsbach (@AdamHimmelsbach) April 8, 2019
If Memphis ends up keeping the pick, the Celtics have a better chance at getting an even higher pick next year, when the pick is only top-six protected for the Grizzlies. It is unprotected in 2021, meaning Boston would get it no matter where it falls.
Interestingly enough, ESPN’s Zach Lowe said earlier this season that the Grizzlies would rather just send the pick to Boston this year and get it over with.
“It’ll depend on how they do in the next month,” Lowe said. “They would rather get this obligation over with and give the Celtics the 10th pick in this draft then roll it over when the protections get even lighter and maybe (Marc) Gasol leaves, maybe (Mike) Conley is a year older.”
In other words, the Grizzlies probably know they could be even worse in the coming seasons. That would mean potentially sending a higher draft pick to the Celtics at a time when Memphis could desperately use it.
Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge has done an outstanding job of stock-piling draft picks over the years, and it sounds like he has some big things on the agenda this offseason. While the No. 9 pick could be a decent trade piece, it makes sense that he wants something even higher and is willing to wait a year or two to get it.