SOURCE– Sources told Sporting News that Boston has expressed interest in Bamba, including interviewing him at the Chicago pre-draft combine two weeks ago. Bamba measured in with a record wingspan of 7-10 in Chicago, reinforcing his status as the most ready-made rim protector in the draft.
Of course, the challenge is securing a pick that will be high enough to land Bamba. He could go as high as No. 3 to the Hawks, and there has also been talk that the Magic — picking sixth — are high on Bamba and won’t let him drop past their slot.
The Celtics have the No. 27 pick, but they have multiple assets on hand that could help them move into the top five of the draft, where the Grizzlies (No. 4) and Mavericks (No. 5) have made it clear they’re willing to make a deal.
It’s almost certain that the Celtics would not move rookie forward Jayson Tatum, who just wrapped up the postseason as the team’s leading scorer, at 18.5 points per game. Less certain, though, is what Boston might do with point guard Terry Rozier (16.5 points, 5.7 assists and 5.3 rebounds per game in the playoffs) or swingman Jaylen Brown (18.0 points per game in the playoffs).
The Celtics were without star point guard Kyrie Irving in the playoffs and major free-agent signee Gordon Hayward for all but the first five minutes of the season. Both players will return, reducing the the roles of players like Rozier and Brown.
Team president Danny Ainge has been aggressive in his attempts to build the Celtics into a championship-caliber team, so even as Rozier and Brown have become fan favorites, a deal involving either (or both) is not out of the question.
In order to move into the top five of the draft, the Celtics would likely have to give up either Rozier or Brown — Dallas (Dennis Smith Jr.) and Memphis (Mike Conley) already have point guards, and would almost certainly prefer Brown.
And just like that, the OffSZN has officially begun for the Boston Celtics. Just days after the Celtics took the Cavs to Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals, the rumors have already started. As Celtics fans, we are no strangers to rumors, actually just the opposite. Whenever there is a disgruntled player, ala Kawhi Leonard (or Karl-Anthony Towns 👀), the Celtics are always linked to them. It is simply because the Celtics are a good team with the most assets in the NBA.
Which brings us to Mo Bamba. Apparently, the Celtics interviewed Bamba after the NBA Combine a couple weeks ago. I am sure they liked Mo a lot. What is there not to like? He is a 7 footer with the longest wingspan ever recorded in the NBA. He is an elite defensive prospect and he even has somewhat of an outside game. He would be a great fit in Boston, a team that has seemed to lack a rim protector for years and without any big man prospects on the roster.
However, you have to be out of your mind if you think the Celtics are going to trade Jaylen Brown for him. I don’t think people appreciate how good Jaylen Brown was this year because everyone is so excited about Jayson Tatum. Jaylen Brown was amazing all year long for the Celtics. He was the team’s 2nd leading scorer in the regular season and was basically tied with Tatum leading scoring in the playoffs. The thing that impresses me the most about Jaylen, is the leap he has taken from college, to his rookie year, to now his sophomore year. He has not only gotten better every season, but has taken a giant step every year. Remember, the knock on him was that he couldn’t shoot. He shot 40% from 3 this year. Sure, Tatum is a more polished offensive player than Brown now, but that was skills that Tatum had coming into his freshmen year at Duke. There is more room for growth there for Brown and he as quickly progressed in that direction.
Also, Jaylen was the 3rd overall pick two years ago, now you want to trade him for the 5th or 6th pick to get Bamba? Get outta here with that shit.
The other player they listed as a possible trade piece for Bamba is Terry Rozier. While I do think Danny Ainge might trade Terry this offseason for a draft pick, you aren’t going to get that high with Terry. This draft is too good. The place where I think there might be an opportunity to trade Terry for a lottery pick is 12 or 13, both held by the LA Clippers. And no, Bamba will not bere there at that point in the draft.
So don’t hold your breath Celtics fans. Trader Danny isn’t going to finagle his way up to get Mo Bamba. And I would bet that he doesn’t want to either. Sure, I bet he likes Mo, but I am sure he likes a lot of the prospects at the top of the draft haha. Which GM wouldn’t?? Just because Danny likes a guy, it doesn’t mean he is about to mortgage the core of the team for him.
While I do want the Celtics to address the hole at the Center position this offseason, I do not believe that Mo Bamba is a realistic option. As we get closer to the draft and free agency, I will have realistic options that Boston can do to get some more size on the floor. Because the OffSZN has just begun.