Draft Rumors

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The most pressing question: Will Ainge be willing to include the Brooklyn Nets’ 2016 first-round pick — which the Celts own — in a potential deal? “Sure. The Brooklyn pick could be had for the right person,” Ainge noted. “It’€™s going to be a costly price, as it would be for some of our best players. Look, we’€™re not looking to trade the Brooklyn pick, but at the same time, I could certainly see some things that we would do for the Brooklyn pick. And they wouldn’t be taking risks. We value [the Brooklyn pick]. Even the chance, even a small chance to get a very talented player is worth [keeping the pick] because you have some chance. And you can’€™t just give up a chance to get a really good player unless [it’s] for another really good player.”
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All of which has produced plenty of observations. An NBA executive that requested anonymity offered this big-picture outlook: “What makes him special is his ability to handle the ball. He’s the most unique handling big to come to the league since LeBron James.” Lakers forward and LSU alum Brandon Bass provided an in-depth breakdown on Simmons: “He can pass. He has a good feel for the game. He’s a great ball-handler and very talented. I think he has a bright future.”
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More important, acquiring Howard would give the Celtics a much more attractive pitch to free agents. It’s a promising young bunch with oodles of draft picks ahead — including Brooklyn’s top pick this year, which is most definitely not available on the trade market — but that is a tough sell when approaching free agents in the summer: “Come play for us, we have Isaiah Thomas, some above average big men and loads of picks!”