The Boston Celtics were in the lottery for the first time since 2007 this season.
They have made it clear they don’t want to remain there and have targeted an upgrade an offense in the offseason.
“We struggled to score this year and that matters,” Celtics director of player personnel Austin Ainge said via Chris Forsberg of ESPN Boston. “We’re going to have to address it, and that might be through the draft, it might be through free agency, it might be via trade. That’s an issue.”
The Celtics are thought to be potential players for Minnesota Timberwolves’ power forward Kevin Love and could get into the chase for New York Knicks’ forward Carmelo Anthony, but obviously, that won’t be easy.
They also could be players for free agents on a slightly lower level, like Utah Jazz forward Gordon Hayward, who played for Celtics’ head coach Brad Stevens with the Butler Bulldogs, but they would have to overpay to get him – and even then the Jazz could match the offer because he is a restricted free agent.
Matt Moore of CBS Sports and our own Hardwood Paroxysm throughout a suggested the Celtics could trade their sixth-overall pick to the Orlando Magic in exchange for guard Arron Afflalo and the Magic’s 12th-overall pick.
The Celtics could still get a talented player with the 12th pick while the Magic could clear room for Victor Oladipo and the fourth-overall pick (Australian point guard Dante Exum, perhaps?) while getting another top-notch prospect (Indiana Hoosers’ big man Noah Vonleh, maybe?)
Afflalo, who is reportedly open to being dealt to a playoff team, was excellent for the Magic this year and had the best season of his career. He averaged 18.2 points, 3.6 rebounds and 3.4 assists per game while shooting 45.9% from the field, 42.7% from beyond the arc and 81.5% from the free throw line.