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None of Celtics’ future picks are expected to be available at trade deadline

Celtics, Brad Stevens

The Boston Celtics have been able to become championship contenders again through patience and shrewd decision-making. They’ve built a top-tier team through both the draft, trade, and free agency over the past couple of years as the acquisition of second-year forward Jayson Tatum in the draft, All-Star forward Gordon Hayward through free agency, and superstar point guard Kyrie Irving via trade are all positives the Celtics front office was able to pull off.

With superstar forward LeBron James leaving the Cleveland Cavaliers to join the Los Angeles Lakers, a new team will now represent the East come June with James trying to continue his streak of eight straight NBA Finals in the Western Conference. Boston, who made the Eastern Conference Finals last season, is expected to make another deep run in the postseason this year.

But the team has had its share of struggles lately and are currently fifth in the East. And with the trade deadline looming, Boston could be looking at a move to improve their roster. They have plenty of assets at their disposal, including three first-round picks in next year’s draft.

However, according to Sean Deveney of SportingNews.com, the Celtics’ draft picks won’t be available in the trade deadline.

The Celtics are poised to have three first-rounders in next year’s draft, and possibly two lottery picks. But, according to league sources, none of Boston’s picks are expected to be available at the deadline.

The Celtics currently own Memphis’ first rounder next year, which is top-eight protected. They also have Sacramento’s unprotected first-round pick. Both are projected to land in the top 15 (if the Grizzlies’ pick falls out of the top eight, it will go to the Celtics) in a 2019 draft class that’s expected to be full of talent.

However, Boston isn’t looking to acquire just another player. The main reason why they are keeping these picks is that they are preparing to make a move after this season. The Celtics have been rumored to be one of the teams interested in trading for New Orleans Pelicans superstar Anthony Davis, but they can’t do it until Irving’s contract expires.

The Pels have made it clear they won’t trade Davis, but if he rejects the supermax contract they will offer in the offseason, the team will be forced to move him and get the most significant value in return. That’s where the Celtics and its draft picks come in to play.