Jonathan Givony of Draft Express and ESPN is reporting that the Celtics are among the teams looking to trade up in Thursday's NBA Draft to select Vanderbilt point guard Darius Garland.
Garland has flown up draft boards in recent weeks after working out with numerous teams across the league and has drawn lofty comparisons to All-Stars Kyrie Irving and Damian Lillard in recent weeks. Garland is the #2 point guard prospect on the majority of draft boards behind only Ja Morant and was seen as a potential hidden gem before his stock really took off in late May and early June.
Garland had surgery to repair a meniscus injury in his left knee which ended his freshman season after only 5 games, which is what led to his stock being much lower to begin the draft process. Garland only played 2 minutes in his last game, but averaged 19.8 points per game in the previous 4 games. Garland was the 14th ranked recruit on 247sports.com entering his freshman season.
The Celtics own the 14th, 20th and 22nd picks in the first round of the 2019 NBA draft and a future pick from Memphis that they're expected to dangle in trade talks to move up for Garland. The New Orleans Pelicans reportedly have significant interest in trading the 4th pick, but a deal with Hawks (who are allegedly targeting Texas Tech's Jarrett Culver) for the 8th and 10th picks could prove to be more lucrative than what the Celtics can offer. Boston may have to pony up additional assets if they are dead set on moving up and selecting Garland.
Photo: (Gregory Payan - AP Photo)