Five thoughts on the Celtics heading into the 2020 NBA Draft on Wednesday night (8 p.m., ESPN)
1. How many rookies are the Celtics willing to bring in? We’ve gone over the specifics plenty here at BSJ over the past few months. The Celtics have potentially up to 12 roster spots filled with guaranteed contracts if Gordon Hayward and Enes Kanter opt-in. Adding four more rookies (No. 14, 26, 30, 47) to that younger mix on the roster is far from ideal. Danny Ainge has made it clear he does not want to bring in much more youth to this group so the question is how many picks will be made? If the over/under is 2.5, I’m going under, although Hayward’s situation presents a bit of a wildcard if the team knows he’s headed out the door no matter what. A pivot to building younger around Jayson Tatum makes some sense but also will slow the team’s progression towards contending, wasting valuable years in the process. Whatever rookies the Celtics will take, they will be aiming for guys that can help now with perhaps one pick saved for a draft-and-stash or G-League project.
2. Will more Gordon Hayward suitors emerge via other draft moves? The Celtics can’t officially do anything with Hayward on the trade front until he opts in or out (sign-and-trade would still be a possibility then. Still, we will probably get a better idea of what potential suitors are legitimate for him (if any) based on the actions of the Celtics and other teams tonight. Will a team try to dump a bigger contract to create cap room? Will the Celtics use their first-round picks combined with Hayward to bring back a meaningful return from a destination Hayward approves of? All of these options are on the table now but how the draft plays out will tell the story of whether they actually come together with so many moving parts. Either way, Hayward’s leverage could fluctuate in a big way by the end of the night when it comes to pushing for a deal.
3. Will the Celtics use draft picks to clear out some roster space and salary? This is an easy potential option for one of