Celtics’ ‘fire­works’ may go off tonight

It’s more likely that the Celtics will move from No. 16 in tonight’s NBA Draft than stand pat.

Metro USA (Boston) - - FRONT PAGE - JAMES TOSCANO @Jim­my_Toscano sports@metro.us

Take a good look at the NBA’s draft or­der for Thurs­day’s NBA Draft. Now, for­get the whole thing.

The chances are strong that a good num­ber of the teams slot­ted to pick where they are cur­rently will be pick­ing from a dif­fer­ent spot — or pick­ing in that same spot but for another team — once things re­ally get un­der­way in Brook­lyn.

We’ve heard plenty of ru­mors lead­ing up to Thurs­day, in­clud­ing the in­creased like­li­hood that Sacra­mento’s DeMar­cus Cousins will be on the move, the in­ter­est the Knicks have in trad­ing out of the No. 4 spot and the ag­gres­sive­ness of the Celtics as they try to make some­thing hap­pen.

What we do know: Kar­lAn­thony Towns and Jahlil Okafor are the likely top two picks in this year’s draft. Ev­ery­thing else ap­pears to be up for grabs.

“Right now, we don’t know where we are draft­ing, what po­si­tion we’ll be in,” Celtics Pres­i­dent of Bas­ket­ball Oper­a­tions Danny Ainge told re­porters on Tues­day. “There’s go­ing to be a lot of ac­tiv­ity on draft night. So stay tuned. Our draft pick may have been traded be­fore we even make the pick. So I’m ex­cited about the draft. It’s go­ing to be fun.”

Some ex­perts have pre­dicted in­ter­na­tional prospect Kristaps Porzingis to go as high as No. 3 af­ter very strong pre­draft work­outs. Ken­tucky’s Wil­lie Cauley-Stein has been slated any­where from No. 5 to No. 11.

Could the suc­cess of the War­riors with Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson prompt a team to take Ge­or­gia State sharp­shooter R.J. Hunter ear­lier than some think? There are still tons of ques­tions to be an­swered in what has turned out to be a deep draft — deeper than last year’s and ex­pected to be deeper than next year’s, too.

We can be sure the Celtics will have their hand in some­thing. Ainge has al­ready gone on the record as say­ing he doesn’t want to make all four Celtics picks. And the C’s have been quite ac­tive in re­cent drafts.

Who can for­get the fran­chise-al­ter­ing trade in 2013 that sent Paul Pierce and Kevin Gar­nett to Brook­lyn? They also traded up for Kelly Olynyk that day. In 2011, they swapped first round picks with the Nets, ac­quir­ing Ja­Juan John­son (hey, no­body said they al­ways make good trades).


D’An­gelo Rus­sell is ex­pected to go in the top five, and the Celtics are said to have their eye on the combo guard.

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