Report: Celtics interested in trading up in draft, maybe for Willie Cauley-Stein

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Larry Bird called Willie Cauley-Stein “a $100 million player.”

The Pacers president might have competition for Cauley-Stein – from his old team.

A. Sherrod Blakely of CSN New England:

Two league sources told CSNNE.com Friday that the Boston Celtics are “very open” to moving up in next month’s NBA draft.

And while the sources did not indicate which player Boston was targeting, there are growing signs that they have their sights set on trying to draft Kentucky big man Willie Cauley-Stein.

The Celtics have the resources to move up, including the Nos. 16 and 28 picks this year.

Personally, I wouldn’t break the bank for Cauley-Stein. He’d limit the Celtics’ five-out offensive opportunities, and he’s not a reliable enough finisher to take ideal advantage of defenders getting pulled from the paint by his four teammates on the floor. However, Cauley-Stein’s rim protection would be welcome in Boston, and his defensive versatility would fit Brad Stevens’ concepts.

There’s some merit in the Celtics trading up for Cauley-Stein. There’s more in the general idea of Boston consolidating assets for one more valuable player.