The Boston Celtics were wheeling and dealing in the back half of the first round during Thursday night’s NBA Draft, as they sent the 20th pick to the Sixers for Nos. 24 and 33.
They then used the 22nd pick to take Grant Williams for themselves and quickly turned the 24th pick they got from Philly into a salary dump of Aron Baynes, who had recently picked up his player option, and the Milwaukee Bucks 2020 first round pick (top-7 protected) from Phoenix.
That Baynes was included in this deal came as a surprise, but Phoenix has cap space to absorb his contract — or can fit him into the traded player exception they created in the T.J. Warren trade earlier in the night. It’s fitting that these two teams made a trade together since both were the most active working the phones on Thursday night, as the Suns bring in another shooter in this draft while Boston adds more future assets, which we know Danny Ainge loves, and also gets more cap space by unloading Baynes.
There were reports that Baynes was open to a trade after recognizing the Celtics wouldn’t be a contender without Kyrie Irving and Al Horford, but wanted to go to a contender, which Phoenix certainly is not. It’ll be interesting to see if the Suns hold on to Baynes or if he gets moved in a later trade or becomes a buyout candidate, as is now being reported by Keith Smith of Yahoo.