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Report: Agents may hold top prospects out of pre-draft workouts with Celtics

05.15.17 at 3:52 pm ET
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The Celtics have a 25 percent chance of landing the No. 1 overall pick this year. (Winslow Townson/USA Today Sports)

The Celtics have a 25 percent chance of landing the No. 1 overall pick this year. (Winslow Townson/USA Today Sports)

The Celtics are in an enviable position in today’s NBA. 

Not only are the Celtics winning now, and with room for another max-contract player, but they also possess high-end draft picks thanks to their 2013 fleecing of the Brooklyn Nets, including a 25 percent chance at the No. 1 overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft. 

But according to ESPN’s Chad Ford, it may not be a situation that one of the 2017 draft’s best (which, with the No. 4 overall pick at the very worst coming to the Celtics, will be the case) wants to land in to begin his career, according to one NBA agent. 

“I have deep respect for the Celtics. They may have the best GM and head coach in the league. But I’d have to understand what the plan would be for my client before I let them come,” the agent, one of ‘several’ to tell Ford that they may consider holding top prospects out of workouts with the C’s, said. “They are loaded at every position. There’s a real danger that they take a player and either he plays a limited role [off] the bench or he becomes an asset to be traded to a situation that we’re uncomfortable with.”

Jaylen Brown is an example of this exact situation and worry for both agents and players.

Drafted with the third overall pick, Brown’s 17.2 minutes per game ranked as the 23rd-most among rookies, and that number has dipped in the postseason, with just 10 minutes per game, and Brown didn’t even play in their Game 5 win over the Bulls in the first round. If he were on any of the teams that drafted around the Celtics in 2016 (the seven teams directly surrounding them did not make the postseason this year), there’s little doubt that Brown would have had a greater role. But competing for minutes with Jae Crowder on a closer to win-now Celtics team, Brown has been relegated to off the bench minutes and limited opportunities.

That same logic could apply to a draft class loaded with point guards — Washington’s Markelle Fultz, UCLA’s Lonzo Ball, and Kentucky’s De’Aaron Fox are expected to go in three of the four top picks — and with Isaiah Thomas still the man in Boston. 

But even so, Ford notes that it’s unlikely that the Celtics would pass on a No. 1 talent because of the lack of a one-on-one workout. 

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