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Last year’s NBA Draft was stocked with talent, but proved to be a little dull when it came to the trade market. Things are starting to shape up as if we’re about to have a hell of an entertaining draft this week.

Stars like DeMarcus Cousins are expected to be on the trade block, but let’s not forget about teams moving around in the draft too, because it sounds like we’re going to see a lot of it.

Danny Ainge (President of Basketball Operations for the Celtics) met with some local media here in the Boston area on Tuesday morning and pretty much predicted that we can expect a whole lot out of Thursday night’s draft. “There’s a lot of talk,” he told us. “A lot more talk. I guess I’m hopeful that there’s some movement. We have a lot of things going on, a lot of possibilities.”

But it wasn’t just that statement that caught my ear. Usually Ainge won’t let the media into his madness until it’s complete, but heading into this draft, he’s already willing to admit that there’s a good chance the Celtics won’t be selecting when their own picks are called.

“Right now, we don’t even know where we’re drafting or what position we’ll be in,” he said. “We think there’s going to be a lot of activity on draft night, so stay tuned. Our draft pick may be traded before we make the [pick]. So I’m excited about the draft. It should be fun.”

Celtics fans are pretty excited about this news too, needless to say, but it should be pretty exciting for NBA fans in general. It sounds like a minimum of three top-10 picks could be available.

 

So where are some realistic possibilities that picks Nos. 4,6 or 9 could land on Thursday if their respective teams decide trade out?

— Knicks trade No. 4 pick to Heat

This is the exact opposite of a “Pat Riley move,” but it could be the summer things go south for Miami … basketball-wise. After missing the playoffs following their four consecutive trips to the Finals, Goran Dragic opted out after Miami traded first-rounders for him just a few months ago. To make matters worse, Dwyane Wade seems to be seriously considering leaving in free agency too. The Knicks will take any type of “win now” package they can get. If Miami can provide them with enough veterans to make the Knicks consider dropping from No. 4 to No. 10 (where the Heat select), maybe they accept. Then the Heat can go for a young talent like Emmanuel Mudiay or Justise Winslow to pair with their current young prize – Hassan Whiteside.

— Kings trade No. 6 pick to Celtics

These two teams are going to generate the most chatter leading up to the draft for a number of reasons. One will be DeMarcus Cousins, but another will be the possibility of Boston moving up to No. 6 to select someone like Willie Cauley-Stein. Boston is seeking a paint protector and Danny Ainge seems to want to go and get one. If the Kings keep DMC, they could move their pick in this years draft to slide back to No. 16 or 28 and take some veteran help off the Celtics’ hands – a squad that already has too many role players. Maybe even pick up one of Rajon Rondo’s old buddies, as the Kings are expected to make a strong push at the point guard this summer in free agency.

— Hornets trade No. 9 pick to Bulls

Charlotte is happy to be hosting the 2017 All-Star game, but its not happy that it regressed this season. The Hornets were expecting to be back in the playoffs and weren’t, and I don’t think I have to explain to you how important winning is to Michael Jordan. The Bulls, on the other hand, are headed in a new direction under a new coach. Some changes need to be made. Joakim Noah and Taj Gibson’s names have both already been thrown out there as potential trade pieces. If the Hornets could come up with enough players on their roster to stack on to of the No. 9 pick, MJ would love to deal with his former team to add one of those bigs. Chicago then presumably gains some young talent, and get the No. 9 pick to place next to their own at No. 22.

We’re just getting started, guys. The gossip will only get better all week.

For comments find me on Twitter @julianedlow