The Boston Celtics have put their first-round pick in Thursday's draft -- No. 19 overall -- on the market, sources told ESPN.com, with an eye toward making one more run at a championship next season.
The reasoning behind trading the pick, according to a source, would be to take the money that would be guaranteed to a first-rounder and spend it elsewhere, likely on a veteran free agent. That would be in keeping with the current mission statement of the Celtics, which is to try and make one more serious run at an NBA title before a potential lockout in July 2011.
While the Celtics like some of the players who could be available at No. 19, they don't consider any of them likely to make an impact as rookies. And the team's mindset is to not use the pick on a developmental player when adding a free agent who can contribute immediately would improve their chances next season.
"Right now, it's all about how do you address the next 12 months," the source said.
Boston is considering two offers for its No. 19 pick, one from Memphis and one from New Jersey, a source with knowledge of the selection told ESPN.com Wednesday night. The Celtics are mulling over an offer from Memphis for the Grizzlies' No. 25 and 28 picks while the Nets are looking at shipping the No. 27 pick in the first round and No. 31 in the second round to the Celtics for No. 19.
The Celtics own the 19th and 52nd picks in Thursday's draft.
Meanwhile, Celtics general manager Danny Ainge said Wednesday he expects Rasheed Wallace to retire and that center Kendrick Perkins will have surgery on his right knee, which he injured in Game 6 of the Finals, as early as Friday.
Longtime Celtics reporter Peter May is a contributor to ESPNBoston.com. Andy Katz is a senior college basketball writer for ESPN.com.