Boston owns the 2016 first-round draft picks for both the Nets and Mavericks. If Williams departs the Nets, it would seemingly diminish their talent and improve Boston's potential to collect a lottery pick. There are no protections on the pick from Brooklyn, the second of three first-round picks Boston is still collecting from the 2013 swap that delivered Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce to the Nets.
And if Williams ultimately lands in Dallas, it would improve the chances that the Mavericks elect not to tank this season and instead deliver their pick to Boston. The Dallas pick is top 7 protected through 2020 before becoming unprotected in 2021.
The Celtics seemingly benefited from DeAndre Jordan's flip-flop decision to return to the Los Angeles Clippers. By spurning the Mavericks, it diminished their chance to be elite contenders, which could have resulted in delivering a late first-round pick.
Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge downplayed chatter about a potential windfall with Dallas' pick while talking with reporters in Utah on Thursday evening.
"I’m not looking forward to next year’s draft yet," said Ainge. "That’s way too far in advance. We’re just trying to get our team ready."