NBA Draft

Celtics net Gonzaga’s Kelly Olynyk in draft

The Celtics traded up three spots , from No. 16 to No. 13, to select Gonzaga forward Kelly Olynyk in the first round.

Ben Margot/AP

The Celtics traded up three spots , from No. 16 to No. 13, to select Gonzaga forward Kelly Olynyk in the first round.

Danny Ainge and the Celtics were big movers on NBA draft day, extinguishing the remaining pieces of a championship contender for a rebuilding process that began Thursday night.

The Celtics traded up three spots, from No. 16 to No. 13, to select Gonzaga forward Kelly Olynyk in the first round.


The Celtics gave Dallas two future second-round picks and the Celtics’ rights to the No. 16 pick (Brazilian center Lucas Nogueira).

They also traded to acquire Colton Iverson, who was selected by Indiana in the second round with the No. 53 overall pick. The Pacers received cash from Boston.

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Iverson is a 7-foot, 255-pound center who transferred to play at Colorado State last season. He sat out 2011-12 after leaving the University of Minnesota after three seasons. Iverson, who will turn 24 Saturday, averaged 14.2 points and 9.8 rebounds last season.

Olynyk, a 7-foot, 234-pound junior, averaged 18.1 points, 7.3 rebounds, 1.7 assists, and 1.1 steals over 26.5 minutes in 31 games for the Bulldogs last season.

Olynyk, 21, was the West Coast Conference Player of the Year and greatly improved his stock at the NBA draft combine. He’s known for his strong motor, athleticism, and ability to shoot with range stretching to the perimeter. He was considered by some scouts as the most offensively gifted big man in the draft with great hands, but he is not a good defender.


In 2012-13, Olynyk led Gonzaga to its first No. 1 national ranking.

He’ll likely make his debut for the Celtics in July during Summer League in Orlando.

And the Canadian native will help shore up a Celtics’ roster badly in need of size. How badly? Prior to Thursday, the Celtics had one center under contract next season: Fab Melo.

But Melo, who was drafted last season, is far from a finished project, so Olynyk could be thrown into the mix early with Kevin Garnett traded to the Nets (along with Paul Pierce and Jason Terry).

The Celtics did not have their own second-round pick Thursday night.

The Celtics changed the dynamic of a fading contender in their blockbuster deal with the Nets and began rebuilding with their stated goal of getting younger. Olynyk joins a roster that includes Rajon Rondo, 27, and starters Avery Bradley, 22, and Jeff Green, 26. Jared Sullinger and Melo, the Celtics’ first-round picks last season, are 21 and 23, respectively. Sullinger’s promising rookie season was cut short by back surgery in February, but he is expected to return for training camp.

Baxter Holmes can be reached at
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