The Boston Celtics traded the top pick in today's National Basketball Association draft to the Golden State Warriors yesterday for 7-foot center Robert Parish and the third choice in the draft.

The Celtics also gave the Warriors their other first-round pick, the 13th selection overall.

The Warriors wouldn't say who they planned to select with the first pick, but most likely it will be 7-1 Joe Barry Carroll of Purdue.

It is possible, though, that the Warriors could opt for 6-11 Kevin McHale of Minnesota or 6-4 Darrell Griffith of national champion Louisville.

There had been speculation the last few weeks that the Celtics would trade the top pick because they weren't successful in luring 7-4 Ralph Sampson from Virginia. They also were having a hard time deciding among Carroll, McHale and Griffith.

Assuming the Warriors take Carroll, Utah, picking second, is expected to take Griffith, which will leave the Celtics with McHale.

McHale is a hustling, fundamentally sound, good shooting, strong rebounding player who fits more into the classic Celtic mold than either Griffith or Carroll.

"In this draft, and there are exceptions and players can come out of the woods, there seem to be three players who are outstanding and the rest fall after that," said Red Auerbach, Celtic president and general manager. "We didn't particularly care from the beginning which one of the three we got."

The Washington Bullets have the 14th pick in the first round, acquired from Houston as compensation for the Rockets signing free agent guard Tom Henderson. The Bullets gave their No. 1 pick this year, as well as next year, to Detroit as compensation for signing free agent Kevin Porter.

General Manager Bob Ferry said yesterday he still wasn't sure who the Bullets would pick. Indications are that it could be one of six players -- 6-6 swing man Don Collins of Washington State, 6-5 swing man Mike Woodson of Indiana, 6-5 swing man Hawkeye Whitney of North Carolna State and De Matha High School, 6-2 guard Larry Drew of Missouri, 6-6 forward DeWayne Scales of LSU or 6-3 guard John Duren of Georgetown.

"Our pick certainly could come from one of those six," Ferry said. "But everything depends on who is stilll around."

The Bullets also have the 35th pick overall, in the second round. They do not have a third-round draft selection, having traded it to Phoenix in the Steve Malovic deal.

While some experts are calling this a weak crop, Ferry said it is "one of the best drafts I've ever seen. That's because of the depth. There are a lot of good players out there. We should get a good player with our pick and we will also be passing up some good players."

If they draft solely by need, the Bullets will pick a guard. If they go for the best player available, it probably will be a forward or a swing man.

Collins, Woodson and Whitney are attractive because of their versatility. They are not role players the Bullets have preferred in the past. They all are quick, fast and good shooters who can create their own scoring opportunities and fit into almost any system.

Collins, who averaged 23.1 points a game this season, and shot 59.7 percent from the field, is a 56 percent career field goal shooter. He led the Pac-10 in scoring and was the conference player of the year. He also led the Pac-10 in steals, averaging 2.8 a game.

Woodson missed more than half of last season because of surgery for a herniated disk. He was out only seven weeks, though, and still averaged 19.3 points a game in 14 games. He also was the leading scorer on the United States Pan American Games team.

Whitney, a local favorite, is considered a coach's delight. He's a good ball-handler, can jump, shoot and rebound.

After Carroll, Griffith and McHale are snapped up, things become a little complicated.

The Chicago Bulls have the fourth dpick and they are deciding between guards Ronnie Lester of Iowa, Kelvin Ramsey of Ohio State and forwards Mike O'Koren of North Carolina and James Ray of Jacksonville.

If there was no concern about Lester's knee, he undoubtedly would be the Fulls pick, but he injured it three times last season and also had an operation.

Over the weekend, Lester took an arthroscopic examination, a procedure by which doctors can look into the knee joint. He passed the test, but the Bulls are still a little lerry.

One little publicized player thought of very highly by the scouts is Southwest Louisiana's Andrew Toney.

The Philadelphia 76ers, picking eighth, want him badly. But New Jersey, picking sixth and seventh, also likes him.

Other players expected to go early in the first round are Michael Brooks of La Salle, Mike Gminski of Duke, Kiki Vandeweghe of UCLA, Ricky Brown of Mississippi State and Larry Smith of Alcorn State.

Parish, from Centenary, originally was Golden State's first pick in 1976.

He became a starter midway through the 1978 season and averaged 17 points and 10.9 rebounds a game last season.

Boston Coach Bill Fitch said Parish "corrects one of our deficiencies demonstrated in the playoffs -- shot blocking and bench intimidation."

"I see Parish playing behind and learning from Dave Cowens," Fitch added. "I've always been of the opinion that you aim to improve what has stopped you from going all the way. In our case, that means Philadelphia and that big front line of Darryl Dawkins and Caldwell Jones. We now have the power to match up with that lineup."

The Celtics had the best regular-season record in the league last season, but were eliminated from the playoffs in the Eastern Conference final by the 76ers in five games.

The Celtics acquired the two first-round picks they gave Golden State for Parish from Detroit as part of the Bob McAdoo-M.L. Carr transaction last season. The Pistons had acqired the 13th pick in the first round from the Bullets as compensation for their signing Porter.