Draft season is here, well if your team is out of the playoffs that is. I’ve really been looking into this year’s draft, with the media’s focus obviously on Zion, which gets annoying at times, and there being some other gems that are being overlooked by everyone, it’s looking like an exciting year for the draft. With me being a Celtics fan, and the Celtics looking forward to the draft, I wanted to make a mock draft. So I did. Before I get into it below I wanted to go over the 3 first round picks the Celtics will have on draft night. On lottery night the Celtics got the 14th pick, which was originally the Kings, but was eventually traded to us when we moved down in the 2017 draft and gave the 76ers our #1 pick. We got their #3 pick in return and also the rights to the Kings or their pick, whichever one was better. It had a small chance of moving up to the top 4, (minus #1 because then it would have gone back to the 76ers on a protection), but ultimately didn’t. It was reported that the Celtics came one ping pong ball away from getting the 4th pick, which the Lakers got. But since that didn’t happen the Celtics will select at 14 this year along with 2 other selections, the 20th and the 22nd. We got the 20th from the Clippers in a trade a while ago involving Jeff Green, and the 22nd is our pick. With all that being said let’s get into the mock draft.
Pick 14 – Brandon Clarke – Gonzaga (6’8” PF)
I’ve thought about this pick for awhile. After we lost the Bucks series I was totally on board to trade this pick up to the 9-10 range and taking a point guard, assuming Kyrie would leave. Now thinking about it with a clear mind, I think we should stay put and take someone with size. I think at #14 players like, Bol Bol, P.J Washington, and Brandon Clarke could be options for us. If I had to pick one I’m picking Brandon Clarke. Clarke is an exceptional defender and can get buckets from the post. He is a very athletic power forward that I would love to see in green. The only weaknesses I can see would be his three point shooting and his draft age. Clarke only shot 27% from three and Clarke will be 23 by the time the season rolls around. Clarke averaged 16.9 points on about 69% shooting, adding 8.6 rebounds and 3.1 blocks in 28.1 minutes a night is very impressive considering he shared touches with Rui Hachimura, another super athletic forward from the Zags. Lots of people would see Bol Bol as the best player out of the three, which might not be wrong, but his size and how easily he can get injured kind of pushes me away from that idea. I think if Bol Bol was healthy all year then I wouldn’t even be mentioning his name right now, he would be a top ten pick easily. P.J Washington is another guy on the radar. A pretty good three point shooter and a good scorer in general, Washington could fit well in the NBA as a modern stretch 4. I really wouldn’t mind seeing him end up on the Celtics but I still think Clarke is the better fit for the them. A great athletic defender who can score with ease, and hopefully a Celtic on June 20th.
Photo credit – UK athletics
Pick 20 – Tyler Herro – Kentucky (6’6” SG)
Tyler Herro was a spot up three point shooter with the Kentucky Wildcats, something the Celtics could use. His percentages weren’t eye-popping, only shooting 35% from three for the season, but he did have a lights out performance during a workout earlier this week. Tyler put up 14 points per game, grabbed 4.5 boards and dished out 2.5 assists during this past season at Kentucky. Another strength to Herro’s game is his free throw shooting. Herro shot 93% from the line this year, that’s one of the highest in the whole NCAA. With a free throw percentage like that he could have a whole lot of potential to become a deadly spot up shooter. I’ve seen a couple of drafts that have Herro going just before the Celtics 20th pick but I have a feeling he will still be on the board for us by then. I think Herro would be a pretty good fit with the Celtics, a nice spot up shooter with a bit of size to be able to defend decently. If the Celtics can get him I’ll be a happy camper.
Photo credit – Cristian Petersen – Getty Images
Pick 22 – Grant Williams – Tennessee (6’7” SF/PF)
Grant Williams is another very athletic forward that the Celtics seem to like. Great on the boards and in the post, Williams is a certified beast down low who I think is getting overlooked. He can score at will underneath while still being able to hit the three at 32%. Williams is an excellent passer at the forward position, averaging 3.2 assists on the season. The Celtics have quite a few forwards and drafting one might seem like a waste of a pick but I really think Williams is for real, with the potential of Marcus Morris leaving this offseason, bringing in a couple forwards isn’t a bad idea. If the Celtics have too many forwards then they can always send one down to the Redclaws to develop. Williams at 6’7” can also snag boards, grabbing 7.5 per game this year, great numbers for a player that size. In the day and age of the NBA that fouls seem like they are called every other possession, having a big who can knock them down from the line is key. Williams is shooting 81% from the line, a surprisingly high percentage for a forward. Overall I think the Celtics can only benefit from picking up Williams at 22, I would love to hear Adam Silver announce the Celtics picking him come draft night.
Photo credit – Kevin Cox – Getty Images[/caption]
Pick 51 – C.J Massinburg – Buffalo (6’3” SG)
Now you might be thinking, who really cares about a pick so late in the draft? Well, let me tell you a few names that have gone pretty late in their draft. Marc Gasol, 46th, Goran Dragic, 45th, Jordan Clarkson, 46th, and obviously Isaiah Thomas, 60th. So after jogging your memory, I want to now explain why I think Massenburg could be a late draft steal. First of all, he can score. Massinburg averaged 18.2 for the year off of 46% shooting and 39% three point shooting. Granted he played at Buffalo and the competition may not be as good as it would be playing at bigger colleges, but it’s still very impressive to put up 18 a night, especially at 6’3”, what’s even more impressive to me is grabbing 6.5 rebounds a night at 6’3”, that’s extremely difficult. Massinburg is very carful with the ball, only getting 1.3 turnovers per night for the year, he also can find the open man, getting 3 assists a night too. Only big downsides with Massinburg is his draft age, 22, and his paint defense, even though he’s small he still only got 0.3 blocks a night, guards will eat him up down low. Still, I really think this could be a steal at 51 and that the Celtics should look at him if he’s on the board.
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