Five Quick Thoughts on the Boston Celtics Draft


It's becoming a yearly tradition for the Boston Celtics.  Stockpile "assets"/draft picks, "explore" moving up in the draft or making a deal, and then ultimately do nothing.  Why did I expect this year to be any different?  Danny Ainge is honestly the anti-Bill Belichick.  Whereas Belichick loves to trade away picks, Ainge uses just about every single one.

Photo courtesy of The Boston Globe

I will say I think some of the criticism that Ainge gets is unfair.  We're at the point now where because he hasn't made any recent moves, people criticize him for moves that other teams make.  Like guys like Seth Curry and Danny Green have been on the move recently.  For Boston, moves like that feel kind of sideways to me.  They'd have to give up something important and the return wouldn't be worth it.

Anyways, these are some of the things that were running through my head as I watched last night's draft:

1. My initial thought is that I'm not sure of the future of any of these guys at the moment.  We already know that even though they made a selection at #30, they will be sending it to Memphis.  As for the other two picks, I'm not so sure they'll be on the roster when camp begins.  The second round choice will stay overseas for a bit.  It feels more and more like Gordon Hayward is out of here, or some sort of trade is coming down the line.  With the rumors that Atlanta is linked to Hayward, and the fact that they drafted a big man in Onyeka Okongwu last night, it feels like something is imminent.  With Clint Capela, John Collins and now Okongwu, there's a bit of a logjam for the Hawks. 

2. The Celtics addressed a need by drafting Aaron Nesmith.  One thing they lacked was scoring, specifically shooting, off of the bench.  They were hoping Carsen Edwards was going to be that, turns out he hit all of his shots in college.  Nesmith should help in that area.  The guy can flat out shoot.  He shot 51% overall last year and an astounding 52% from three-point range!  He only played in 14 games before an injury ended his season.  So, while it's a smaller sample size, it's not as if it was only a five or six game stretch. He made at least 3 three-pointers in 11 of his 14 games, and made a total of 60 in his 14 games.  As a freshman, he shot just 33% from downtown, so he made quite an improvement in just a year.  He has the potential to make an immediate impact.  He acknowledges that his shooting is his best asset, but feels he can bring more to the table.  In due time sir, but in the beginning, just shoot.

3. I'm not crazy about the Payton Pritchard pick.  He was a great player in Oregon, and maybe I'm wrong but it just feels like another guy who will come in and spend most of his time in Maine with the Red Claws.  He'll sit at the end of the bench in Boston, getting into a few games here and there.  He'll make some nice plays throughout the regular season, but won't make any real significant impact.  They don't need another young guard.  I would much rather see them bring in a veteran to come off the bench and run the second unit.  I think Brad Wanamaker's time is up, so there will be a hole to fill - in truth, I liked Wanamaker, but there was a hole to fill even with him on the team.  A proven, veteran guard to come in, back up Kemba and allow Smart to play off the ball would do wonders for this team. 

4. I was hoping the Celtics would package their picks, move up in the draft and select a big man.  We all saw how Bam Adebayo ruined them in the Eastern Conference Finals.  So, I was hoping for an impactful big.  I think what last night showed is the faith and commitment that the Celtics have in guys like Robert Williams and Grant Williams.  Both of them played meaningful postseason minutes, flashed some potential and made significant contributions.  Robert Williams' biggest issue is health.  If he can make it through a full season, I think he could take that next step.  Grant Williams is undersized, so not your prototypical big man, but is versatile, hard working and always ready.  Brad Stevens had the confidence to insert him late in close games during the postseason, and aside from a couple of missed free throws in Game 7 against Toronto, he didn't disappoint.  If he can knock down the three more consistently, which he started to do in the playoffs, he could become a key bench contributor as well. 

5. At the end of the day, nobody really knows how these players are going to transition to the NBA.  Danny Ainge has certainly had some whiffs in the past, but he's also hit on plenty of players as well.  If you want to be upset that they didn't package these picks and move up, or trade them for a veteran, that's fair.  I just think it's too early to criticize the actual selections, as if we have any idea how things are going to play out.

Follow Derek on Twitter @mcvay34.

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Boston Sports Syndicate: Five Quick Thoughts on the Boston Celtics Draft
Five Quick Thoughts on the Boston Celtics Draft
Boston Sports Syndicate
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