By Tyler Sullivan Follow on Twitter @TylerSully
The NBA Draft is swiftly approaching. There are plenty of trade rumors and many involve the Celtics, but for the sake of this piece (and the ones to follow) let’s live in a universe where Boston uses all of their first round picks.
And away we go…
Let’s take a look at who the Celtics could be picking with the 3rd overall pick.
From all reports the Celtics really seem to like the Pac-12 Freshman Of The Year. They like him so much that they are bringing the California product back for a second workout.
I'm starting to talk myself into Jaylen Brown at 3.
— Bill Simmons (@BillSimmons) June 19, 2016
At Cal, the 6-foot-7-inch guard averaged 14.6 points and 5.4 rebounds per game, but did so on sheer athletic ability. He still needs to develop some semblance of a jumper and needs to have a better feel for the game. Brown’s intelligence has been highly profiled, but the in-game-smarts needs some work.
Why I like Jaylen Brown: he does a great Jackie Moon/Dion Waiters impersonation pic.twitter.com/Epa9KqawbD
— Zach Harper (@talkhoops) June 15, 2016
Fit with the Celtics – Brown is project. The Celtics already have a bunch of guards that don’t shoot the ball well consistency, so in that aspect he fits right into the Celtics “system,” but overall they should be able to get a much safer and promising player at No.3.
Hield is probably the most recognizable player that is on the C’s radar. At Oklahoma, Hield averaged 25 pointer per game and hit 45.7% from three.
Jamal Murray hit 79 of 100 3’s in Boston last week. Buddy Hield, per source, hit 85 of 100 in front of Celtics brass today in California.
— Jeff Goodman (@GoodmanESPN) June 13, 2016
Some of the big knocks on Hield is the disbelief, or rarity, that Hield improved so much from his junior year to his senior year. It would be assumed that NBA teams fear that this last season was a one-off.
Another concern is Hield’s measurements. At 6-foot-five-inches, he’d be a tad undersized to go up against NBA shooting guards.
Something that will be endearing to whatever fanbase welcomes in Hield is his work ethic and willingness to take the ball in pressure situations.
Fit with the Celtics – Hield seems like an ideal fit for the Celtics. Boston needs scoring specifically from deep and Buddy can provide that in buckets. In a time where three point shooting is at a premium and teams like the Golden State Warriors are playing away from the basket, Hield seems like a perfect offensive player for the 2016 NBA.
At 19 years old, Jamal Murray is one of the youngest players in this draft and is oozing with potential. Offensively, Murray can already play at the next level. At Kentucky the freshman averaged 20 points per game and has a great looking shot.
He can play off the ball extremely well, but like Hield he is undersized for the off guard position and may be more of a liability defensively.
Like Hield and Brown, Murray has also caught the eye of the Celtics.
According to @Murf56, the Celtics are possibly brining Jaylen Brown, Buddy Hield and Jamal Murray all back for second workouts this week.
— Tyler Sullivan (@TylerSully) June 19, 2016
In his first workout with the Celts, Murray, at the time, broke the team record in three pointers with 79 out of 100. Buddy Hield broke it later in his workout.
Fit with the Celtics – Murray would be my pick if I were Danny Ainge. The Celtics need scoring and they also need a young superstar to build around. Murray could potentially do both. There are, no doubt, concerns about how he’ll fare defensively, but playing on a Celtics team that has elite defensive players, they can afford to have one guy who isn’t a defensive anchor.
Bonus: He already has an awesome “shooting arrow” three point celebration.
Dragan Bender is the big mystery of the 2016 NBA Draft. Living in a a world where Kristaps Porzingis took the league by surprise and storm, the tall, overseas forward with three-point range is what is keeping Bender at the top of many draft boards.
Bender has decent court vision and is an above average passer. He went through what Pelicans star Anthony Davis went through starting off as a guard and then grew into a seven footer and those guard skills don’t entirely go away with the increase in size.
Power Forward is where Bender will probably stay in the NBA where he will have elite size. He could eventually move to Center down the road as he develops into his body. He also has shown that he isn’t afraid to play physical.
At 18-years-old, Bender has a tone of room to grow and has an extremely high ceiling. He could be the next Porzingis, but he could also be the next Darko Milicic which, if you don’t know, is not good.
Fit with the Celtics – The Celtics need size and better three-point shooting, so on the surface Bender seems like the logical fit for Boston. But, when you average only 3.1 points and 1.9 rebounds in 10 minutes in the Israeli League, there are huge question marks as to what he can do in the NBA. The potential is there it’s just a matter of if the Celtics want to risk what could be their highest draft pick in the next half decade on it.
If they Celtics do draft Bender at least we’ll all have sweet Game of Thrones references to put on Twitter when he plays well.
I really only want the Celtics to draft Dragan Bender so I can post this all the time. pic.twitter.com/Fl2OGBRUTO
— Tyler Sullivan (@TylerSully) June 2, 2016