With the 2019 NBA Draft just under a week away and the Celtics holding picks 14, 20, 22, and 51, it’s time we dive into who may be on the Celtics’ radar on draft night.
The Celtics have worked out (*Checks Notes*) basically every single prospect in this draft so the possibilities here are indeed endless. Based on fit and where they’re positioned to go in the draft I’ve narrowed the field down to a handful of guys who could start their career’s as Celtics.
Brandon Clarke 6′ 8″ 215 lbs PF Gonzaga
PPG 16.9 RPG 8.6 APG 1.9
FG% 68.7 3FG% 26.7 FT% 69.4
Clarke is an athletic specimen who lit it up this year at Gonzaga. No really, this guy can absolutely jump out of the gym and has the size that’ll make him a hot commodity on draft night. He isn’t much of a jump shooter but his intangibles in the post, soft hands, and alert passing make him a perfect fit in the Celtics’ offense. Clarke’s been gaining buzz around the league the past few weeks so don’t be surprised if he jumps up into the Top-10.
Tyler Herro 6′ 5″ 195 lbs SG Kentucky
PPG 14.0 RPG 4.5 APG 2.5
FG% 46.2 3FG% 35.5 FT% 93.5
If the Celtics are looking for a guy who can spray three balls from anywhere on the court, look out for Tyler Herro. The former Kentucky Wildcat impressed in his freshman season under Coach Cal and showed that he can shoot at will from downtown. While his game is predicated on a lot of catch and shoot, he also has the ability to get his shot off the dribble. His jumper is NBA ready with a quick release and impressive balance for such a young player. The footwork he displays and balance reminds me of Klay Thompson and the Celtics could use a guy who doesn’t necessarily need the ball much to make an impact.
Bol Bol 7′ 2″ 235 lb PF/C Oregon
PPG 21.0 RPG 9.6 APG 1.0
FG% 56.1 3FG% 52.0 FT% 75.7
By far the biggest mystery of the draft, the Celtics could take a flier on Bol Bol (son of Manute Bol), who had his season cut short by a stress fracture in his foot after just 9 games. While the red flags are there, the potential might be enough to blind you from the. There’s no other way to put it, he’s an absolute freak of nature who soars at 7 foot 2 but can bounce out to the three point line and hit jumpers. His health and defensive ability at the next level are concerns and it’s tough to calculate exactly where exactly Bol may fall in the draft. He’s a project, but with 3 first round picks it could be a worthwhile investment for the Celtics.
Goga Bitadze 6′ 11″ 250 lbs C International
PPG 12.1 RPG 6.4 APG 1.2
FG% 54.8 3FG% 31.3 FT% 71.4
Bitadze is believed to be the second-best international prospect in this draft behind Sekou Doumbouya. He’s a mammoth of a human and while it’s tough to gauge him while watching international footage, he’ll have a chance in this league. He uses his body to his advantage and his footwork around the rim is impressive for man of his stature. With so many picks the Celtics might look towards the draft and stash route with one of these picks and Bitadze is a candidate to be just that.
Nickeil Alexander-Walker 6′ 5″ 205 lbs SG Virginia Tech
PPG 16.2 RPG 4.1 APG 4.0
FG% 47.4 3FG% 37.4 FT% 77.8
A combo-guard while at VT, NAW is exactly the type of player who Danny Ainge fawns over. He can do a bunch of different things well on offense from distributing, catch and shoot, and breaking guys down off the dribble. NAW also has the length to be able to grow into an exceptional wing defender at the next level. His ability to guard multiple positions make him a prototypical cog in the Celtics switch-heavy defensive scheme. He has the athleticism to shine and reminds me of Shai Gilgeous-Alexander with a better looking jumpshot. He could fit into a role as early as next season and hopefully the Celtics can get their hands on him in this draft.
Grant Williams 6′ 7″ 235 lbs PF Tennessee
PPG 18.8 RPG 7.5 APG 3.2
FG% 56.4 3FG% 32.6 FT% 81.9
Speaking of guys with versatile skill sets, look no further than Grant Williams. He’s built like a Geodude and has a hankering for drawing contact in the lane. By drawing contact, I mean he straight up barrels through guys like they’re nothing. He had a monstrous junior season for the Volunteers and his draft stock rose during March Madness. He isn’t afraid to use his body and does a great job of using it to his advantage on both ends as he’s a bit undersized for his position. He makes up for that size with effort and he’d be right at home next to likes of Marcus Smart, Al Horford, and Aron Baynes in practice.
Mfiondu Kabengele 6′ 10″ 250 SF/PF Florida State
PPG 13.2 RPG 5.9 APG 0.3
FG% 50.2 3FG% 36.9 FT% 76.1
Kabengele impressed in his Sophomore season as he was named the ACC’s 6th Man of The Year. He was on a stacked FSU roster littered with upperclassmen so he made the most out of a bench role this season. Kabengele is another guy out of the Grant Williams mold as he’s a big man who isn’t afraid to throw his body around. While Williams has the better all-around game, Kabengele is bigger and is shockingly explosive at his size with a motor that seemingly never stops. He’s a raw talent but his potential is through the roof as he has a long way to go in terms of developing his skill set. He’ll have time to figure it out in Boston and is worth spending a pick on if he’s there when the Celtics pick in the 20s.
Round 2 (Don’t quote me on this part Round 2 is a doozy)
Admiral Schofield PF/C Tennessee
Talen Horton-Tucker SG/SF Iowa St.
Kyle Guy SG Virginia
Louis King SF/PF Oregon
Chuma Okeke PF Auburn
No matter what transpires, it figures to be the start of a wild off-season in the NBA, and for our Boston Celtics.