Boston Celtics: Five Options for the 14th Overall Pick
On the night of Thursday, August 20th we bore witness to the NBA Draft Lottery. Due to a trade that happened almost a half-decade ago, the Boston Celtics were gifted with the Memphis Grizzlies 14th pick in the first round. As a team who is currently up 3-0 in the first round of the playoffs, this is a great chance to improve even further on an already fantastic team.
In this article, I will be going over 5 prospects who are likely to go around the 14th pick, that the Celtics could end up targeting. This will be based on the players I personally think the Celtics could go after based upon their style of play.
Villanova – 6’8” 215 Lbs 6’11” wingspan – Power Forward
Saddiq Bey is one of the most, if not the most, versatile forward coming from this class. He has a fantastic stretch forward ability, shooting over 45% from 3 in his sophomore year.
Among other things, Bey is a very capable defender and can defend anyone from shooting guard through center for the most part. His wingspan and full-body development allow him to develop this even further at an NBA level.
Bey is extremely competitive and never gives up on a play. Regardless of what is happening around him, whether it’s up by 30 or down by 30, he is always fighting to keep his team in the game.
His downsides are that he isn’t necessarily the most extreme athletic player on the court for his size and weight, and his jump shot is rather unorthodox so it may or may not translate to NBA ball.
Vanderbilt – 6’6” 213 Lbs 7’0” wingspan – mix of SG and SF
The first thing that immediately jumps off the board physically for Aaron Nesmith is his height to wingspan ratio. Being the size of a small forward with the wingspan of a small center is a huge trait of his that will draw a huge amount of attention to him.
Aaron is extremely athletic and extremely strong when working through traffic. He could end up being similar to that of Zach LaVine, in that he is a fantastic driving guard/small forward who is capable of shooting in certain scenarios.
His coaches have praised him greatly for his work ethic both during games and practice, as well as his fantastic leadership abilities.
On the downside, he has not been scouted nearly enough due to a stress fracture in his foot that caused him to miss over a dozen games. He also is not a fantastic playmaker, and occasionally slows down the pace on the court due to this.
North Carolina – 6’3” 190 Lbs 6’4.5” wingspan – Point Guard
One of the more prolific pure scorers in this draft class, Cole Anthony has made great impacts at NBA scouts during the Nike Academy. He is an extremely good open court athlete and is a very good on-ball player.
Cole has also shown some interesting improvements over the years on the defensive end. He is very capable of fighting through screens and has been competitive on the defensive end in the later years of college.
Also, Anthony has shown to have fantastic footwork and handling/ball-control. He is great at step-backs, pull-ups, and even changing his speed or direction on a dime.
His negatives tend to show outside his scoring. He is a poor facilitator on the court and not exceptionally good at manipulating a defense yet. His shooting can also get relatively inconsistent at times and is not always “on”.
French Overseas – 6’5” 174 Lbs 6’9” wingspan – Point Guard
Theo Maledon is one of the more impressive physical guards in this draft outside the top 10 prospects. He is extremely capable of defending anywhere from the point to small forwards even due to his size and wingspan.
More recently, he has been adding the three ball to his game, and it has worked out. Over his career, he has shot 36% from 3, which is dragged down due to his lack of consistency early on.
Even better for his efficiency, he very rarely makes what would be considered rookie mistakes. He is very smart with the ball and will make a pass or shot whenever needed. Arguably the most experienced player in the draft vs quality competition.
The issue with his game is that he isn’t the strongest player and has issues finishing inside, shooting a career 48% from 2. He isn’t extremely aggressive and doesn’t play a huge role in his euro team.
Aleksej “Poku” Pokusevski
Serbian overseas – 7’0” 195 Lbs 7’3” wingspan – Power Forward
Aleksej Pokusevski is one of the more intriguing options for the Celtics in this year’s draft due to his style of play. Resembling that of Kristaps Porzingis, he is a very confident and efficient 3 point shooting big. Very fluid motions in his shooting is one of the bright sides of his game.
Extremely young, being the youngest in this class at that. At 18 years old, and not turning 19 until December, he has a long career ahead of him. This young age allows him to be molded to fit a team’s needs over the next few years. He will continue to fill out his lanky frame over time likely to become in the 230-240 pound range eventually.
Due to his 9’1” standing reach, his rebounding is fantastic. He can also protect the paint and rim in most scenarios, which is promising defensively as I said before, he can be molded.
On the downside, Poku is an extremely skinny player for being 7 feet tall. This will likely find itself to be an issue when he goes up against larger body centers as he will get posted up. He is also sometimes inconsistent at shooting due to rookie mistakes, as to be expected at his age.