After a 94-80 loss last night to the Chicago Bulls the Celtics “tank” season is evident and they are in one last final push for as many losses as possible. The Celtics are now 23-51 and rank 5th in the “tank” standings. In other words they have the 5th worst record in the league. This has every Celtic’s fan across the country asking themselves, who should the Celtics take with their early draft pick in a very deep draft? Experts have the Celtics drafting Julius Randle out of Kentucky. But does move really make sense with the Celtics current roster?
The Celitcs already have Jared Sullinger who has been nothing short of magnificent this year. Not only has he been a beast on the boards with 8.2 rebounds per game, he has also contributed on the offensive end with nearly 13 points a game. Sullinger is nearly averaging a double-double per game, which is very impressive for a second year player on a struggling team. The Celtics also have rookie 7-0 center Kelly Olynyk on their roster. In many eyes Olynyk is in the running for Rookie of the Year. He averages nearly 8 points per game and 5 rebounds. Now do I believe Olynyk is the best rookie in the NBA this year? Of course not. Michael Carter-Williams is the best rookie in the NBA this year.
I am not saying Randle is not a great player in college, but I do not believe he has a high of ceiling as Jared Sullinger and I do not think he will be the offensive weapon Olynyk has the chance of being.
Now this leaves the question, who should the Celtics take with their draft pick? I have it narrowed down to three players, Dante Exum who plays in Australia, Doug McDermot from Creighton, and TJ Warren from NC State.
Exum is a 6’6 shooting guard out of Australia. He is a versatile player who can get to the rim according to NBA scouts.
Most basketball fans know about Doug McDermott, the pure scorer out of Creighton. Many knock McDermott for his lack of athleticism and the level of competition he played against during his college basketball career (excluding his senior year). I just don’t buy it. McDermott finished fifth all time in scoring in college with 3,150 points. He is first team all American for the third time in his career. He averaged 21 points per game throughout his career and shot over 50 percent from the field. People say he cannot match up with the physicality of the NBA and it will be hard for him to adjust? Well that runs true with every player coming out of college. The NBA is a whole different monster than the NCAA. But McDermott has size, he is 6’8 and 225 pounds.
TJ Warren may be the opposite of Doug McDermott. He can score, but only by getting to the rim as he struggles with his outside shot. He is a very athletic small forward who is a high energy defender. But with the Celtics wanting to stick with Rondo (who is not a score first point guard) it may be tough for them to put points on the board with another player whose main talent is not scoring the basketball. TJ Warren reminds me of Michael Kidd-Gilchrest of the Charlotte Bobcats.
If I had to choose one player to draft in the upcoming NBA draft I am going with Doug McDermott. Sure he will not be the most athletic of physically gifted player on the court but he can score. And with Rondo setting him up for open shots there is no telling how effective McDermott could be at putting the ball in the basket.