The Draft Outlook for the Boston Celtics
*Photo via AP
With the 2015 NBA Draft fast approaching, it’s time to find out what team needs what. The Boston Celtics are unlike most teams when it comes to the draft. Over the past few seasons, the Celtics have acquired a plethora of draft choices that range from the first round all the way to the bottom of the second round.
While the Celtics were a playoff contender this past season, they need a lot of work if they want to become one of the best teams in the Eastern Conference has to offer. A few picks in this year’s draft could change all of that.
This year, the Celtics hold the 16th, 28th, 33rd, and 45th overall picks. Four picks in one year is huge, especially for a team that is a few pieces away from being legitimate contenders in this league.
16th Pick: Bobby Portis, PF, Arkansas
This 6’11’’ and 246-pound power forward is exactly what the Celtics need. The other true power forwards on the team at the moment are Brandon Bass and Jared Sullinger. Brandon Bass is a proven player in this league despite his lackluster 2015 playoff showing. Jared Sullinger is one of the highly valuable pieces that the Celtics have to offer.
Brandon Bass is another piece that the club has to offer in a trade and the Celtics could get a valuable prize in return, possibly help land LaMarcus Aldridge. With Portis and Aldridge on the same team, the Celtics are looking at a very impressive power forward position. However, a signing of Aldridge may be unlikely and keeping Bass and trading for Sully seems to be in the cards.
28th Pick: Rashad Vaughn, SG, UNLV
Vaughn stands at 6’5’’ and weighs in at 200-pounds. Sure, he may only be 18 years old, but he proved to the nation he is a first round pick with an impressive 19 points per game last season at UNLV. As a Shooting Guard, his only real competition on the team is Evan Turner and James Young.
Turner loves playing ball in Boston, but James Young is a very good talent with a lot to learn in this league. Vaughn is a player who could step in right now and play. He might need some time in the D-League, but Rashad Vaughn could easily compete for a job with James Young.
33rd Pick: Andrew Harrison, PG, Kentucky
This happens to be my bold pick for the Celtics in the upcoming draft. Yes, the club already has Isiah Thomas, Avery Bradley, and Marcus Smart. Those are three solid players who are capable of providing scoring when they are out on the court. Andrew Harrison is a product of Kentucky which means he already has a level of professionalism that sets him apart from those in his draft class.
The Celtics roster is full of talented point guards, but I would not let Harrison go by me if I was Danny Ainge. Cutting ties with Smart is possible and maybe Harrison could fit in that way. But I am still taking him even if Smart is back for the 15-16 season.
45th Pick: Alpha Kaba, C, France
Kelly Olynyk and Tyler Zeller are the true centers on this team. Both are valuable players, but I think Kaba’s eight boards per game playing over in France is very valuable to this Boston team that was badly outrebounded in the playoffs.
As a late pick he may not be expected to make a splash, but he is worth the reward since he comes with a low risk.
With four picks this upcoming draft, the Celtics seem to be in a good spot for the next few years. Strong draft classes are needed for this team to go from a seventh seed to a top seed in the Eastern Conference.