|2017-18 W/L: 55-27||2018-19 W/L: 49-33|
Finished 4th in the eastern conference (Lost 4-1 to Milwaukee in the eastern conference semifinals)
Team Needs: PG, PF, C
Pick 1: 1st Round-14th Overall
Pick 2: 1st Round-20th Overall
Pick 3: 1st Round-22nd Overall
Players who could be available and fit with these three picks:
Pick 4: 2nd Round-51st Overall
Players who could be available and fit with this pick:
The Celtics entered the year considered to be one of a handful of legitimate title contenders, but they fell short of those expectations losing to Milwaukee in the second round in just five games. The roster faces major uncertainty with multiple players set to become free agents and sources saying Al Horford will not be returning to the team. Kyrie Irving, Terry Rozier, Al Horford and Marcus Morris could all be gone next season giving the Celtics a chance to possibly do a mini rebuild through the draft and in free agency. Boston does retain a core of solid players with Jayson Tatum, Gordon Hayward, Marcus Smart, and Jaylen Brown. Hayward will be considered overpaid unless he takes it up another level from what he has been able to do since returning from injury, while they could potentially lose Brown to free agency after the 2019-2020 season. Outside of Hayward’s contract the team does not have any unreasonable deals on the books, giving them good financial flexibility to pair with the draft picks they select. All signs seem to pointing towards Irving not returning to the Celtics meaning they could go after some of the other big names in free agency like Kemba Walker. They missed out on acquiring Anthony Davis in a trade, but the Lakers gave up quite a lot for one player and that is not the usual operating procedure of how Danny Ainge does business. Overall the franchise has multiple roster and financial flexibility that allows them to go after free agents as well as get potential impact players through the draft on relatively cheap contracts.
Boston has four picks overall, three of which fall in the first round which giving management a chance at selecting a player that can stick in the league. Their first pick at #14 usually puts a team in a position to either draft a player that was projected to go higher but falls on draft night, or take the best player left on your board. It seems unlikely Coby White or Darius Garland will be available and there is a perceived drop off in point guards after the top three, but Carsen Edwards is an explosive scorer that could be an option for the Celtics #14, #20, or #22. A number of shooting guards or small forwards would fit in well like Keldon Johnson, Romeo Langford, Tyler Herro and others that are expected to be available in their range. Drafting another wing could help with the potential loss of Jaylen Brown if he chooses to leave Boston after next season in free agency. Kevin Porter Jr. is a name to watch for the Celtics due to the fact that he could still be on the board at #22 and he would be a great value pick that late in the first round. If Bol Bol is still not taken by #20 or #22 a team with as many picks as the Celtics would be crazy to pass up the potential that he has and choose another player, especially if they chose another big man with Bol Bol on the board. PJ Washington could fill a similar role that Marcus Morris has played in, and his improvement between his freshman and sophomore season was impressive leading to the belief he has more room to grow in his game. Nicolas Claxton is another option that has potentially been tied to the Celtics at #20 and #22. Claxton is a player with a high upside due to his length and versatility, but he could take some time to develop into an NBA level contributor.
Their 4th pick is in the range where a lot of international prospects are taken, and it would not be a surprise to see Boston take a player like Deividas Sirvydis or Joshua Obiesie with their second round selection. If they have not taken a point guard by the time they are on the clock at #51, they could take players like Jalen Lecque, Jaylen Hands, or Shamorie Ponds. Tacko Fall is a project but many sites are projecting him to be drafted in the 50’s with Boston being an option. Brain Bowen and Darius Bazley both have a high upside that would put them on Boston’s radar if they are still on the board, but there is a possibility that both will be taken before Boston’s second round pick. Cody Martin is a prospect that brings a high level of defense with the ability to knock down outside shots as a small forward, and he could potentially back up Jaylen Brown coming in as an experienced college player. If we were drafting for Boston we would take the best player available at #14, #20, and #22 which could look something like #14: Keldon Johnson/Nickeil Alexander-Walker, #20 Bol Bol/Brandon Clarke, #22 Carsen Edwards/Kevin Porter Jr.; For their second round pick, an international wing that they could develop would make sense, or a highly ranked but under performing freshman like Simisola Shittu or Jaylen Hoard if they are available.