Now that the season has gone by the wayside, it's time to think of next year. First up will be the NBA draft.
The Celtics officially have the 25th and 55th picks in this year's draft and there's a good possibility that the Celtics can find a player who will contribute in the future at that spot. It's also possible that Danny will draft a player who will be a bust and out of the league in a year or two.
Since 1990, there have been way more misses than hits with the 25th pick. The Celtics got one of the hits in the 2004 draft when they picked Tony Allen. It took Tony a few years to "get it" but this year he showed that he is definitely an NBA talent who can start on a contending team.
Other players taken with the 25th pick over the past 20 years include Alaa Abdelnaby, Shaun Vandiver, Elmore Spencer, Corie Blount, Greg Minor, David Vaughn, Martin Muursepp, John Thomas, Al Harrington, Tim James, Iakovos Tsakalidis, Gerald Wallace, Frank Williams, Carlos Delfino, Johan Petro, Shannon Brown, Morris Almond, Nicolas Batum, Roddy Beaubois, and Dominique Jones.
There have been several notable players taken at #24, where the OKC Thunder will be picking this season. Among them are Rick Fox (91), Sam Cassell (93), Derek Fisher (96), Andrei Kirilenko (99), Nenad Krstic ((02), Delonte West (04), Rudy Fernandez (07), and Serge Ibaka (08). It's interesting that of these players picked at 24, four of them have played for the Celtics at one time.
Teams have also been able to pick some gems out of the second round. Although the majority of second round picks never make it past training camp, there have been some who are making a name for themselves in the league. Among these are Landry Fields (39), Mario Chalmers (34), Luc Mbah a Moute (37), DeAndre Jordan (35), Carl Landry (31), Glen Davis (36), Marc Gasol (48), Leon Powe (49), Ronny Turiaf (37), Monta Ellis (40), Ryan Gomes (50), Marcin Gortat (57), Anderson Varejao (30), Trevor Ariza (43), Jason Kopono (31), Matt Bonner (45), Kyle Korver (51), Carlos Boozer (35), Matt Barnes (46), Gilbert Arenas (31), Eddie House (37), and Michael Redd (43). But considering the number of 2nd round picks that have been made since 2000, more teams have blown it than hit home runs.
Now that we see what an inexact science drafting is, let's take a look at who the mock drafts think Danny will take with the 25th pick this year. I checked out 20 different mock drafts and the picks were all over the place from a center all the way to a point guard. Seven mocks feel that the Celtics will take Jordan Williams, a 6'9" center out of Maryland. Two mocks have the Celtics taking Trey Thompkins, a 6'10" PF from Georgia. Two sites have the Nikola Vucevic, a 6'10" PF from USC. One site each have the Celtics picking Charles Jenkins (6'3" PG), Norris Cole (6'3" PG), Jeff Taylor (6'6" SF), Lucas Nogueira (6'11" C), Jereme Richmond (6'7" SF), Kenneth Faried (6'8" PF), Tyler Honeycutt (6'8" PF), and Nikola Mirotic (6'10" SF).
As you can see, nobody really knows who the Celtics will pick. There has been some talk that Danny has already given Reggie Jackson a promise to take him at 25. Jackson is a 6'3" point guard with a freakish 7 foot wingspan. I'm not sure why Danny would take another PG, though. With Rondo in the fold long time and Avery Bradley needing playing time to develop along with Delonte West, who should be in the mix for next year, point guard doesn't seem to be where the Celtics need help the most. The Reggie Jackson rumors may be just a smoke screen, or Danny may have something in mind that we aren't aware of. Sometimes Danny is just gathering chips to trade for what he wants.
With Jeff Green supposedly the Celtics future at SF either behind or in front of Paul Pierce, small forward doesn't seem to be a major need either and 3 mocks have the Celtics taking a small forward. Most of the mocks see a big as the Celtics biggest area of need. I have to say I agree with that. With Perk gone and Big Baby probably gone, the Celtics could really use another big. Jordan Williams seems to be the consensus pick for the Celtics. I'm not so sure I want to draft a player out of Maryland. I still have nightmares about the Celtics last pick from Maryland, but that's another story for another time.
The Celtics are starting to schedule workouts with prospective players. Sometimes that can give you an idea of who they are looking at, but more often than not, Danny will draft a player that he never had in for a work out. On June 1, Justin Harper (6'10" PF), Matt Howard (6'6" F), Jon Leuer (6'10" PF), and Jamie Skeen (6'9" PF) are all expected in for a work out for the Celtics. On June 20, they have Corey Stokes (6'5" G) scheduled for a work out. Howard and Stokes are projected to go undrafted while Skeen and Leuer are expected to go in the second round and Harper should go late first round.
Over the next few weeks as we await the draft, I'll be posting some profiles of the players that may be on the Celtics' radar in this draft. Hopefully this draft will yield a player who can come in and contribute this season. Let's hope Danny gets this one right.
Check out Celtics Life draft coverage here.