With the No. 3 overall pick and seven other picks in this year’s NBA Draft, the Celtics have a lot of decisions to make.
Keep the pick and take a player even though there’s no clear-cut choice? Package it for a blockbuster trade that yields a much-needed superstar for Boston? Cluster a handful of the other picks to get a fourth first-round pick?
Team president Danny Ainge and the Celtics have a lot of options — and picks — once again this draft. But after Boston has been bounced from the playoffs two years in a row in the first round after making small gains overall, Ainge needs to bring a big piece to Boston to complement Isaiah Thomas’s scoring and add to the team’s dedication to defense. Brad Stevens surely would appreciate the help.
So as we inch closer to the draft itself, here is a look at everything you need to know:
When: Thursday, June 23
Where: Barclays Center, Brooklyn
Time: 7 p.m.
Format: There are two rounds, each with 30 picks. There are 5 minutes per pick in the first round and 2 minutes per pick in the second round. The Philadelphia 76ers won the draft lottery this year and therefore pick first. Here is the draft order:
2. Los Angeles Lakers
3. Boston (From Brooklyn)
6. New Orleans
7. Denver (From New York)
9. Toronto (From Denver via New York)
13. Phoenix (From Washington)
15. Denver (From Houston)
16. Boston (From Dallas)
19. Denver (From Portland)
24. Philadelphia (From Miami via Cleveland)
25. Los Angeles Clippers
26. Philadelphia (From Oklahoma City via Denver and Cleveland)
28. Phoenix (From Cleveland via Boston)
29. San Antonio
30. Golden State
31. Boston (From Philadelphia via Miami)
32. Los Angeles Lakers
33. Los Angeles Clippers (From Brooklyn)
35. Boston (From Minnesota via Phoenix)
36. Milwaukee (From New Orleans via Sacramento)
37. Houston (From New York via Sacramento and Portland)
39. New Orleans (From Denver via Philadelphia)
40. New Orleans (From Sacramento)
44. Atlanta (From Washington)
45. Boston (From Memphis via Dallas)
47. Orlando (From Chicago)
48. Chicago (From Portland via Cleveland)
51. Boston (From Miami)
52. Utah (From Boston via Memphis)
53. Denver (From Charlotte via Oklahoma City)
55. Brooklyn (From Los Angeles Clippers)
56. Denver (From Oklahoma City)
57. Memphis (From Toronto)
58. Boston (From Cleveland)
59. Sacramento (From San Antonio)
60. Utah (From Golden State)
The Celtics have the most picks in the draft with eight — three in the first round, five in the second. Six teams — Cleveland, Miami, New York, Oklahoma City, Portland, and Washington — do not have a single pick in the draft.
The underclassmen rule change
This draft is a bit different. For the last six years, an underclassman had to withdraw his name by the end of April if he wanted to retain his NCAA eligibility. That allowed players little wiggle room to be evaluated, go through the pre-draft processes, and make a sound decision about their future.
But in January, the NCAA changed the rule. Underclassmen can now go through the combine and the evaluations, receive feedback and have until 10 days after the combine to withdraw their names. Underclassmen can enter and withdraw their name as many times as they want.
Which players have the Celtics worked out so far?
The Celtics don’t release the name of every prospect they work out. But here are the players we know have worked out in Boston: Jaylen Brown (Cal), Taurean Prince (Baylor), DeAndre Bembry (Saint Joseph’s), Roosevelt Jones (Butler), Kellen Dunham (Butler), Perry Ellis (Kansas), Isaia Cordinier (France), Nick Faust (Long Beach State), Pascal Siakam (New Mexico State), Jarrod Uthoff (Iowa), Guerschon Yabusele (France), Hunter Mickelson (Kansas), Dyshawn Pierre (Dayton), Tanner Plomb (Army), Jordan Sakho (Spain), Zhou Qi (China), Nigel Hayes (Wisconsin), Abdul-Malik Abu (North Carolina State), Trevon Bluiett (Xavier), Malik Pope (San Diego State), James Webb III (Boise State), Malcolm Brogdon (Virginia), Josh Hart (Villanova), Abdel Nader (Iowa State), Jake Layman (Maryland), Dorian Finney-Smith (Florida), Quincy Ford (Northeastern), Marcus Georges-Hunt (Georgia Tech), Sheldon McClellan (Miami (FL)), Mike Tobey (Virginia), Jameel Warney (Stony Brook).
Celtics pick history
Since the draft was reduced to two rounds in 1989, the Celtics have not drafted more than four picks in a year. Though it seems unlikely Danny Ainge & Co. will keep all eight picks this year, on the off chance they do, it would be the biggest haul since Boston drafted 10 players in 1984, when the draft was 10 rounds.
“I think Brad [Stevens] asked in his contract extension to not have eight rookies this year,” joked Austin Ainge, the Celtics’ director of player personnel.
This year’s No. 3 pick is the highest selection team president Danny Ainge has had since he was hired as executive director of basketball operations in May 2003.
Of the 30 players he has drafted, three have been top-10 picks — Marcus Smart (2014, 6th overall), Jeff Green (2007, 5th overall), and Randy Foye (2006, 7th overall).
Half of the players Ainge has drafted have been guards.
Of those 30, eight are still with the organization, and two — Avery Bradley and Jared Sullinger — for more than two seasons.
Five of the players were immediately traded after being drafted. Three were eventually waived. One played out his contract with the Celtics before signing with the Grizzlies. Seven were involved in trades that brought together or dismantled the Big 3 in Boston.
The 30 players have averaged 83.4 games with the Celtics, logging 21.4 minutes and 9 points per game in those contests.
The 18 first rounders have averaged 110.8 games with the Celtics, 23.2 minutes, and 10.1 points per game. The 12 second rounders have played an average of 42.3 games with the Celtics and 14.6 minutes and 4.6 points in those contests.
|Terry Rozier||G||2015||1||16||39||1.8||Still with team|
|R.J. Hunter||G||2015||1||28||36||2.7||Still with team|
|Jordan Mickey||PF||2015||2||33||16||1.3||Still with team|
|Marcus Thornton||G||2015||2||45||0||0||Still with team|
|Marcus Smart||PG||2014||1||6||128||8.4||Still with team|
How the format of the draft evolved
The first format of the NBA Draft? Teams picked until there were no more players to pick. The first draft was in 1947. Then in 1974 came some structure: 10 rounds. Ten rounds went to seven in 1985. Seven rounds went to two in 1989. And here we are in 2016 with two rounds.
Though there is a good chance the Celtics will try to package their No. 3 overall pick in a trade, here’s a look at some of the top prospects:
Brandon Ingram, small forward, Duke — The 6-9, 190-pound Ingram has been compared to Oklahoma City’s Kevin Durant after a freshman campaign that saw him average 17.3 points for Duke. He was a finalist for the Freshman of the Year Award and for the Small Forward of the year award. He was named second-team All-ACC and earned ACC Freshman of the Year honors.
Because of questions surrounding LSU’s Ben Simmons, Ingram and his high upside have a real shot at going first overall.
“Ingram is a better shooter — which is perhaps the most important skill in today’s NBA — and has shown a much better trajectory throughout the college season,” Jonathan Givony wrote for Yahoo!’s The Vertical. “The intel on Ingram as a teammate and competitor has been much stronger than Simmons’. Yes, Ingram has a much more frail frame now, but it’s easy to envision him filling out as he ages and matures.”
Ben Simmons, small forward, LSU — The 6-10, 240-pound Simmons averaged 19.2 points and 11.8 rebounds per game in 33 contests for the Tigers last season. He was named the National Freshman of the Year and the Southeastern Conference Freshman of the Year. He had the fifth-most double-doubles in the country this season and was thought to be the No. 1 overall pick much of the season.
“He also shows some ability to score inside the post with righthanded jump hooks and excellent footwork,” Givony wrote for DraftExpress. “He is devastating operating in isolation situations from the mid-post area as he’s simply too quick and too creative with the ball for most big men to stay in front of.”
Though he dazzled at some points throughout the season, his effort was called into question at times, especially in the Tigers’s final game, a 71-38 drubbing by Texas A&M. LSU was 19-14 with Simmons, making projections that he’s a lock as the top pick questionable. His defensive effort has also been questioned.
“He often looks very lazy here, not making any effort whatsoever to close out on shooters and avoiding contact and physicality in a very concerning way when challenged by opposing players,” Givony wrote.
Dragan Bender, power forward, Israeli League/Euroleague — This 7-1, 216-pounder is considered the top international prospect. The 18-year-old spent the season with Tel Aviv in the Israeli League, where he worked on his shooting mechanics and fluidity of his game. He is likely to undergo a position transition in the NBA.
“He is a small forward/power forward right now, but with the direction the NBA is headed, it might not be a stretch to see him eventually developing into a modern-day center. While not a great jumper, Bender is extremely fluid, nimble, and light on his feet for a player of his size,” Givony wrote for The Vertical. “Versatility has always been the key to Bender’s game. He was considered a non-shooter early in his career, yet continuously found ways to be productive with his passing, ball-handling, and high basketball IQ.”
His jumping ability and scoring ability need to be further developed, but his adaptability thus far, though his stat lines are limited, suggests he is coachable.
Jaylen Brown, small forward, Cal — Brown (6-7, 225) started all 34 games for the Bears this season and was second on the team in points per game (14.6). He was named the Pac-12 Freshman of the Year and first-team All-Pac-12.
“The best part of Brown’s game is when he has the ball in his hands and is attacking downhill,” Bleacher Report’s C.J. Moore wrote. “Brown is excellent in transition and thrives on going at defenders when they’re on their heels. He can finish through contact and draws a lot of fouls.”
Brown’s decision-making, shooting ability, and comfort with the half-court offense have been questioned.
“Brown’s jumper will be the biggest concern surrounding him for NBA teams,” Moore wrote. “He not only struggles to make perimeter jumpers, but he’s also a mediocre free-throw shooter.”
Jamal Murray, shooting guard, Kentucky — Murray (6-4, 207) was a one-and-done with the Wildcats this year. He led Kentucky in scoring and was third in scoring in the Southeastern Conference.
“Murray’s scoring instincts also show up in the way he changes pace in the open court and attacks closeouts with excellent footwork and timing,” Givony wrote in his scouting report. “While not a high flyer, he uses the glass craftily in traffic with runners, floaters, and off-hand finishes. He’s stronger than he looks on first glance, and has a good feel for drawing fouls, pushing off defenders subtly, and finding ways to put points up more effectively than you’d think considering his average tools.”
Buddy Hield, shooting guard, Oklahoma — Hield (6-4, 214) spent four seasons with the Sooners, finishing second on the program’s all-time scoring list and first on its 3-pointers made list. He also set the Big 12 record for career 30-point games (14). He was named Big 12 Player of the Year twice and earned this year’s Wooden Award, Naismith Trophy, and the Oscar Robertson Trophy as the top player in the country.
The rest: Jakob Poeltl, center, Utah; Henry Ellenson, power forward, Marquette; Skal Labissiere power forward/center, Kentucky; Demetrius Jackson, point guard, Notre Dame; Timothe Luwawu, shooting guard/small forward, Mega Leks; Domantas Sabonis, power forward, Gonzaga.
Follow Rachel G. Bowers on Twitter @RachelGBowers.