Celtics: Chances of landing superstar in draft at 21 or 22 slim
Most talking heads have labelled this year’s NBA draft (Thursday, 7 p.m., ESPN) the deepest field since the Class of 2003 which featured the likes of LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony and Dwyane Wade at the top and steals like David West (18th overall), Boris Diaw (21 overall), Travis Outlaw (23 overall), Kendrick Perkins (27th overall), Josh Howard (29th overall), Steve Blake (38th overall), Zaza Pachulia (42nd overall), Mo Williams (47th overall) and Kyle Korver (51st overall) towards the end of the night.
That draft certainly lived up to its billing, with a dozen players that turned out to be good-to-very good-to-great NBA players.
The truth is, this draft probably won’t be as deep. But it should be better than the past few years, simply by default.
If the Celtics don’t trade away their two first round picks (they have been rumored to want to move up by packaging the two), they will be selecting from the 21 and 22 spots. As of late, those spots haven’t been too friendly:
2011: Portland picked Nolan Smith (Duke), Denver picked Kenneth Faried (Morehead State)
2010: Oklahoma City picked Craig Brackins (Iowa State), Portland picked Elliot Williams (Memphis)
2009: New Orleans picked Darren Collison (UCLA), Portland picked Victor Claver
2008: New Jersey picked Ryan Anderson, Orlando selected Courtney Lee
Faried, Collison, Anderson (the best of the bunch) and Lee have been solid pros so far. But none are players that can change the direction of a franchise.
Interestingly enough for Boston fans, the best two players in the past 30 years selected at spots 21 and 22 donned Celtic green. The late Reggie Lewis was selected at 22 back in 1987 and Rajon Rondo was the 21st overall pick in 2006. Other notables selected in those spots are Jared Dudley, Nate Robinson, Ricky Davis, Scott Skiles and Greg Kite.