It's been said time and time again that Celtics boss Danny Ainge would have taken Kevin Durant over Greg Oden in the 2007 NBA Draft had Boston landed the No. 1 overall pick in that year's lottery. Whether or not the story is true we'll never know, but Ainge has built up enough stock over the years as a non-conventional thinker for there always to be an element of surprise when it comes to the Celtics. It's why I'm in no way sold that the Celtics are going to take Buddy Hield or Dragan Bender at No. 3 like basically every other mock draft out there suggests.

Cal's Jaylen Brown is the type of athlete Ainge covets and I believe he has the most upside of any player in the lottery outside of Ben Simmons and Brandon Ingram. There were whispers back in January that the Celtics liked Brown but some inconsistent play during his freshman season at Cal hurt Brown's status as a sure-fire top five pick. Many mocks have him going so far down as No. 8 to Sacramento. If his stock around the league really has slipped that much, I wouldn't be surprised to see the Celtics trade back a couple slots in order to land Brown.

I've gone over why I don't care for Bender at No. 3 for the Celtics but here are my issues with Hield. While he improved greatly each year in college, he's probably plateauing soon. He's 22-years-old now and he doesn't have nearly the amount of room for growth as a player like Brown has. Other knocks on Hield is that he's a bit undersized (6-foot-5 on a good day) and he completely disappeared in the Final Four (nine points on 4-of-12 shooting in a 95-51 blowout loss to Villanova).

 

1. Philadelphia 76ers: Ben Simmons, PF, LSU

2. Los Angeles Lakers: Brandon Ingram, SF, Duke

3. Boston Celtics: Jaylen Brown, SG/SF, California

4. Phoenix Suns: Dragan Bender, PF, Croatia 

5. Minnesota Timberwolves: Buddy Hield, SG, Oklahoma

6. New Orleans Pelicans: Kris Dunn, PG, Providence

7. Denver Nuggets: Domantas Sabonis, PF/C, Gonzaga

8. Sacramento Kings: Jamal Murray, PG/SG, Kentucky

9. Toronto Raptors: Malik Beasley, SG, Florida State

10. Milwaukee Bucks: Marquese Chriss, PF, Washington

11. Orlando Magic: Jakob Poeltl, CB, Utah

12. Utah Jazz: Skal Labissierre, PF/C, Kentucky

13. Phoenix Suns: Deyonta Davis, PF/C, Michigan State

14. Chicago Bulls: Dejounte Murray, PG/SG, Washington

15. Denver Nuggets: Henry Ellenson, PF/C, Marquette

16. Boston Celtics: Furkan Korkmaz, SG, Turkey

17. Memphis Grizzlies: Brice Johnson, PF, North Carolina

18. Detroit Pistons: Guerschon Yabusele, PF, France

19. Denver Nuggets: Stephen Zimmerman, PF/C, UNLV

20. Indiana Pacers: Daniel Hamilton, SG/SF, UConn

21. Atlanta Hawks: Malachi Richardson, SG, Syracuse

22. Charlotte Hornets: Diamond Stone, C, Maryland

23. Boston Celtics: Caris LeVert, SG, Michigan

24. Philadelphia 76ers: Denzel Valentine, SG/SF, Michigan State

25. Los Angeles Clippers: Taurean Prince, SF, Baylor

26. Philadelphia 76ers: AJ Hammons, C, Purdue

27. Toronto Raptors: Timothe Luwawu, SG/SF, France

28. Phoenix Suns: Damian Jones, C, Vanderbilt

29. San Antonio Spurs: Cheick Diallo, PF/C, Kansas

30. Golden State Warriors: Tyler Ullis, PG, Kentucky

 

Second Round

31. Boston Celtics: Thon Maker, PF/C, Australia

32. Los Angeles Lakers: Anthony Barber, PG, NC State

33. Los Angeles Clippers: Michael Gbinije, SG/SF, Syracuse

34. Phoenix Suns: Demetrius Jackson, PG, Notre Dame

35. Boston Celtics: DeAndre Bembry, SF, St. Joseph's

36. Milwaukee Bucks: Wade Baldwin, PG/SG, Vanderbilt

37. Houston Rockets: Joel Bolomboy, PF, Weber State

38. Milwaukee Bucks: Juan Hernangomez, PF, Spain

39. New Orleans Pelicans: Melo Trimble, PG, Maryland

40. New Orleans Pelicans: James Webb, SF/PF, Boise State

41. Orlando Magic: Ante Zizic, C, Croatia

42. Utah Jazz: Patrick McCaw, SG, UNLV

43. Houston Rockets: Ron Baker, SG, Wichita State

44. Atlanta Hawks: Tyrone Wallace, PG/SG, California

45. Boston Celtics: Gary Payton II, Oregon State

46. Dallas Mavericks: Wayne Selden, SG, Kansas

47. Orlando Magic: Malcolm Brogdon, SG, Virginia

48. Chicago Bulls: Jaron Blossomgame, SF, Clemson

49. Detroit Pistons: Perry Ellis, PF, Kansas

50. Indiana Pacers: Isaiah Cousins, PG/SG, Oklahoma

51. Boston Celtics: Josh Hart, SG, Villanova

52. Utah Jazz: Ben Bentil, PF, Providence

53. Denver Nuggets: Zach Auguste, PF, Notre Dame

54. Atlanta Hawks: Isaia Cordinier, SG, France

55. Brooklyn Nets: Rade Zagorac, SG/SF, Serbia

56. Denver Nuggets: Damion Lee, SG, Louisville

57. Memphis Grizzlies: Zhou Qi, C, China

58. Boston Celtics: Pascal Siakam, PF, New Mexico State

59. Sacramento Kings: Danuel House, SG/SF, Texas A&M

60. Utah Jazz: Petr Cornelie, PF/C, France