Mar 23, 2014; St. Louis, MO, USA; Wichita State Shockers forward Cleanthony Early (11) reacts after scoring against the Kentucky Wildcats during the second half in the third round of the 2014 NCAA Men

Boston Celtics 2014 NBA Draft: Cleanthony Early


The 2014 NBA Draft is getting closer and it’s time to start taking a closer look at some of their first-round prospects. Next on the block is Wichita St. star Cleanthony Early.

Why Draft Him?

Now I don’t want to put my own spin on this as I am not a front office member of the Celtics, but this is the guy Boston should be targeting with their second pick of the first round. Early is extremely versatile on both ends of the court, showing off shooting range and an off-the-dribble game on offense, while also being long and disruptive on defense. Out of all of the guys they could take with this pick, no player has the same upside as Early, who along with his skill-set has tremendous leadership capabilities that he showed off with the Shockers. Makes the smart plays on offense and has an innate ability to take over a game when his team needs him to step up.

What Pass On Him?

Though there is a bit of a man-crush here, there are reasons for Boston to pass. First off, he will struggle guarding some of the quicker small forwards in the league, as well as your David Wests of the NBA, though there aren’t many of those guys left in the league. He needs to either work on his lateral movements or bulk up a bit, not taking away from his great first step. And while he does make the smart play on offense, he isn’t a great passer and can have stints where he turns the ball over. It will be interesting to see if coach Brad Stevens wants to draft a guy like Early who comes from a similar college background as he did.

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