Boston Celtics Gear Up for 2015 NBA Draft


A surprise playoff appearance. Four picks in the 2015 NBA draft. Money to spare and spend in free agency for a wheelin’ and dealin’ GM.

This offseason promises to be a big one for General Manager Danny Ainge and the Boston Celtics. It all starts with the draft on Thursday night.

Holding picks at the positions of 16, 28, 33, and 45 thanks to trades from the last few years, the Celtics hold in their hands the opportunity to add to their already strong stable of young talent. Not too shabby for a team seven years removed from their last championship.

The question that will soon be answered: Who will the Celtics select in this year’s draft? Ainge, in true fashion, has stated all bets are off when it comes to the draft. He has even gone on to say that he is exploring all options in regards to moving into the top ten of the draft.

Rumors aside, I believe that unless Ainge can somehow connive his way into a top 3 pick, the Celtics should stay put. With four picks available, there is ample opportunity to find players that can be productive within the Celtics system. (Plus, the Celtics can hopefully fill some of their more glaring needs via free agency, but that’s another story for another time.)

That being said, let’s look at four options for the Celtics in the first round if they stay put and don’t trade up.

Bobby Portis: PF-Arkansas-6’11, 245

Portis left school after his sophomore season to enter this year’s draft. The Celtics are in desperate need of a strong force in the paint and Portis could provide that.

Portis is a tough, active player on both ends of the court. He averaged 17.5 points per game and 8.9 rebounds per game during his sophomore season. With both Brandon Bass and Jonas Jerebko free agents and possibly leaving, Portis would be an ideal pick to come in and get playing time right away.

R.J. Hunter: SG-Georgia State-6’6, 185

Hunter appeared on the national radar during Georgia State’s NCAA tourney run last spring. What’s left to be determined for the man that left after his junior year is if the darling of the tournament was a flash in the pan or if he is worthy of a first-round pick and here to stay.

A knock-down, spot-up shooter is another need for the Celtics. While the Celtics have plenty of shooters, they don’t have the one player (ala Ray Allen) that other teams fear in big situations. Hunter could easily be that guy.

Though not as prominent in college as the shooters I’m about to mention, Hunter has the skills and abilities to go one of two ways. He can be a J.J. Redick, dependable and a great shooter or an Adam Morrison, a national darling in college that flames out of the NBA within a few years.

One can even dream and see Hunter expanding his game and developing into a Steph Curry type of scorer. For now, keep grounded and use his college stats (18.4 ppg for his college career, 35.5% 3-pt shooting) to imagine him knocking down 3’s after lane penetration kick outs from Isaiah Thomas.

More from Boston Celtics

Montrezl Harrell: PF-Louisville-6’8, 253

Harrell can be described as intense, tough-minded, and physical. Intangibles that were sorely missing from the Celtics at times last year. His offense skills might be limited for his first few years in the NBA but Harrell could be the intimidating presence the defense of the Celtics need to continue to succeed.

Harrell averaged 15.7 ppg and 9.2 rebounds per game last year as a junior at Louisville.

Jonathan Holmes: PF/SF-Texas-6’9, 245

Holmes is a combination forward that can guard multiple positions on the floor. Though his numbers aren’t overwhelming for a first-round draft pick (10.3 ppg as a senior at Texas), Holmes is the type of versatile player that would fit in perfectly with the Boston Celtics.

Of course, these are only a few of the players possibly on the Celtics radar. Chances are not one of these players ends up wearing the green and white. If Danny Ainge has taught us anything it is that when he’s at the helm, it is always safe to expect the unexpected.