The NBA Draft is not the same as the NFL Draft. With only two rounds compared to seven, teams look to select the best player available, not selecting for need. If that has been the Boston Celtics approach of late, they need to refine it.
They had the right idea with Aaron Nesmith, but he didn’t pan out. Romeo Langford showed even less promise than Nesmith. Payton Pritchard has game, but he fell out of favor with head coaches Ime Udoka first, then Joe Mazzulla.
Maybe Yam Madar and Juhann Begarin will develop into the best player selected at the time. For now, they’re still overseas trying to prove to the Boston brain trust they’re ready to play at the highest level.
J.D. Davison showed some promise while finishing fourth in the G League in assists with 8.7. But is he ready for a role in 2023-24?
Looking back at the past four drafts, Grant Williams is the only rotation player produced. He’s a restricted free agent now, so the Celtics are at risk of losing him to another team.
Boston Celtics can find a useful player even with the 35th overall selection
The Celtics are close to being a championship team. The right moves could get them over the top, starting with the draft. Maybe president of basketball operations Brad Stevens values salary cap space more than a rookie salary this year, but finding cheap, productive depth is important as well.
The latter can be found in this draft. Don’t forget that Glen “Big Baby” Davis played valuable minutes for the Celtics during the 2007-08 championship run. Ideally the Celtics find another “Big Baby” in this draft.
The Boston Celtics don’t have to look far to recall a productive player selected with the 35th overall selection in 2007. That’s when they drafted Davis.