May 16, 2013; Chicago, IL, USA; Dennis Schroeder is interviewed during the NBA Draft combine at Harrison Street Athletics Facility. Mandatory Credit: Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports

NBA Draft 2013: Most Likely Picks for the Celtics Tonight

Draft night has finally come and with the Celtics picking at 16. They have a bevy of places that they can go with that pick tonight–this draft is totally unpredictable because of how close these guys are rated.

With Doc Rivers out of the fold and no one in place to replace him, the Celtics don’t really know what kind of offensive system they’ll have next season. They’ll likely draft with a “best player available” mentality instead of picking more for need. The best thing to do is to use a combination of the two, but if they do go with the best pick available strategy then here is who the Celtics should be choosing tonight:

Shabazz Muhammad

Muhammad was touted as the second best prospect in the nation before this season. As time wore on, though, so did the national spotlight on him. First, he was visibly irritated by not getting the ball on a possession where teammate Larry Drew, Jr. hit a game winning shot.

Because of that, many people called Muhammad selfish and questioned his intentions as a player. Then, reports surfaced that Muhammad is actually 20 years old and not 19. Because of that, people questioned his control over his life and how genuine he is as a person. Muhammad’s father was behind the falsifying of his age, but Muhammad was obviously going to take the blame for it.

Still, he has some talent and if he realizes his full potential he can potentially be a superstar. This would be a risk-reward pick for the Celtics–and if they do go into a rebuild then Muhammad will have time to get his feet wet and get a feel for the NBA. I would make the pick if he’s there.

Dennis Schroder

Schroder is obviously a player that is on the Celtics radar. He’s a super quick and flashy point guard out of Germany who really has a feel for how to work the pick and roll. You draft Schroder even though you have Rondo because of how talented he is. We look at how the situation in Los Angeles worked out with Chris Paul and Eric Bledsoe–Bledsoe has turned into a really valuable trade piece.

The Celtics have long needed a backup point guard, and with Rondo coming off of his ACL tear they may not want to play him too many minutes next season–at least not at the rate that he was. In a rebuilding year, compiling assets is going to be key. Schroder could very well be one of those assets.

Jamaal Franklin

Franklin is a talented player from out of San Diego State University. He has spectacular measurements of 6’5 with a 6’11 wingspan. He was very good defensively at San Diego State and should be spectacular after feeling his way around the league .

He should be a pretty talented 3-and-D guy with the proper teaching. He’ll need to work on his shooting stroke to make it consistent, but all of the tools are there. He could potentially become a Jimmy Butler or Kawhi Leonard type of player. And if the Celtics can get that out of him, they won’t regret taking him. Both of those players were key pieces on playoff teams this year. The same future could be in the works for Butler.

***

The Celtics have a long way to go to make it back to their 2008 glory days, but this draft could be key in getting there. Even though its weak at the top, there is a lot of talent outside of the lottery that they can salvage. They need to make sure that they either pick a good player who will last with this team or find a way to work the pick into an asset.

If they can do that, they’ll be set for next offseason and maybe the rebuild will become a thing of the past.

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