With just over a month left until the NBA Draft is held in New York City, the Boston Celtics have a ton of work cut out for them.
Game film to study. Workouts to oversee. Voodoo spells to perform. Well, at least two out of these three.
Regardless, the Celtics have a lot riding on this offseason, and despite assurances by Cs owner Wyc Grousbeck that there will be “fireworks” this summer, the draft will figure prominently in the current rebuild. Unless, of course, the Celtics sell the farm in an attempt to pull off a super-mega-blockbuster trade. In which case, nothing I say here will matter one damn bit.
Let’s pretend Boston gets a chance to use their picks in this draft, though – boring, I know! Should Boston decide to go the route of a gradual rebuild, the front office needs to have its priorities straight: what is the team’s most glaring weakness that needs to be strengthened? Above all else, what do the Celtics need to acquire with the 6th pick in the NBA draft?
The answer, my friends, is deceptively simple: a spark plug. When they find themselves on the clock in the 2014 draft, the Boston Celtics need to pick the player most likely to enter a game, fire up the crowd and his teammates, and drive every player on opposing teams bat-shit crazy.
You don’t have to say it – I already know I’m a genius.
Take a look at the Celtics’ current roster and tell me what you see. There’s Rajon Rondo, intensely focused and the floor general who needs to be under control at all times, and Avery Bradley, a great on-the-ball defender with a limited offensive game. There’s Kelly Olynyk and Jared Sullinger, hard workers both of them but defensive liabilities and not the greatest of athletes. There’s Jeff Green, supremely talented and equally likely to score 8 points as he is to score 30.
And then there’s . . . yeah, those guys.
Maybe you have a different definition of “spark plug” than I do, but I don’t see an “energy guy,” a “kick-it-up-a-notch guy,” an “annoy the living daylights out of the opposing team’s best player” guy on this roster. That’s a crying shame – but I’m here to tell you that there is one player in this year’s draft who would provide the Boston Celtics with EXACTLY that sort of talent:
Gordon is an 18 year-old genetically altered freak of a human being who can leap over my house, outrun a Lamborghini, and pick your pockets even when you’re not wearing any pants. Sure, he currently plays no position known to man – but that’s exactly why he is an absolute nightmare. He is already known as an elite defender, and he still has so much to learn. Pair him up with a coach like Brad Stevens, and you have the sort of player who can guard virtually ANY player on the court.
We all witnessed the impact that Indiana Pacers’ guard Lance Stephenson had on last night’s game five of the Eastern Conference Finals. Gordon could have just as significant, if not greater, impact – minus the acting like a piece of trash part, of course. Need him to harass a streaky shooting guard? His athleticism and wing-span will make that possible. Want him to smother a small forward? Done. Need help neutralizing players in the paint? Weak-side blocked shots coming at you.
His offense is currently limited to alley-oops, put backs, and fast break opportunities – but with Rondo handling the rock, Gordon will earn All-Star Votes. Just think of how rocking the TD Garden will be after Gordon swats a shot or steals the rock, sprints down court, and throws down a highlight-reel dunk to finish the play. You don’t think Rondo will think twice about becoming a free agent, knowing that he has a kid like that to pass to night after night?
Energy. Defensive intensity and versatility. Electrifying plays. The Boston Celtics could use all of those, in spades. If the Celtics do, indeed, use the sixth pick in the draft, Aaron Gordon should be the name you hear called by commissioner Adam Silver.