Good morning, Celtics fans!
As you inferred from my title, we are a mere two days away from the 2014 NBA Draft!
— NBA (@NBA) June 24, 2014
Yesterday, I got you up to date with the most respected mock drafts on the web. Today, I start you off with a mock draft that comes complete with full rankings for all of the players. Time to see for yourself where the prospects rank!
I guess this is fairly big news: LeBron James has decided to opt out of his contract and will become an unrestricted free agent. Twitter has since exploded.
BREAKING NEWS: LeBron James will opt out of his contract w/ the Heat & become a free agent. pic.twitter.com/az8sDG8v3t
— Ballislife.com (@Ballislife) June 24, 2014
BREAKING: LeBron James’ agent informs Heat that he will exercise early termination option, making James free agent. (via @Chris_Broussard )
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) June 24, 2014
— NOT LeBron James (@FauxLeBronJames) June 24, 2014
I threw that last Tweet in there to remind you of two things: LeBron James could easily remain in South Beach, and Celtics fans hate the Heat.
Back to the draft! If Andrew Wiggins is selected first in this year’s draft, it would mark the second straight year in which the number one pick was Canadien! Surely this means that basketball is now more popular than hockey in the Great White North, right? Ha ha ha! No. But it does show you how silly we are to think hockey and curling are the only two sports they enjoy up there.
Boos rained on the Barclays Center stage as David Stern, with a wry smile, approached the podium. Presiding over his final NBA draft, the former commissioner spoke up over the swan song of jeers.
“With the first pick in the 2013 NBA draft, the Cleveland Cavaliers select…”
Stern looked up from the white placard in his left hand and paused. Printed on the side only he could see was a surprise selection that would — quietly at first — mark history.
“Anthony Bennett, of Toronto, Canada and the University of Nevada-Las Vegas.”
There had been plenty of debate about who Cleveland, now winners of two lotteries in three years, would select in 2013. Kentucky’s flat-topped defensive force Nerlens Noel had been the closest thing to a consensus top pick, though he was in the process of recovering from ACL surgery. Indiana guard Victor Oladipo was in the mix, maybe. Alex Len, the Maryland big man with the shaky ankles, a distant possibility.
But the selection of Bennett, a 6-foot-8 forward with a blend of skill and strength — was a shocker. No experts had predicted this twist.
In case you’re curious, oddsmakers have projected that Wiggins has the greatest chance of being selected with the first pick.
Finally, I leave you with a piece that discusses a scenario in which the Boston Celtics would willingly draft two players who would have little to no effect on the team next season:
Is it possible for the Boston Celtics to keep both of their draft picks and still not take a single player who would help them next season? Yes, thinks ESPN’s Chad Ford, whose latest 2014 NBA mock draft includes the Celtics taking Joel Embiid at No. 6 and Dario Saric at No. 17. . .
I’ll let you read the rest and decide for yourself whether this is the way for the Boston Celtics to go. I see very little value in this approach . . . but maybe that’s why they don’t pay me the big bucks!
Thanks, and be sure to check back in later today for my profiles of the players who the Celtics are likely to be considering using the sixth pick in the draft on!