The Boston Celtics have a lot draft picks. I mean A LOT of draft picks. Through many trades and some great moves by Boston hero and general manager Danny Ainge, the Celtics have stocked up a potential FOURTEEN first round draft picks in the next three NBA Drafts. Wow. Now of course several of those potential picks are protected and will not likely be granted to Boston, but they still have an unbelievable amount of picks at their disposal. Having draft picks means nothing if not properly used, so the question is: what will the Celtics do with these prized picks?
For now, we will stick with analyzing the upcoming 2015 draft and break down both the biggest needs and the prospects that are the best fit. Ask one hundred Boston fans what position the Celtics are in need of the most and the majority of them will likely tell you that that the biggest need is a big man.
Although they have young talented big men in Jared Sullinger and Kelly Olynyk, both Sully and Olynyk are offensive minded bigs and the C’s are in dire need of a rim protecting, rebounding, defensive big man. There are several players in the upcoming draft that fit that description and it’s almost a sure bet that Boston selects one of them. But which one will they select?
Of all the big men in the draft, I feel that Willie Cauley-Stein, Myles Turner and Kevon Looney fit the Celtics needs the best.
Willie Cauley-Stein – C – Kentucky
WCS is a junior from the University of Kentucky that has enjoyed plenty success during his years of college ball. Of my three favorite big men for the Celtics, I feel Cauley-Stein is both the best prospect and the least likely prospect. Cauley-Stein is a defensive beast who has both adept shot blocking and stealing ability and is very athletic, allowing him to guard nearly every position. WCS also offers great rim protection that could help out the Celtics tremendously.
He’s not a big threat offensively, scoring most of his points on put backs, but as mentioned before, Boston already has scoring big men. After an extremely impressive showing during his junior year, Willie Cauley-Stein has been slated as a potential top-5 pick, and the Celtics do not have a top-5 pick this year. If Danny Ainge really loves Cauley-Stein as a prospect for Boston, he could more than likely easily trade up, but it’s doubtful that Ainge makes that move considering there are other similar options in this year’s draft.
Apr 4, 2015; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Kentucky Wildcats head coach John Calipari (right) gives instruction to forward Willie Cauley-Stein (15) in the first half of the 2015 NCAA Men
Myles Turner – C – Texas
Turner is one of the younger players of the three prospects and arguably has the most potential. He played a single season at Texas before declaring for the NBA Draft. Turner has drawn mixed reviews from fans and experts since declaring for the draft, with some having rave reviews on his play and others worried with his inconsistency and doubt that he is ready to play against NBA talent. He is definitely not as NBA-ready as Cauley-Stein, but is only 19 years old, so if the Celtics are patient he could develop into a very good player.
Turner is a very good rebounder and shines on the defensive glass. Turner also brings very good defensive ability and is one of the most feared shot blockers in the ’15 draft class, offering the rim protection the Celtics need badly. Unlike the other two, Turner also has a very nice jump shot and can knock down a mid range jumper consistently. It’s very likely that Turner will still be available when it’s Boston’s turn to pick.
Jan 24, 2015; Austin, TX, USA; Kansas Jayhawks guard Brannen Greene (14) shoot the ball as Texas Longhorns forward Myles Turner (52) and guard Demarcus Holland (2) defend during the second half at the Frank Erwin Special Events Center. The Jayhawks won 75-62. Mandatory Credit: Brendan Maloney-USA TODAY Sports
Kevon Looney – PF – UCLA
Looney is the youngest prospect of the three, attending UCLA for one year before deciding to enter the 2015 draft class. Kevon is an ultra competitive forward who uses high levels of energy to compensate for his average athleticism. He has a 7’3″ wingspan, helping him grab rebounds with ease. He also boxes out well allowing him to go toe to toe with bigger forwards and centers. He possesses great rebounding ability, something the C’s could definitely use.
He also is a good defensive big man, although he is not an elite rim protector. His defense abilities are mainly reliant on his hustle and competitive spirit. He is very inconsistent offensively, but fits the needs of the Celtics very well regardless. He’s another player who could go mid-first round, and a very realistic pick for Boston.
Mar 21, 2015; Louisville, KY, USA; UCLA Bruins forward Kevon Looney (5) goes up for a rebound against the UAB Blazers during the first half in the third round of the 2015 NCAA Tournament at KFC Yum! Center. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports
While a big man is definitely Boston’s biggest need and more than likely their first selection, they not only have another big need, they also have another first round draft pick at their disposal.
So what is the C’s next biggest need? While it’s debatable, I believe that another go-to scorer would be the best option for Boston. The Celtics currently have the likes of Evan Turner, James Young, and Jae Crowder, leaving plenty of room for upgrade. The 2015 draft offers plenty of talented scorers that Boston could definitely use. Let’s take a look at my top prospects for the Celtics.
There are a ton of scorers in the 2015 draft class, but there are a few that make the most sense for Boston. My top three scoring prospects for the Celtics are Kelly Oubre, Sam Dekker, and Devin Booker.
Kelly Oubre – SF – Kansas
Oubre spent one year with the Kansas Jayhawks before deciding to take his game to the next level. He had a rough start to his collegiate career, but came into his own later in the season and had some very impressive outings. Oubre plays a very smooth game in his large 6’7″ frame. He has a very nice jump shot and is able to knock it down consistently from outside. His shot selection is not always the best, but he is a young player with a lot of time to mature and develop.
Oubre definitely has above-average ability from beyond the arc and athleticism to compliment his shooting abilities. He could be the shooter the Celtics need, and he also plays very hard defense and does a great job defending the back court, making him a two-way player that could definitely benefit Boston.
Mar 20, 2015; Omaha, NE, USA; Kansas Jayhawks players including Landen Lucas (33) , Kelly Oubre Jr. (12) and Wayne Selden Jr. (1) celebrate from the bench against the New Mexico State Aggies during the first half in the second round of the 2015 NCAA Tournament at CenturyLink Center. Mandatory Credit: Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports
Sam Dekker – SF – Wisconsin
20 year-old Dekker is the eldest of these three prospects, but is still a young guy with lots of room to grow and expand his game. Dekker has been pretty impressive in his one very successful year at Wisconsin, playing very well and improving his draft stock in the NCAA Tournament. He is also the tallest of the three, at 6’9″ with shoes on. Dekker is a team player who has a great attitude and is a smart player that can be very versatile.
He has been a streaky shooter, but when he’s hot it’s hard to stop him from burying bucket after bucket. He can score in a variety of ways whether it be getting points in transition or catching and shooting. He can also move the ball well for a forward and could give the Celtics what they need offensively. If Sam Dekker is available, Ainge just might take him.
Apr 4, 2015; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Wisconsin Badgers forward Sam Dekker (15) celebrates after defeating the Kentucky Wildcats 71-64 in the 2015 NCAA Men
Devin Booker – SG – Kentucky
The only shooting guard of these three, Devin Booker is a young scorer from Kentucky. Booker led the historic UK team in scoring this season and is an excellent pure shooter who can shoot from all over the court. He doesn’t have the size or all-around abilities of Oubre and Dekker, but is far superior when it comes to shooting the basketball.
Booker is also able to score while attacking the basket and in transition but his specialty is spotting up or catching and shooting burying jump shots. It’s very probable that the shooting guard will be available when Boston is picking, and if Oubre and Dekker are gone, Booker could be a great pick up for the C’s to provide scoring immediately.
Mar 28, 2015; Cleveland, OH, USA; Kentucky Wildcats guard Devin Booker (1) shoots over Notre Dame Fighting Irish guard Jerian Grant (22) during the first half in the finals of the midwest regional of the 2015 NCAA Tournament at Quicken Loans Arena. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports
No matter what happens in the 2015 Draft, most Celtics fans have grown accustomed to putting their trust in general manager Danny Ainge, and for good reason. Ainge is one of the elite GM’s in the NBA and has done an excellent job during his time with the Celtics whether he was completing blockbuster trades that led to championships or guiding the organization through the tough rebuilding process. So feel secure and get ready C’s fans, this draft is about to awesome!
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