Review of Boston’s 33rd Overall Pick


If you were to poll all Boston Celtics fans right now about what they were most excited for this offseason, who Boston selects with their 33rd overall pick in this years draft probably doesn’t rank very high. But, the 33rd pick is still important, and could prove to be valuable for Danny Ainge and Brad Stevens.

Boston earned Philadelphia’s second round pick after Philly failed to make the playoffs this year. Had Philly somehow found itself in the postseason, this year’s second round pick and next year’s second round pick would have been a 2015 first round pick. But that didn’t happen and we find ourselves with an early second round pick, lets review some players who have been taken 33rd overall in the past.

The Kings made the most intriguing pick in 2011 when they drafted Hassan Whiteside out of Marshall. Whiteside emerged from mediocrity this year after only playing in 19 career games before this season. This year, Whiteside averaged 11.8 points-per-game with 2.6 blocks and 10 rebounds per contest for the Heat.

Apr 9, 2015; Miami, FL, USA; Miami Heat center Hassan Whiteside (21) drives to the basket as Chicago Bulls center Joakim Noah (13) defends during the second half at American Airlines Arena. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

His most impressive moment of the season was when he earned a triple-double against the Bulls in a 96-84 win in Chicago. He posted 14 points, 13 rebounds and 12 blocks and followed up that performance with a 16 point, 16 rebound game against the Bucks and a 16 point, 24 rebound game against the Mavericks. Whiteside provided rim protection, rebounding, and easy buckets for Miami, something Boston desperately needs.

The Pistons drafted Kyle Singler out of Duke in 2011. After a season in Spain in 2011, Singler saw major minutes right out of the gate in 2012, playing in all 82 games for Detroit, starting in 74. In his rookie season he averaged 8.8 points and 4.0 rebounds a game, earning him Second Team All-Rookie. He scored a career-high 22 points in late-2013, finishing the 2013-2014 season averaging 9.6 points per game to go along with 3.7 rebounds. Singler has great touch, and great size, 6 foot-9 inches, for a wing player, and can adjust to any roll a coach throws his way.

Boston’s own Brandon Bass was selected 33rd overall way back in 2005 by New Orleans. Celtics fans don’t need much info on Bass, as they see the effort and heart he puts into his craft everyday. Bass reached his statistical peak in his first season with Boston, 2012, when he averaged 12.5 points a game with 6.2 rebounds. Bass brings toughness on defense, and touch and skill on offense. Bass’ midrange jumper is so smooth; I usually assume it’s going in as it leaves his hands.

In Bass’ last four seasons with Boston, he shot roughly 49% from the field, a clip that is impressive for a jump-shooting power-forward. He also boasts a career free throw average of 83%. If Boston could find a player of Bass’ skill and effort level at 33, they would be ecstatic.

Whoever Boston ends up choosing, if they even keep the pick, hopefully can make a difference right away. Even if they choose to draft-and-stash someone, that player could make a difference in the future. Lets look at some potential prospects Boston should target.

Chances are he will have been taken earlier, but if Dakari Johnson of Kentucky is still on the board, Boston has to grab him. The 7-foot 265-pound 19-year-old from Brooklyn, NY would provide the size and strength this team needs down low. Tyler Zeller did a spectacular job playing center this past year, and Johnson would be a fantastic back up.

While surviving off the scrap minutes leftover from Willie Cauley-Stein and Karl-Anthony-Towns, Johnson averaged 6.4 points a game, shooting 51% from the field for Kentucky. He also averaged .9 blocks in only 16.3 minutes a game. His size and physicality on defense as well as his rebounding would provide the Celtics with something they lacked this past season. His lack of scoring ability and athleticism might make him drop, but I don’t see him dropping below 33.

Another option for the Celtics would be Rakeem Christmas out of Syracuse. Christmas stands at 6-foot-11-inches and with a 7’-5’’ wingspan, has the shot blocking abilities Boston needs. In the 2014-2015 season, Christmas averaged 2.5 blocks a game, while also pulling down 9.1 rebounds. He scored 17.5 points a game, which can be accredited to the lack of scoring on Syracuse this year. His improvement on offense, to go along with his great defensive and rebounding skills make him perfect for Boston. Hopefully he drops far enough.

Mar 2, 2015; Syracuse, NY, USA; Syracuse Orange forward Rakeem Christmas (25) handles the ball during the first half of a game against the Virginia Cavaliers at the Carrier Dome. Mandatory Credit: Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

Finally, Boston should be looking at Vince Hunter out of UTEP. Hunter is 6-feet-8-inches tall and has the ability to guard three positions on the floor. His explosiveness (37.5-inch vertical) and rebounding abilities hide his offensive struggles. In the 2014-2015 season, Hunter averaged 14.9 points a game, shooting 53% from the floor, and pulled down 9.2 rebounds a game. He’s only 20 and can develop a perimeter game, while also working on his defense. Hunter could slide into the small forward position, and even get some minutes at the power forward position when Brad Stevens decides to use a smaller line up.

When June 25th rolls around, Boston might not even still own the 33rd pick. If they do, they should take a real in-depth look at whose left on the board, as it could help put this team over the top for next season.

More from Hardwood Houdini