The Boston Celtics hold the Brooklyn Nets’ 1st round pick this year, and it was a hot commodity at the trade deadline. Boston decided to hold on to the pick instead of trading it away. Even though the lottery system is never guaranteed, it’s likely to be a top 5 pick. This seems to be one of the most hyped drafts since 2005, and the reason sits at the top in Ben Simmons.
One of these top 6 guys will more than likely be in Celtics green next season. Player comparisons are sometimes very unfair to a kid coming into the NBA. It puts unfair pressure on them to be like some of the top players in the NBA. Instead, the ceiling is what a player could potentially reach with some improvement, and the floor would be what a player would be without any improvement. Any of these players would be an addition to a young and talented Celtics team that could put them into title contention.
Ben Simmons – LSU : Simmons is labeled as the most sure thing since Lebron James. At 6’10, 240 lbs, he is a force inside and on the glass. He’s averaging 19.6 ppg and 11.8 rebounds. Simmons can defend and play all five positions on the floor. He can finish through contact, and has the vision of a point guard. He is a very unselfish player, but perhaps a little too unselfish sometimes. He disappears for small stretches of the game, and that could be due to the fact he lacks confidence in his jumper. If Simmons improves his jumper, the ceiling is infinite.
Ceiling – Lebron James Floor – Michael Beasley
Brandon Ingram – DUKE: Brandon Ingram is almost identical to Kevin Durant when you look at his measurables. He is 6’9”, 195 lbs, and has freakish length. Ingram has a wingspan of 7’3”, and can really stroke the 3 pointer. He’s averaging 17 ppg and 6.6 rebounds. He will need to put on weight and get stronger before he will be able to contribute inside. He has very good ball control for someone his size, and also has a very high basketball IQ after playing for coach K. His lateral quickness and footwork on defense could use work. His head fake is reminiscent of Durant, and that’s a deadly combo with someone that can shoot like Ingram.
Ceiling – Kevin Durant Floor – Wesley Johnson
Dragan Bender – CROATIA: Every team in the NBA is looking for the next Kristaps Porzingis, and at 7’0”, Bender resembles him. He can ball handle for someone his size, and is a good spot up shooter. At 220 lbs, he will need to get a stronger and improve his back to the basket game. Bender will also need to get better with his left hand, and finishing with contact. It’s hard not to compare him to other European players, because he plays the same type of game. He’s a good shooter from both mid-range and outside.
Ceiling – Dirk Nowitzki Floor – Andrea Bargnani
Jaylen Brown – CALIFORNIA: Brown is a player that plays above the rim and has power to finish with contact. He has superior speed for someone who is 6’7”. He’s already 225 and can get on the glass at 5.7 rebounds per game. He needs to improve his ball handling and jumper. He is not a huge threat from the outside, but with his off the dribble moves, an improved outside game could drastically improve his offensive game. He started out slow at Cal, but is not averaging 15.8 ppg.
Ceiling – Demar Derozan Floor – Michael Kidd-Gilchrest
Jamal Murray – KENTUCKY: A top 5 wouldn’t be complete without a Kentucky freshman. Murray is a combo guard that has played the majority of his time at the SG position. He can slide over to play PG in the NBA, but at 6’4” he has the size to play either. He will need to improve his passing and getting other people involved, as he is only averaging 2 assists per game. He is excellent at playing off the ball and could be used with Isiah Thomas because of that. He gambles a little too much on defense, and becomes a liability when he does. Murray thrives in the clutch and is not scared to take the big shot, which is something you need to play guard in the NBA.
Ceiling – Chauncey Billups Floor – OJ Mayo
Kris Dunn – PROVIDENCE: Perhaps 5b, Dunn is also projected in many mock drafts to go in the top 5. He’s 6’4” and is averaging 16.4 ppg. He is a very good drive and kick player, averaging 6.3 assists. He’s very explosive and can rebound exceptionally for a guard. He needs to improve his outside shot, and injuries are a concern for teams with Dunn. Dunn is very good defensively, and can guard both the PG and SG position in the NBA.
Ceiling – John Wall Floor – Jordan Clarkson