History suggests lack of talent at all three slots
If the draft were to be held tomorrow the Boston Celtics would hold the rights to the 17th (Memphis Grizzlies), 26th (their own) and 30th pick. Make no mistake about it, one of the most valuable assets for a franchise to have is draft capital, and the C’s have had plenty of that over the years — held the rights to 13 total selections since 2013.
However, if the history of these specific picks are any indicator, the likelihood of nabbing a franchise altering player is simply slim to none.
In regard to each of them, there have only been a handful of noteworthy players selected:
- 17: Jrue Holiday (2009), Jermaine O’Neal (1996), Shawn Kemp (1989)
- 26: Vlade Divac (1989)
- 30: Jimmy Butler (2011), David Lee (2005), Gilbert Arenas (2001), Spencer Haywood (1971)
Sure, there may have been a few players that slipped past our sights when looking upon the history of these picks, but — according to our list — eight players do not equate to good odds of adding on a truly solid talent to the franchise.
Let’s translate these numbers into percentage of success. Dating back to 1970, there have been 150 players selected from all three of these positions combined. If we use this time frame, that gives a team a .05 percent chance of actually drafting a player of note.
We get it; of course there have been great picks from later on in NBA Drafts — Alex English, Dennis Rodman, Manu Ginobili, Tony Parker and, as Celtics fans know, Reggie Lewis were all late picks and have become some of the greatest draft day steals in league history.
However, just because it’s a possibility that the C’s can draft a steal of a player, it doesn’t mean it’s likely (as my calculations would suggest).
There is a much greater possibility that a team in the midst of a rebuild could be intrigued by trading for one, two or even all three of Boston’s first round picks in 2020, and could offer a decent return package for them. Heck, even a team with a competent front office who has a solid track record in previous drafts could be interested in acquiring some of these assets.
Which brings us to our next point…