Boston Celtics draft pick Anton Watson has a chip on his shoulder

Boston Celtics second-round draft pick Anton Watson has caught the attention of many Celtics fans already
Boston Celtics second-round draft pick Anton Watson has caught the attention of many Celtics fans already / Mike Mulholland/GettyImages

The Boston Celtics selected Anton Watson in the second round of the 2024 NBA draft, and many fans are excited to see him join the team. The No. 54 pick had a fantastic five-year career at Gonzaga thanks to his defensive versatility and improved long-range shooting.

According to Gonzaga basketball writer Theo Lawson, Watson already has a chip on his shoulder due to how he was drafted.

"I’m not saying I’m Jokic, but they did the same thing to him. They put a Taco Bell commercial on him. I think the last 10 picks they were talking about Bronny… You don’t try to focus on that, but that definitely puts a chip on your shoulder. That’s crazy, I think it’s a little bit crazy…"

Anton Watson

With Lebron James’ son understandably stealing the headlines, Watson made some valid points. Watson’s disrespectful draft circumstances could motivate him even further as he approaches the start of his pro career.

In his final year of college, Watson averaged 14.5 points and 7.1 rebounds on 57.8% shooting from the field and 41.2% shooting from three. The fifth-year hooper made the All-WCC First Team and the All-WCC Tournament Team.

General manager Brad Stevens chose Watson for a reason. Stevens loves the six-foot-eight forward and his ability to impact the game with his physicality and switchable defense. Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer actually called Watson a “younger Al Horford” before the draft. 

Brad Stevens gave Anton Watson high praise after the draft

Watson has received high praise for a late second-round pick, including some encouraging comments from Stevens at his post-draft press conference.

"Anton’s strength and ability to move his feet laterally give him a chance to be one of these big, strong hybrid forwards that can switch … I want him to come in here with the mindset that he's gonna let it fly like he's never let it fly before. Because I think he's a better shooter than he sometimes thinks he is. I’m looking forward to getting him in here in eight days or so."

Brad Stevens

As one might expect from the NBA champions, the Celtics have a very crowded rotation with strong talent at each position. While he could potentially miss out on a main roster spot as a rookie, Watson should at least stay with Boston on a two-way deal. After all, the C’s will have three two-way roster spots open.

Considering their status as elite two-way wings, Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown have a lot to offer Watson as mentors and role models. With Kristaps Porzingis set to miss at least the first few months of next season, the Celtics will need some extra size and strength in the frontcourt. Horford should continue to sit back-to-backs during his age-38 season, which could also make Watson more valuable – especially if the Celtics don’t resign Luke Kornet or Xavier Tillman.

Fans will get their first look at Watson in Celtic green when Boston begins its Summer League play on July 13. Until then, Celtics Nation will have to wait a few weeks to see Watson make his rookie debut.