Ex-Boston Celtics big flamed for thinking Donovan Clingan is No. 1 pick material

Purdue v Connecticut
Purdue v Connecticut / Jamie Squire/GettyImages

CBS Sports' Shehan Jeyarajah was none too pleased with former Boston Celtics big man Kendrick Perkins getting to be an ESPN NBA draft analyst considering his belief that UConn center Donovan Clingan is No. 1 pick material over several international prospects Perkins likely has never seen play.

The college sports writer came up with a mock scenario intended to exaggerate Perkins' lack of commitment to actually doing his job and giving objective analysis on the 2024 NBA draft.

"ESPN says 'here’s our board with four international guys in the top 5' and Perk basically said 'yeah man ain’t no way I’ve watched any of those guys, Clingan No. 1,'" Jeyarajah wrote.

Alex Sarr, Zaccharie Risacher, Nikola Topic, and Matas Buzelis are the four prospects Jeyarajah was referring to, and most anyone paying attention to draft boards at this point have Sarr as the consensus No. 1 overall pick.

At seven-foot-one with comparisons to Jaren Jackson Jr. and Jonathan Isaac, Sarr has the athleticism to emerge as an ideal 4 in the modern NBA. Risacher is less of a sure thing on the wing, but he's still someone you'd take a chance on with a top pick. Ditto for Buzelis. Then there's six-foot-six facilitator Topic.

Clingan is talented and certainly accomplished given his two championship years at UConn, but he's someone who can fall in the draft considering his skillset is somewhat easy to find, even if his size isn't.

Former Boston Celtics big man Kendrick Perkins' analysis was lazy

Perkins definitely just went with the best player on the best team in college basketball instead of looking into the draft at all. Had Purdue won, he probably would've just inserted Zach Edey. It's not the most unforgivable sin, but it's also not moving the needle much for ESPN at this point.

Or maybe it is, just not the needle they should want to move.

The 2024 draft class is maligned in many ways, but these international studs have a chance to quickly change the narrative.

Perkins' snub could serve as fuel for those breakouts.