Celtics Draft Picks Get Varied Reaction from Across the Sports World
Thursday, November 19, 2020
One thing the Celtics did not get done was a big trade.
Here is what some of the sports analyst writes:GET THE LATEST BREAKING NEWS HERE -- SIGN UP FOR GOLOCAL FREE DAILY EBLAST
8. Boston Celtics (A-). Vanderbilt’s Aaron Nesmith, arguably the best shooter in the draft, was taken at No. 14. That selection gives the C’s a volume shooter who can make an immediate impact. Picking Pac-12 player of the year Payton Prichard at No. 26 was a shocker considering the other point guards on the board at the time, but it’s a Brad Stevens pick in fitting a heady floor general into his system. Then they went with Yam Madar of Israel at No. 47.
I get it—it takes two teams to make a deal, and Boston’s draft night transaction window extends to Thursday, when Gordon Hayward must decide whether to pick up his player option for next season. But the Celtics began the week hoping to package its picks for a top-10 selection that they could use for a significant trade (Jrue Holiday was among the targets) and end draft night with two more rookies to squeeze onto a suddenly bloated roster.
Look, on paper, Aaron Nesmith and Payton Pritchard make sense. Neismith is arguably the best shooter in the draft and Pritchard, a four-year player at Oregon, shot 41.5% from three last season. There are some concerns about the foot injury Neismith suffered in January, but long term he should be fine. Boston’s bench badly needs shooting, and Nesmith and Pritchard theoretically could provide it.
But where do they fit in? Boston had two first-round picks on the roster last season (Romeo Langford, Grant Williams) and a pair of second-rounders (Carsen Edwards, Tremont Waters) in the mix. To make room for Nesmith and Pritchard, the Celtics may have to sever ties with Semi Ojeleye or Brad Wanamaker. Maybe both. Vincent Poirier has another year left on his contract, but he could go, too.
I can’t help but wonder if the Celtics whiffed on R.J. Hampton. They could have had him at No. 14, which was in the range of some mock drafts. They could have maneuvered up to get him at 24, with picks Nos. 26 and 30 to dangle in a trade. Boston addressed a need in the draft. But for the second year in a row, its stockpile of picks couldn’t be parlayed into something bigger.
Boston Celtics, Grade: B
No. 14: Aaron Nesmith, SF, Vanderbilt
No. 26: Payton Pritchard, PG, Oregon
No. 47: Yam Madar, PG, Hapoel Tel Aviv (Israel)
The Celtics needed shooters off the bench and got a pair in Nesmith, who is coming off foot surgery, and Pritchard, who can bring some energy as a backup point guard. They then traded away the No. 30 pick for two future second-rounders and got a stash in Madar.
Overall, it does not look like the Celtics made any significant upgrade to position the team in the top-tier of the NBA. With no scoring in the paint, the team remains a group of highly talented 2s and 3s, but with no game changers in down low it is hard to see a major upgrade.
The 2020 NBA draft finally happened and the Boston Celtics had another busy draft with multiple picks.
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