The Boston Celtics have the 6th and the 17th picks in the draft next week. As I discussed on Monday, the Celtics are in drastic need of upgrading their forward positions. Luckily for them, there is no shortage of forwards in this draft that have the possibility of developing into franchise players. With that in mind, let’s take a look at who the Celtics will be drafting.
With the potential rise of Marcus Smart and Noah Vonleh into the top five of this year’s draft, the Celtics could see a dream scenario in which Randle is available at #6. When the NCAA season started, Randle was ranked in the top three with Andrew Wiggins and Jabari Parker. His stock has slipped when reports about a foot injury surfaced, but in recent workouts, there hasn’t been a problem. Randle would be a steal for the Celtics.
His weaknesses are all skills that can be taught. His jump shot is weak and he scores an overwhelming majority of his points in the paint. He also is extremely left hand dominant. And although he does a great job collapsing the defense when he gets to the paint, he has a bad habit of not finding his open teammates.
On the plus side, his body and athleticism are NBA ready. He will be able to defend and score against NBA power forwards from day one. He does a great job of getting to the rim and scoring after contact. Randle has the making of a great post game and already has some solid moves, including a nice touch with a left handed jump hook. His athleticism and natural talent also help him in rebounding, which he excels at on both ends. He definitely has all the makings of a franchise power forward and will be a perfect fit for the Celtics.
Warren will need to improve some aspects of his game, including his defense, if he wants a career as small forward in the NBA, but his strengths make him worth the 17th pick.
He has a great natural scoring ability, and is a fantastic finisher. He made more floaters than any other player last year, a great skill that translates to the NBA. His most obvious offensive weakness is his shooting form. He has an odd habit of bringing the ball to his thighs before bringing it back up to his release point. This makes his shot motion slow and leads him to having a lot of contested jump shots. Once again, this is something that can be improved on, and even with that slower shot, he is a very effective shooter. He is also great at following his shot and contributing on the offensive glass.
If the Celtics don’t trade for Kevin Love, and decide not to improve their forward positions through free agency, Randle and Warren will be the best options from this draft class. And they are both young: 19 and 20, respectively. Their potential is sky high.
The Celtics know what they have with Brandon Bass and Jeff Green. Worst case scenario, Randle and Warren provide what Bass and Green do, but on cheaper contracts. Best case scenario, Randle develops and makes multiple All-Star teams and Warren becomes a solid offensive weapon and wing defender.