Source: Julie Jacobson / AP
If you’re looking for a pity piece about how sad some people are that we didn’t get the number one pick, you won’t find it here. This pick is all I could ever ask for after watching a young, yet competitive team make the playoffs for two consecutive seasons.
I found myself yelling “Not sixth, NOT sixth, NOT SIXTH” as the stack of envelopes got smaller, which brought me to pounding my fist on my knee during the 4th and 5th picks being revealed, after which I was left hanging on a cliff during a commercial break.
But by that point, I had already felt relief. A top three pick, even if we don’t keep it, is a big deal. I don’t believe in “two man” drafts, as some people are calling it. The NBA’s 11th leading scorer this season, Isaiah Thomas, was drafted 60th in 2011. That’s dead last, by the way, if you do the math.
While I have no idea what Trader Danny has up his sleeve, I can’t help but notice that the Big East Player of the Year Kris Dunn has slid up to a top 5 pick on many expert’s draft boards. Dunn hasn’t drawn nearly as much attention as Ben Simmons, Brandon Ingram, and Jamal Murray, but he’s a jack-of-all-trades type player who could really fit in anywhere. While he may not stick out as a must-have for the Celtics right away, you never know what the roster might need by the end of a wild offseason. I’m also a little biased because I saw Kris Dunn play in person when I was attending UMass Amherst, and he pummeled us after it was rumored that he was too injured to play at all. And how can you not love those 16 points, 6 assist, and 5 rebound per-game averages on a 6-4 point guard? I would be crushed to see Marcus Smart get moved, but if the Celtics somehow swing a deal that doesn’t involve this pick, Dunn, who is the same age, could step right in.
Dragan Bender has been a name I've seen raise some eyebrows lately, but I'm somebody who needs to see talent to believe it. I've seen some highlights, but playing 12-15 minutes per game isn't enough for me. Sure, he's only 18, but so are plenty of others in this draft. In every draft, actually. To me, he's another Porzingis situation, where I hope somebody else takes him and I wish him the best.
This is all assuming Simmons and Ingram go first, of course. The Lakers were very impressed with Dunn at the combine, so Ingram could fall to 3rd, at which point nobody can complain that we didn't get a top 2 pick.
Personally, I’d like to see them keep the pick if it isn’t traded for DeMarcus Cousins. While we can’t perfectly emulate the Warriors and Thunder, I like how those teams have come together – young players sticking together and getting better over time. I think the Celtics are trending in a similar direction, and adding a top prospect could be the “missing piece” that people have been raving about all year. Whoever we take will likely not be the next Durant, but could very well be an excellent scorer, which is all I think this roster needs to take the next step forward.
If you’re still concerned, our last two lottery picks brought us Marcus Smart and Ray Allen. Boo-hoo.