Last year, the Celtics finished the draft adding two players to their roster: JaJuan Johnson and E’twaun Moore. The morning after the draft, I wrote this article saying that even though I wouldn’t have picked either of these players, I was pleasantly pleased with the choices. In the article, I stated that instead of trading our original selection away to New Jersey to select Johnson, I would have kept it and stuck with MarShon Brooks. Looking back, I think 100% of Celtics fans would have done the same thing. E’twaun Moore, the 55th pick of the draft, most definitely had a bigger impact on the team this year. Maybe with an entire offseason with the team under their belts, they will contribute something next year.
Looking forward to next Thursday, everyone wants to know who we are going to take. There are a ton of mock drafts out there, so I decided to take a few that I frequent and see who they think we are getting. Some of them have factored in the rumor that the Celtics have a promise to Royce White while others haven’t just yet. Either way, it’s nice to see who people think we will be taking.
21. Boston Celtics: Royce White
Danny Ainge’s draft M.O. has always been to swing big and it doesn’t get bigger than White in the bottom third of the draft. He was far from efficient as a scorer, but his degree of difficulty in creating his own offense on nearly every attempt has to be factored in. There is little doubt that White can be the best individual scorer in this class and his basement is as a team’s bench scorer.
22. Boston Celtics (from Clippers via Oklahoma City): Arnett Moultrie
Moultrie is another higher ceiling player and would represent great value for Boston as they rebuild their frontcourt.
RealGM.com has updated their mock for the Royce White promise, so he’s our pick at No. 21. Arnett Moultrie at No. 22 would be a great pick in my honest opinion. He has great upside and is a terrific athlete and scorer at 6-11. He could play both power forward and center at the next level.
Now what does Chad Ford think in his Mock Draft: Version 8.2:
PICK TEAM PLAYER VITALS Boston Royce White Position: SF
Weight: 261 pounds
School: Iowa State
Analysis: According to sources, White pulled out of all his remaining workouts Thursday and has gone silent. He’s not injured, and sources claim he’s received a coveted first-round promise from a team. Promises are notoriously hard to pin down, but two sources are pointing in the direction of the Celtics. As long as coach Doc Rivers can buy into what White is (a ballhandling power forward) and figure out how to play him, he could be a steal at this point in the draft.
PICK TEAM PLAYER VITALS Boston (via Clippers) Andrew Nicholson Position: PF
Weight: 234 pounds
School: St. Bonaventure
Analysis: Nicholson is another draft sleeper who might really rise with workouts. He’s a big stretch 4 who has drawn some comparisons to David West. He would be another welcome addition to the Celtics’ summer makeover.
Again, Ford updated for the White rumor. Nicholson is a name thrown about by quite a few “draftniks”, myself included. He’s a stretch four, the same position I pegged JaJuan Johnson as last year. Adding two skilled bigs like this would be a very good draft for the Celtics.
Over to DraftExpress.com:
21. Quincy Miller SF
19 years old; 6’10″; 219 lbs.
22. Fab Melo C
22 years old; 7’0″; 255 lbs.
If you want to talk about insane upside and potential, look no farther than Quincy Miller and Fab Melo. Both raw prospects, they could be groomed and ready to produce by the time our elite veterans have finished their careers here in Boston. Quincy Miller struggled to return from ACL surgery his senior season in high school and Fab Melo is a defensive big man that left school because of repeated academic issues.
Here are the picks from NBA-Draft.com:
21. Fab MeloCollege: Syracuse Position: CHeight : 7’0″ Weight: 255
*22. Will BartonCollege: Memphis Position: SGHeight : 6’6″ Weight: 175
Fab Melo shows up again as he has in many other mocks, but a new name to chew on is Will Barton. The 6-6 guard from Memphis is rumored to be rising up draft boards into the early 20′s and could possibly be a player the Celtics look at drafting. He’s a determined scorer and can you get some tough buckets, much like Paul Pierce. Definitely a prospect worth keeping an eye on.
Sam Amick from Sports Illustrated goes with two bigs for the Celtics:
21. Andrew Nicholson: The Celtics are desperate for big-man help and I’m told they’re one of the many teams interested in Nicholson, who could wind up going higher. He can be a force both inside and outside, all of which would come in handy for a team set to have nine unrestricted free agents, include frontcourt starters Kevin Garnett and Brandon Bass. Nicholson averaged 18.5 points (while adding a three-point shot), 8.4 rebounds and 2.0 blocks in leading St. Bonaventure to the Atlantic 10 championship and its first NCAA tournament appearance in 12 years.22. Fab Melo: Speaking of that Celtics desperation for help inside: Melo is a huge defensive presence who could find a significant reserve role in Boston.
- Boston Celtics: Arnett Moultrie, PF, Mississippi State, 6-11, Jr.
The Celtics could use improved depth at just about every position since they only have four players under contract for next season. Arnett Moultrie is one of the big sliders in this scenario as he could actually go as high as No. 9 to Detroit. He would provide Boston with some versatility up front, which could be especially valuable since Brandon Bass and Kevin Garnett are both free agents.
- Boston Celtics: Andrew Nicholson, PF, St. Bonaventure, 6-9, Sr.
Boston owns the Clippers’ pick (via the Thunder/Eric Bledsoe trade) from the Kendrick Perkins trade. Go here to see all of the outstanding 2012 NBA Draft Trades.Continuing their froncourt upgrade, the Celtics grabs one of the few true seven-footers in this draft class. He would provide an immediate defensive presence and rebounder inside.
And finally, NBADraft.net and their say on picks 21 and 22:
21 Boston Perry Jones 6-11 234 SF/PF Baylor So. 22 *Boston Terrence Jones 6-9 252 SF/PF Kentucky So.
Two totally different names than we expected to see at our picks. Both Jones boys have some serious talent but lack the motor teams would like to see coming into the NBA. If either of these players fall to us, does Danny Ainge jump all over them or let them continue to slide?
Clearly, there is a consensus across many platforms that the Celtics will certainly draft at least one big man. In fact, the only guard mocked for us was Will Barton, and that was only by one of the seven drafts. The other 13 picks were either long, lanky small forwards, power forwards or a center.
My latest mock draft had the Celtics selecting Moe Harkless and Andrew Nicholson. Look for that to be updated based on the Royce White promise as well as many other rumblings around the league as well.