|Kansas freshman center Joel Embiid|
As usual, lets start with the "big three" of the draft:
Jabari Parker (Duke/Fr): It's been tough for Duke of late. They squeaked out a one point home win over Vermont and then lost to Arizona at MSG on Saturday night in the NIT Tip-off championship game. However, Parker has remained a bright spot for the Blue Devils. Arizona was Parker's worst outing of the season, shooting 7-21 for 19 points (his first game under 20). But don't let that one game scare you away from Parker. His previous two games combine, Parker went for 53 points on 20-28 shooting. Parker remains the most ready NBA prospect, he has superstar written all over him and could start for NBA teams today.
Julius Randle (Kentucky/Fr): Randle has very much come back to earth in his last three games. Combine shooting of 12-30 in those games has been a concern, along with his point totals going down each game (15,14 and 12). Randle is still a beast on the glass and a physical freak though, which will assure his draft status remain high all the way up to June. Randle's season averages are still 18.1 PPG and 12.5 RPG.
Andrew Wiggins (Kansas/Fr): Wiggins has really been going down hill lately. The "lock" for the number one pick in the NBA Draft has shown plenty of his potential, but he has also shown that he is very far from knowing how to use it. Wiggins just does not have a good feel for the game this early in his career. If you actually sit down and watch him, it's not hard to tell he is far more raw than a prospect with all his hype should be. Wiggins did flash his potential against Wake Forest on Thanksgiving day scoring 17 points in 25 minutes. He had a well rounded game with four rebounds, four assist and three steals. But Wiggins followed up with 10 points in 30 minutes in an upset loss to Villanova, and then a mere six points in 34 minutes in a narrow win over UTEP. Wiggins is sliding fast.
With the Celtics flip flopping around between being a playoff team in the brutal Eastern Conference and being a lottery team it is only becoming more unlikely that Boston ends up with one of these three names. So who could land in Boston if the Celts remain in the middle of the pack?
The last two updated mock drafts I have looked at have Boston with the eighth pick and doing completely different things with it. One has them using the pick on Kansas center Joel Embiid, a high risk high reward pick. Although Embiid is no sure thing, his upside is worth it if he falls this low. The other has them taking Dante Exum. This is the first time we have brought up Exum in this feature. He is a point guard from Australia that is getting a lot of hype. I am yet to see him play, but if he slides to eight he would be considered a steal. Again he is a point guard, so this pick would be if Rajon Rondo is moved or the pick is traded.
Some other good fits if Boston is picking at the back end of the lottery? Local kid Wayne Seldon has been impressive as a freshman off guard at Kansas. He is a very good scorer, polar opposite of Avery Bradley if they chose to go that way. If they are looking for wing scoring and Seldon is off the board, Kentucky freshman James Young has also been filling it up so far this season and can really shoot from the outside. Glenn Robinson is another good option here. If he can fill it up like his dad there's not much to dislike.
If the Celtics want to go bigger, Willie Cauley-Stein has shown potential in his sophomore season at Kentucky. He had nine blocks in his last game, would be a great fit next to Jared Sullinger and/or Kelly Olynyk. Rodney Hood is also putting up fantastic numbers for Duke. He is an inside out option and could make a great combo forward in the NBA.
I have been very clear that I believe Jabari Parker is worth going after at all costs. But if Boston remains in the middle of the pack I think Embiid is a talent you can not pass on if available. If he pans out you have a superstar that would be the first pick in almost any other draft.
The draft is still a long way away, but it's always fun to keep looking at it. Who do you guys like so far? Where do you think the Celtics will end up picking?
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For all eye on the draft pieces, click here. Julian Edlow 12/02/2013 12:37:00 PM Tweet