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Kelly Olynyk just had his best game as a Celtic, scoring 21 points, grabbing four rebounds, dishing five assists and swatting two blocks in the loss to the Hawks Tuesday afternoon. But by-and-large, Olynyk hasn't been too spectacular this season, averaging 6.4 ppg and 4.9 rpg at just under 20 minutes per contest.

Before the Celtics drafted Olynyk this summer, there was another player linked to Boston who now plays for Atlanta: Dennis Schroeder.

Schroeder talked about almost becoming a Celtic before Tuesday's game.



Ouch.

While Schroeder has been less than stellar himself in Atlanta, even getting sent down to the D-League for a few days, he still would have been a better pick than Olynyk.

Sure, Olynyk's nice. He can score and may develop into a great role player someday, but his ceiling is very low and as it's been pointed out in the past, in a weak draft you don't pick low ceiling guys. You swing for the fences. Schroeder would have been that swing.

A glaring need on this team coming into the season was a point guard to shoulder the ball handling duties until Rajon Rondo returned from ACL surgery and a guy to fill in as backup once Rondo returns to the fold. To address that need, the Celtics signed undrafted rookie Phil Pressey. Meanwhile, Danny Ainge picks Olynyk who now fights for playing time at the two big spots with Jared Sullinger, Kris Humphries, Brandon Bass and Vitor Faverani.

Schroeder was given the nickname "The German Rondo." Plenty drooled over his abilities in the Summer League and speculated he could be a major steal in the draft. Schroeder played great defense and showed his breathtaking passing ability, while needing to work on his shooting. Sound familiar? He has all the tools to be a legit starting point guard in the league. That puts his ceiling a notch or two higher than "great role player."

Problem is, he's also stuck fighting for minutes in a loaded Atlanta backcourt featuring Jeff Teague, Kyle Korver, Shelvin Mack, and Louis Williams. Before Al Horford went down with a torn pectoral muscle, the Hawks were still trying to compete and didn't have time to develop their young European point guard.

Schroeder would have been better served going to a team that was rebuilding and had all the time in the world to develop his talents. A team like Boston. Schroeder would thrive under coach Brad Stevens and his ability to get the best out of his young players and Schroeder would have been given plenty of minutes to improve since he would have been the only true ball handler on the squad.

He would also be a nice insurance policy if the Celtics decide to trade Rondo or if he leaves as a free agent after next season. Even so, drafting Schroeder should not have been seen by Rondo as an attack on his job status since the Celtics were drafting a guy who needs a couple years to develop and filled a major need on the team at the time. Had the Celtics traded up in the draft to grab Trey Burke, C.J. McCollum or Michael Carter-Williams, then Rondo might have had cause to worry.

The Celtics probably were interested in Schroeder, but Ainge saw something in Olynyk he really wanted or Schoreder was Doc's pick and Ainge wanted to go in a different direction. Maybe the Celtics can rectify their mistake and trade for Schroeder while his stock is so low. Because his ceiling remains sky high.



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Eric Blaisdell 12/31/2013 05:24:00 PM Edit
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