Last night on CelticsLife Live, we were asked what two players we would ideally love the Celtics to use their first round picks on. My ideal duo: Jabari Parker at #4 and Nik Stauskas with their second first round pick (currently at #17).
While it seems crazy to get Parker that low, it's really not. If Orlando gets a top three pick they are apparently really focused on taking a point guard (most likely Australia's Dante Exum), which could open up Parker to drop to fourth (but no lower).
That's why Chad Ford's mock draft version 3.0 is really getting my juices going. Ford has Parker dropping to the Celtics at #4, saying this about the pick.
GM Danny Ainge isn't as in love with this draft as much as the rest of the league, but he'll still be stoked to land Parker here. Parker's abilities as a scorer and rebounder could make him an immediate upgrade at the 3 while giving the Celtics more incentive to move Jeff Green this summer.
While Parker is not as explosive as Andrew Wiggins, his offensive game is far more developed, as he's been more efficient and more consistent than his Jayhawk counterpart this season. If I had to bet on only one guy from this draft becoming an NBA All-Star, it's Parker (Note: I think multiple guys will be All-Stars, but if I had to pick one, it's Parker). So needless to say getting Parker at #4 would be unbelievable.
As for the Celtics' second pick, Ford's pick is a little confusing. The reason being that he has the Celtics picking 15th as opposed to 17th, their current spot. It appears that Ford has forgotten Atlanta can keep their own first round pick as opposed to flipping with the Nets (which is heading to the Celts). So Boston is actually listed two spots higher than they should be. That being said -- I'm pretty excited with Ford's pick: Stauskas.
Stauskas has proved to be one of the most lethal shooters in college basketball. He has a lightning-quick release and has also shown an ability to handle the ball and play point on occasion. With Rajon Rondo being a non-shooter and Avery Bradley being just an average one, adding Stauskas to the lineup gives the Celtics a serious floor-spacer.
I've gone on the record as saying I don't want to overpay Bradley this summer, and that the Celtics could very well find a starting shooting guard with their second pick in this year's draft. Stauskas is exactly that guy, and could very well be there at #17 (Draft Express currently has him as the #20 prospect). He's the best shooter in college basketball, knocking down 46.4% of his threes, and sporting a 65.6% true shooting percentage. He's also big (6'6") which helps him make up for his lack of athleticism (he's a good but not great athlete).
While so much of the draft is on potential and projection, Parker and Stauskas are extremely safe picks. And I don't mean that in a bad way. I think both are NBA starters, and that Parker is going to be an All-Star, so picking up both in the same draft would be fantastic.
Hopefully the Celtics can fight off the other contenders for the #4 lottery spot and the Nets winning streak doesn't propel them any higher in the East (they're currently sixth). If so, the Cs are in really nice shape come June.
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Michael Dyer 3/05/2014 02:19:00 PM Tweet