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Any other year, getting the sixth pick in the NBA draft might lead a die hard fan of a franchise feeling a bit cheated. In most NBA drafts there is a small handful of players that really make a difference and they’re usually gone by the fifth pick.

The 2014 draft, however, is not like any other draft. We’ve been hearing it for months and with just a few more days to go, the Celtics are on the verge of taking the first step of a franchise turnaround. One player the Celtics have their eye on is Kentucky Wildcat Julius Randle.

What he brings to the Celtics Randle, more than any other top ten projected player, brings an NBA ready body to the draft on June 26th. The combination of size, strength, and ability makes him a unique talent that should be available when the Celtics make their selection. More so than other talents projected to go between the fifth and tenth picks, Randle has proven he’s got all of the tools ready to go NOW that would make him an asset to this team.
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The knock on Randle being drafted by Boston has been mainly focused on what Boston already has; a plethora of power forwards in Jared Sullinger, Brandon Bass, Kelly Olynyk, and possibly a returning Kris Humphries. While yes, the 6-foot-9 forward would be entering into a log jam at the four position, that’s only an issue if the Celtics decide to keep him in green.

With a talent like Randle and the abilities he brings to the table immediately, Celtics fans should not be wondering what he can do for them, but what he can do for another team that has something we need.

Strengths

  • NBA ready frame 
  • Amazing speed, hustle, and finesse for a player his size 
  • He is a double-double machine 
  • Strong offensive presence in the post 
  • He’s got all the intangibles: Great motor, basketball IQ, and extremely coachable 


Weaknesses

  • Left hand dominant player with limited offense coming from his right hand 
  • Needs to develop a jump shot 
  • Even at 6-foot-9 , he is not an above the rim type of player 


Verdict
Julius Randle may not be a generation defining talent like LeBron James or a franchise player like Kevin Durant, but neither is 99% of the NBA.

He is, however, a super talented athlete that adds value to a team right now as opposed to other players like Noah Vonleah, Aaron Gordon, and Marcus Smart who will need time to develop within a strong system.


To reiterate my point, Randle should be thought of as someone who can help the Celtics win should they keep him, but mainly as a huge asset in a deal with a team that has something we really need. In a draft this deep and a top ten pick, Danny Ainge will most likely be looking to choose the best overall talent- we’ll worry about fit later… specifically June 27th.

Follow Padraic O'Connor on Twitter @padraic_oconnor

Source: James Streble, A Sea of Blue/SBNation

Padraic O'Connor 6/14/2014 09:00:00 AM Edit
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