As is the case in the days immediately before the NBA Draft, there is a lot of player movement in and out of the lottery. Often times, pre-existing injuries are what can dictate just how high or low a player is drafted.
Teams looking to make an impact in the short term can very easily be scared by such reports, but not the 2016-17 Boston Celtics. With eight picks in the 2016 Draft, I have a feeling they're going to draft for both need and for potential impact-- and why not? They have more than enough at bats scheduled for Thursday.
Denzel Valentine-- a four-year player out of Michigan State-- could be the latest draftee to slip due to injury. According to CSNNE Insider A. Sherrod Blakely, there is a chance the Celtics could take him with one of their late first round picks.
An MRI of the right knee of Michigan State’s Denzel Valentine during last month’s pre-draft combine in Chicago has led to concerns from NBA teams about its long-term durability. That could result in a potential lottery pick -- he had been considered a top-14 player prior to those reports -- becoming available for the Celtics with the No. 16 or 23 pick.
To his credit, Valentine understands that this kind of chatter is all part of the process and is not all that concerned. He spoke about how these reports could effect his standings in the draft with MLive.com:
"I guess some teams are worried about it... But all I can do is take care of what I can control. I'm asymptomatic, I'm healthy."
“It's really irrelevant to me, but the doctors and everything, they've got to do what they've got to do, because they're investing a lot of money," Valentine said. Valentine added, “I'm healthy right now, I have workouts, I've been going about my business no problems."
Despite having a wealth of picks, the Celtics of course are going to do their due diligence when it comes to evaluating the health of any potential draftee. As reported by A. Sherrod Blakely, according to Director of Player Personnel Austin Ainge, there are many factors that go into this part of the process with pre-draft medical considerations being only one of them.
“Everybody has something,” Ainge said. “It’s weighing their potential play versus their potential medical risk. Doctors have different opinions just like scouts have different opinions with those things. We’re all doing the best job we can to make the most educated guesses."
We'll see if Valentine lands in Boston on Thursday.
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Photo Credit: Getty Images
Padraic O'Connor 6/21/2016 07:00:00 AM Tweet Edit