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With the trading of the top pick in the 2017 NBA Draft already in the Boston Celtics' rear-view mirror, the focus now shifts to trying to envisage what exactly Danny Ainge has in mind for the picks he has in hand.


While with things as fluid as they have been of late it's quite possible Ainge has NO picks in hand to work with by the time the draft actually rolls around this Thursday, June 22nd, 2017 (4pm EST), for now he has the number-three pick in the draft, and are interested in getting two prospects on their radar in for workouts.



A considerable amount of speculation abounds concerning which players the Celtics might be interested in taking. Josh Jackson, one of the two prospects catching Boston's eye, has been strongly suggested by at least one rival GM to be the sort of player Danny likes (long, high-motor wings with two-way potential and a bit of a struggle shooting), which tends to match popular opinion on Jackson being a fit for the Celts. A few points with Jackson are worth noting, however.


He has one glaring red flag that may send Ainge packing - involvement in an incident on campus at Kansas last season that saw him enraged and attacking the car of another student, doing considerable damage and resulting in his acceptance of an anger management program as part of his agreement to avoid jail time. He's also significantly improved his shooting over the latter two-thirds of last year's collegiate season, though it's a small sample size, and perhaps unwise to say those issues are behind him just yet.



Lonzo Ball, on the other hand, is probably a player most Celtics fans could do without drafting, despite recently being ranked HIGHER than Markelle Fultz in ESPN's Kevin Pelton's estimation. While I personally think this assessment is a little bit colored by specific context (as I noted in a recent article), I do agree Ball is talented enough as a distributor that he warrants consideration with the third pick. Like many of you, I worry about the media circus, his shooting mechanics, and now, his conditioning after returning from a workout with the Los Angeles Lakers that failed to wow them for this reason among others.


Whatever direction Ainge decides to go, merely having prospects in for a workout is clearly no guarantee of anything besides due diligence. But, much as the linked Draft Prospect Videos the official Celtics YouTube channel has been releasing, they are certainly clues to which options the club is considering. Expect more such hints about the future to be revealed over the next few days, but try not to buy into every rumor that comes down the pike, if only for saving your feels for whatever really goes down this Thursday.

For more stories about the offseason on CelticsLife, click here. For more by Justin, click here.


Photo via Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports
Follow Justin at @justinquinnn

Justin Quinn 6/19/2017 11:39:00 AM Edit
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