Future Celtics? Julius Randle and Nik Stauskas reportedly set to declare for the draft

Another day, another potential future Celtic declares for the draft. Yesterday it was Joel Embiid, today it's Nik Stauskas -- reportedly.

ESPN's Jeff Goodman, who's a reliable college basketball source (also known as the guy who hates Rajon Rondo), says that Stauskas will be declaring for the draft, foregoing his final two collegiate seasons.

Michigan sophomore Nik Stauskas is headed to the NBA, a source close to the situation told ESPN.com on Thursday. The source said the 6-foot-6, 205-pound shooting guard intends to make a public announcement soon

As seems to be the case with almost all of these guys, the immediate reaction is to deny, deny, deny. They want to make the announcement on their terms (understandable), and don't like it when these pesky writers break their big news. Stauskas is no different, here he is on twitter.

We saw Embiid go through a similar song and dance last week, but let's be honest, Stauskas is coming out. And if you've read any of my stuff this year, you know that I really want the Celtics to take him with their second first rounder.

He's an elite three-point shooting SG (44% last year) who can beat you in other ways as well. He led the Wolverines in assists, gets to the line nearly six times per game (and knocks down 82% of his free throws), and while not a great athlete, is not a major liability on the defensive end (not great either, but he's not a McDermott level liability).

Stauskas is going to be a starter in the NBA for a really long time, and could add a desperately needed shooting touch to this Celtics' core. I admittedly have a man crush on him, but he's an incredible value pick at #18 (where the Nets' pick is projected to be).

Oh, and Stauskas isn't the only guy reportedly on the verge of declaring. Julius Randle is also heading to the NBA, again, according to Goodman.

Kentucky freshman Julius Randle will leave school after one season in a move that was anticipated prior to the start of the year, multiple sources told ESPN.

But wait! Would you believe that Randle also took to twitter to say Goodman is wrong?? Crazy.

Ok, now that that's out of the way, expect Randle to officially declare in the next few days. Remember the order: you decide to declare, a reporter gets word of it (through an agent backchannel probably), you deny the report, and then a few days later you actually declare.

Randle is a bull. A walking double-double who was far stronger than nearly anyone else in college basketball this season, and someone who will rebound at an elite level in the NBA. But he has some major limitations. He lacks a reliable mid-range game, forces his offense at times, isn't a good interior passes and isn't very good defensively. It's fair to expect some of these things to improve when you consider he's only 19, but his ceiling is lower than many of the other projected top-ten picks.

And if the Celtics are going to get him, it'll be with their own pick, which right now is projected to be third or fourth. Not to get all greedy, but I'd really like to get one of Wiggins, Parker, Embiid or Exum with that pick (and I also have Aaron Gordon, Noah Vonleh and Marcus Smart ahead of Randle).

But enough of the negative, lets start focusing on the positive. The Celtics season has worn on many of us. A 23-55 record, injuries, the depressing fact that losses are better than wins. It has all sucked. But now that suckiness has the chance to turn into something, and we are on the precipice of a really exciting off-season.

The lottery is May 20th, and then things get really fun with pre-draft workouts, trade rumors and free agency. Only four more games, and six more weeks of the doldrums. Get excited.


It's official: Joel Embiid declares for the draft

Follow Mike on twitter - Mike_Dyer13

For more of my articles, click here