Stars hard to come by with 16th pick

Nikola Vucevic, middle, and Nick Young, right,
are two of the best 16th overall picks in recent
Now that the ping-pong balls have settled and the draft order is official, speculation on the 2015 NBA Draft will begin to heat up.

The Boston Celtics will have four picks in the 2015 NBA Draft on June 25, with their first pick being the 16th overall. The late season playoff run pushed the team out of the lottery, leaving them in an interesting position with a mid-first round pick.

With another first round pick, and two early second rounders, some have speculated that the Celtics are looking to move up in the draft.

A. Sherrod Blakely of CSNNE shed some light on these rumors last week;
Two league sources told Friday that the Boston Celtics are “very open” to moving up in next month’s NBA draft.

And while the sources did not indicate which player Boston was targeting, there are growing signs that they have their sights set on trying to draft Kentucky big man Willie Cauley-Stein.

It's safe to assume that Cauley-Stein wouldn't be there with the 16th pick, so trading up could be an option. But, history shows that if the Celtics keep pick 16, drafting an impact player is hardly assured.

Historically, star talent has been hard to come by with pick 16: Jon Stockton in 1984, Ron Artest (before he became Metta World Peace) in 2000, and if you even consider him a star, Hedo Turkoglu in 1999. After that group there is Nikola Vucevic in 2011 and Nick "Swaggy P" Young in 2007. Both are quality NBA players, and Vucevic is blossoming into a premier NBA big.

In recent years, the 16th pick has produced role players like Jusuf Nurkic (2014), Luke Babbitt (2010), James Johnson (2009), and Mareese Speights (2008).

Those are the highlights, but there have been plenty of busts at 16. To name a few, Royce White (the guy who was afraid to fly), Rodney Carney, Joey Graham, and Kirk Snyder.

Draft experts have been releasing mock drafts fast and furious over the past few days, and here is a recap of the latest projections for the Celtics with the 16th pick:

ESPN’s Chad Ford: UCLA forward Kevon Looney
CBS Sports’s Sam Vecenie: Georgia State guard R.J. Hunter
Draft Express: Arkansas forward Bobby Portis Portis

Getting a big or a shooter seems to be the common theme here, both spots the Celtics severely lacked last year.

Adam Himmeslbach of the Boston Globe brought up an interesting point regarding Hunter and head coach Brad Stevens;

Stevens actually recruited Hunter when he was in high school in Indianapolis, but the guard ultimately chose to play for his dad.

Might the Celtics head coach have a keen interest in Hunter? We will see.

The 2015 NBA Draft is still weeks away and speculation won't be ending anytime soon. But, it's safe to say the Celtics will be looking to draft a player like Vucevic and not Royce White with the 16th selection.

Photo via Kirby Lee, USA TODAY Sports