Celtics 2016 Draft Pick Update: Ben Simmons is a sure thing
Last week the Wolves were showing signs of a sooner-than-expected arrival into relevance (which would net the Celtics a first round pick), but this week it's time to get back to basics. The crowning jewels of Danny Ainge's draft war chest are quite clearly the Brooklyn picks. That's because the upcoming unprotected first round pick in 2016 could very well net a 6'10" man child who runs like a deer and can handle the ball like a point guard. He can do things like this:
Ben Simmons is ready to play in the NBA yesterday. Remember two years ago when Andrew Wiggins had his first games for Kansas? You'd have to peer at the TV, trying to figure out which guy Wiggins was. He wouldn't really do much, but you convinced yourself he had all the tools because he was supposed to be the number one pick and the Celtics were in a deep, tank-like state. There is none of that with Ben Simmons. You notice him right away. He's the guy that's a triple double waiting to happen.
In his first game, Simmons put up 11 points (4-7), 13 rebounds, and 5 assists. Fine. In his second game, Simmons broke out a 22 point, 9 rebound, 6 assist, 4 steal, 2 block, 0 turnover gem. Sure, these are non-conference games against McNeese State and Kennesaw State. But I saw what I saw. And I saw Lebron Magic Robertson Jr., OK?
Conclusion: We should win the lottery and draft Ben Simmons with Brooklyn's first round pick.
Here's a look at where the Celtics stand with the picks we got from other people for the 2016 NBA Draft:
THE PICK: BROOKLYN FIRST ROUNDER (UNPROTECTED)
If the draft were today this would be the number 2 pick.
The week ahead: Tue vs. Atl; Wed @Cha; Fri @BOS; Sun vs. BOS
Brooklyn got in the win column this week with a rousing victory against the Houston No-Shows. They also snatched defeat from the jaws of victory in Sacramento and Golden State, at one point leading the Kings by as many as 15 and the Warriors by as many as 17 before losing in OT. A W and a few close games... are the Nets improving? Maybe. But this week they will lose a back-to-back with Atlanta and Charlotte before a home and home vs the Boston Ball Hawks. BK could conceivably go 0-4 over this next stretch. Meanwhile, the Celtics can pick up a pair of division wins and demoralize the Nets a little. Big week.
THE PICK: DALLAS FIRST ROUNDER (PROTECTED 1-7)
If the draft were today this would be the number 23 pick.
The week ahead: Wed @ BOS; Fri vs. Utah; Sun @ OKC;
The Mavs went 4-1 over the last week with wins against the Clippers, No-Shows, Lakers, and Sixers. The Houston No-Shows could have helped out the Celtics with wins against the Mavs and Nets this week, but alas, they didn't show up. Early season success is a good thing for the Celtics interest in this Dallas pick, the hope here is that the older Mavs wear down while the younger, more talented West teams start to emerge (or in the No-Shows case: start trying). Worst case scenario for the Celtics remains that Dallas underachieves and the Mavs tank to keep their pick. Early returns suggest that won't happen, which is good for the Celtics. This pick should be in the low to mid teens when all is said and done, and the C's have a chance to help themselves out when they take on the Mavs tomorrow night.
THE PICK: MINNESOTA FIRST ROUNDER (PROTECTED 1-12)
If the draft were today this selection would be conveyed to the Celtics as one of two second round picks. The first rounder would be protected and Minnesota would have the number 8 pick.
The week ahead: Tues @Mia; Wed @Orl; Fri vs. Det; Mon vs Phi
Four losses in a row for the no-longer-surging Wolves. But a steady diet of Eastern Conference matchups could help them right the ship. It's no surprise that Ricky Rubio has missed all four of those losses for the Wolves, leaving an oddly high amount of minutes for the extremely old Andre Miller (33 mins vs the Grizzlies!). Rubio could be back as early as tonight. The Wolves are winless at home this year, but that should change on Monday when Minnesota plays host to the hapless Sixers. Let's go Wolves.
THE PICK: PHILADELPHIA SECOND ROUNDER (UNPROTECTED)
If the draft were today this would be the number 31 pick.
The week ahead: Wed vs Ind; Fri @Cha; Sat @Mia; Mon @Min
The Sixers still haven't won, and show no real signs of having any intent to. Even their announcers are mailing it in, last night when the Sixers started the game with three turnovers the boys in the booth didn't even make a comment about it until the third turnover. The expectations are so low for this team that it takes three mistakes for the color commentator to even care enough to say something. Embattled coach Brett Brown has even gone so far as to imply that this is all by design:
"This team is built to turn the ball over. I hope it's not at that margin. " #sixers head coach Brett Brown on the 27 turnovers.