Countdown to the Draft: Minnesota 2017 2nd Round Edition

First things first, a reminder this series is a collaboration with the CelticsLife reader's hive-mind, where we use our collective abilities and interest to take deep dives into the sea of prospective talent available to be selected by the Boston Celtics at any of the six potential spots the club may have the choice at selecting from. We provide you with four options (and the ability to write in suggestions) with a Twitter poll, the winner of which will get extended analysis colored by whatever facts, stats, video or other evidence you help source.

In previous iterations of this series, we covered the later second- round picks available to the Celtics, which are neither exceptionally exciting in terms of ceiling, nor likely to stick with the team without spending time stashed somewhere. Now, however, we turn to the Minnesota Timberwolves 2017 Second- Round pick, which Boston controls outright, and was recently determined to fall 36th after winning the tie-breaker with the New York Knicks. Quality players can still be found this late in the draft quite often, and in a draft this deep, the odds are even better. Available roster spots are going to be hard to predict at the moment, but with as many as ten players on deals the team could move on from (Amir Johnson, Jonas Jerebko, Tyler Zeller, Jordan Mickey, James Young, Kelly Olynyk and Gerald Green are all on contracts with guaranteed money ending this season; Demetrius Jackson is only guaranteed $650,000 next season) plus two shiny new two-way roster slots for NBA D-League players, as many as TEN new players could be on the roster.

Some of them are probably going to be filled with guys who have already been drafted, like Guerschon Yabusele and Ante Zizic (maybe even Abdel Nader), and others will come from whatever comes of the 2017 Brooklyn Nets swap Boston is almost certain to opt into (we will cover Boston's own first- round pick on the slim odds a draft-night deal involves returning the swap, but it seems very unlikely that will happen), whether it's Markelle Fultz or some established star he ends up being traded for. Assuming Boston brought in all four of its most likely 2017 draft picks (the four it would receive if it opts into the Brooklyn swap) plus all three stashed guys from last year, three of the ten guys listed above as partial or non- guaranteed money next season could stay. That said, this would probably mean whoever is on the cheapest deals, to leave as much cap open as possible for a high-end free agent signing, or to absorb salary in a trade. It also means that a player drafted 36th in this year has a decent shot at not only making the roster, but even of seeing the floor.

So, who are the likely candidates Boston should be looking into for the 36th pick of the NBA Draft?


Jonathan Jeanne - Nancy International
Jeanne is determined to play in the NBA, and will NOT be stashed, if his agent is to be believed. Normally, this would remove a player from Boston's radar given their crunched roster and plethora of picks, but Jeanne's ceiling is so high, drafting him may be a necessity if he is still available this late. Insanely long - 7'2 with a 7'7 wingspan, you read that right - Jeanne is also extremely mobile for his size, and can handle the ball well, even shooting an occasional pull-up jumper. He is also extremely raw and young, so you should temper expectations for his ability to contribute in the short-term.

Devin Robinson - Florida
A strong, athletic combo forward who can space the floor and defend two through four, Robinson's flexibility and shooting make him a prototypical Brad Stevens player. Unfortunately, that means his rebounding is closer to what you'd expect from a small forward instead of a four, but Robinson's shooting - nearly 40% last season with the Gators - more than makes up for that wart. If Devin can show more focus on the floor, and bring more energy to his game, he might develop into a quality rotation to a middling starter long-term.

Johnathon Motley - Baylor
Playing both the four and five in college, at 6'9, Motley is a little short for the five in the NBA, but still managed to pull down nearly ten boards per game as a junior at Baylor. Possessing a 7'3 wingspan has made logging 1.1 blocks per game look easy for Motley, who is agile for his size and frame, which looks to have little problem bulking up. His biggest challenges will be improving feel for the game, as he can try too hard on offense, missing open shooters, and adapting to play more four at the next level, as most of his time has been as a center. Motley's potential is not especially high, perhaps a starter to high rotation guy, but his floor is relatively low, as he looks ready to contribute on boards and as a rim protector now.

Jordan Bell - Oregon
Slightly undersized to play the four in the NBA at 6'9 and 220 pounds, Bell is still an outstanding athlete who uses his springy mobility to grab boards and send opponents' shots into the front row at a surprising rate. He has quick feet and CAN defend on the floor well, but often gets caught off guard by craftier players, due in large part for Bell's middling basketball IQ. If he can put on some muscle and work on fundamentals, Bell could be a sneaky good get this deep in the draft.

So, who should Boston choose with the  Minnesota 2017 Second Round  pick? One of these four? Someone else? Take the poll, and let us know your thoughts (preferably with evidence of some sort) of who the Celts should take, and we'll get back to you with the results later this week.

For more stories about the NBA Draft, click here. For more by Justin, click here.

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