2019 NBA Draft Targets for the Boston Celtics
The Boston Celtics are facing an interesting offseason. Star point guard Kyrie Irving is a free agent, Terry Rozier seems unlikely to return, and trade rumors involving most of the young core are swirling throughout the media. That makes predicting the upcoming 2019 NBA Draft a tall task.
Assuming the core of the team is not gutted for a blockbuster trade, the biggest need the team has will be in the frontcourt. Al Horford is 33-years old and Marcus Morris is a free agent. Robert Williams has shown serious potential in flashes but isn’t quite ready to take the leap yet. The Celtics have a plethora of young wings and could pair them with a core of young bigs as well.
The Celtics will also be in the market for a point guard this offseason. There is a virtually zero percent chance Boston brings back both Irving and Rozier, leaving at least one hole in the roster. It’s also possible that neither guard returns to Boston. If the latter is the case, the Celtics will likely go after a starting-level point guard in free agency or via trade and opt to draft a backup as insurance.
However it all shakes out, it seems like the Celtics will have at least a slightly different roster going forward.
Boston Celtics 2019 Draft Picks
Thanks to the numerous trades Danny Ainge has made, the Celtics ended up with four picks in the 2019 Draft. Without going into all the specific details of how all the picks ended up in Boston, the Celtics have the following picks:
- 14th Overall (from Sacramento via Philadelphia)
- 20th Overall (from LA Clippers via Memphis)
- 22nd Overall
- 51st Overall
Boston Celtics 2019 Draft Targets
Of course, the Celtics would love to snag Zion Williamson or Ja Morant in the draft. For this list, though, only players that could potentially be available for one of Boston’s four picks are mentioned.
Admiral Schofield, F, Tennessee
Despite being absolutely loaded with wings, the Celtics are rumored to have “fallen in love” with Admiral Schofield with their first pick. Taking Schofield in the lottery seems like a reach, but Ainge has always loved hard-working leaders in the draft.
Schofield is a solid scorer that would mesh perfectly with Boston’s positionless system. He shoots the ball well and can get to the rim when he needs to. He is an average defender, but his high motor and dedication to his game provide an avenue for great potential.
This would be a bit of an odd pick for Boston considering their overwhelming depth at the position, but Ainge has an eye for the NBA Draft.
Bol Bol, C, Oregon
At 7’2 with a 7’5 wingspan and a 9’6 standing reach, Bol Bol is one of the tallest and longest prospects in recent memory. His length makes him an elite rim protector and dunk specialist. Pairing him with Williams in the low post is a recipe for domination. He can also knock down outside shots consistently, a rare feat for such a big player.
By far the biggest argument against Bol is his durability. He played just nine games at Oregon due to a stress fracture in his foot. If he can stay healthy, he could be a great piece.
There is no real consensus on where Bol will go in the draft, but if he’s available at pick 14, Boston may hop on the opportunity.
Brandon Clarke, F, Gonzaga
Brandon Clarke is a solid forward that could be available in the mid-to-late first round. Clarke is bouncy and athletic and has shown great promise as an interior scorer. He is an aggressive rebounder that is comfortable running off-ball plays, making him an easy plug into the Boston lineup.
The biggest concern is his size. He’s relatively small for a Power Forward, but his tenacious defense at multiple positions is reminiscent of Draymond Green. He shows solid potential and could take his time to develop for a team like the Celtics.
PJ Washington, F, Kentucky
PJ Washington is similar to Clarke in many facets. They are both undersized forwards with a lot of potential. Washington, however, is much stronger and more powerful down low than Clarke. He is a much more polished offensive threat, showing flashes of scoring from virtually anywhere on the floor. If Horford stays with the Celtics for a few more seasons, Washington could flourish in a backup role.
One of Washington’s biggest downfalls is his lack of athleticism for his size. He likely won’t make for a great paint player on either side of the floor. Washington was able to use his strength to get to the rim in college but might struggle with NBA defenses. He also lacks the length and athleticism to be a legitimate rim protector.
If he’s available with one of Boston’s late first round picks, he could be a solid role player for years to come.
Daniel Gafford, F/C, Arkansas
Daniel Gafford is truly a wild card in the 2019 Draft. Some projections have him as a late lottery pick, while others have him going in the mid-second round. The former Razorback is a high-flying, shot-blocking, windmill-dunking SportsCenter Top 10 highlight reel. Some describe him as a gazelle because of how quick and bouncy he is. His athleticism and high motor make him a low-risk-high-reward prospect. He could have an immediate impact as a rookie in a reserve role.
The biggest knock on Gafford is his playmaking abilities in the halfcourt. In transition, he is as elite as anyone at the college level. In halfcourt sets, however, he struggles to find a real offensive identity. He returned to school for his sophomore season for that exact reason, but it backfired. Last year he was a projected lottery pick due to his potential but has since fallen to a late-first projection.
Gafford would be a great fit for the Celtics if he’s still around late.
Ty Jerome, G, Virginia
The Celtics will likely opt to draft a point guard at some point. Ty Jerome could fit the bill. Jerome is a smart and efficient guard that can play either position in the backcourt. His decision making and defensive prowess make him an ideal target for the Celtics. He could fill in nicely as a backup point guard (depending on what happens in free agency) and develop into a legitimate future option for the franchise.
Despite being an efficient offensive threat, Jerome lacks the speed and athleticism to create shots at the NBA level. His mental makeup may be more than enough to offset his physical shortcomings, but they are still an area of concern. They limit his ceiling as a starting guard, though he could still flourish with the right system and players around him.
Last Word on the Boston Celtics 2019 Draft
The 2019 NBA Draft will set the foundation for the Boston Celtics in the near future. Getting the right pieces to play alongside their still-developing core of Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown will set the future in the right direction, but filling holes potentially left via free agency will be critical for short-term success.
However it all goes down, the Celtics are still stacked with assets and young talent. Now, it’s just a matter maximizing their potential for success.
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