The NBA Draft is coming up, which means The Game Haus will be doing draft profiles for each NBA team. Each day, a new team will be analyzed for their past season, their team needs and targets. Today, the Boston Celtics will be evaluated.
The Celtics were one of the favorites to come out of the Eastern Conference heading into the season, as they had a few star players and depth. Unfortunately for Boston fans, they could not live up to hype and fell to the Milwaukee Bucks in the second round of the playoffs. After winning Game 1, the Celtics lost four straight to get bounced out of the playoffs.
They ranked 14th in the league at 112.4 points per game. They ranked well defensively too at eighth in the league, giving up 108 points per game. Boston was fifth in assists per game and 22nd in rebounds per game The Celtics were the sixth best three-point shooting team in the league as well.
Gordon Hayward, Marcus Smart, Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, Guerschon Yabusele, Robert Williams and Semi Ojeleye are all under contract for next season. Al Horford, Kyrie Irving and Aaron Baynes have player options for the 2019-2020 season. Marcus Morris, Terry Rozier and Daniel Theis are all key players who will be free agents.
Boston has four picks in the 2019 NBA Draft.
First Round: Picks No. 14, 20, 22
Second Round: Pick No. 51
Rebounding- One of the only things they were not good at this past season was rebounding. Getting players to clean the glass is a must this offseason.
Depth- Realistically not all of the Celtics’ needs can be known before free agency. Terry Rozier seems like he is not coming back, so they’ll at least need a backup point guard. If Kyrie Irving leaves, they’ll need point guards in general.
First Round: Pick No. 14: Nickeil Alexander-Walker, G, Virginia Tech
Alexander-Walker is the cousin of Clipper Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and will likely be selected at around the same range this season. The Celtics could be losing Irving and Rozier in free agency and will need to get some guards who can run the offense. Alexander-Walker is a combo guard who score, set up his teammates and defend at a good level, but may not have too many elite traits that push prospects into top 10 consideration.
Pick No. 20: Brandon Clarke, PF, Gonzaga
Gonzaga found a diamond in the rough when Clarke transferred into their program. Although he isn’t the tallest forward, Clarke protects the rim and scores at an efficient rate. The Celtics need to get some players who can rebound and Clarke also fits that bill. Some have Clarke getting drafted in the top 10, while others have him falling to the mid-20s in the 2019 NBA Draft.
Pick No. 22: Matisse Thybulle, G/F, Washington
If the Celtics don’t lose too many players in free agency, they can take the best player available regardless of position with their picks later in the first round. Thybulle is a defensive specialist, who can fill the role of a stopper off the bench. To reach his full potential, he’ll need to regain his three-point shot, as he got worse shooting from deep over the last two seasons at Washingon. He finished last season at 30.5 percent from three-point land.
Second Round: Pick No. 51: Eric Paschall, PF, Villanova
Paschall is a versatile big man who can score and stretch the floor with his shooting. He might be outmuscled by bigger players in the post, but it won’t be as big of an issue with a lot of teams going smaller.