There are a lot of mock drafts out there and everyone of them has their opinion as to who the Celtics should take or who they will take. The truth is, though, that none of them know. With the draft in just days I thought it would be fun to go around the Mock Drafts and see just who they are projecting the Celtics to pick.
First up is CBS Sports who have 3 "experts" presenting their take on the upcoming draft. And they each pick a different player for the Celtics.
Brian Levenson projects the Celtics to pick Lance Stephenson, a 6'5" shooting guard from Cincinnati. Here are his comments on the pick:
I still think this is a perfect fit. The Celtics can provide Stephenson with the guidance and leadership that he needs and can put him in a situation where he can develop. Rondo can teach him how to break into the NBA and gain respect through his play and Ray Allen and Paul Pierce can teach him the mental and physical preparation needed to be successful in the NBA.
On the same site, Dave DelGrande picks Avery Bradley, a 6'2" shooting guard out of Texas. Here are his comments and reasoning:
The future of the Celtics will revolve around their backcourt, led by Rajon Rondo. With Ray Allen approaching his personal finish line, the time seems right to begin the search for Rondo's sidekick.
Finally on CBS Sports, Johnathan Feigen projects the Celtics to take Daniel Orton, a 6'10" power forward out of Kentucky. Here is his take on Orton:
The Celtics can afford to gamble on upside. They have not drafted a player contributing to their current team since 2007, so with a relatively early pick they will be ready to draft long-term potential.
CollegeHoops.net projects the Celtics to take Larry Sanders, a 6'9" power forward out of Virginia Commonwealth. This is also one of the sites that also give the second round and they project the Celtics to take Antonie Diot, a European player, with the 52nd pick.
Hoopsworld's mock draft has the Celtics taking Solomon Alabi, a 7'1" center from Florida State. They have the Celtics picking Dexter Pittman, a 6'10", 310 lb center out of Texas with their 52nd pick.
Draft Express, one of the more authoritative sites on the draft also have the Celtics picking Solomon Alabi out of Florida State. But, Draft Express projects that the Celtics will take Derrick Caracter, a 6'9" power forward/center out of UTEP with their second pick.
Hoopshype's mock draft has the Celtics taking Hassan Whiteside, a 7'0" center out of Marshall. Here is what they have to say about Whiteside:
Raw young big man with exceptionally rare physical tools. Has great size, solid athleticism, and freakishly long arms. Led the NCAA in shot-blocking as a freshman. Very productive rebounder. Shows intriguing skills offensively, both facing and with his back to the basket. Feel for the game, fundamentals leave a lot to be desired. Poor passer whose thin frame makes him a project on both ends of the court. Has serious off court red flags he must overcome.
NBC Sports' mock draft shows the Celtics taking Paul George, a 6'7" forward out of Fresno St. Here is their reasoning for this pick:
Tony Allen is probably not the answer for the Celtics' bench and knee surgeries are surely going to cut his career short. The Celtics are also old, and could lose Ray Allen and Paul Pierce to free agency. They could get a steal by taking George here, but we've also seen mocks that have him going as high as No. 11. He started out as a relative unknown this year, but is quickly gaining fans in the NBA. He's an athletic power dunker who can contribute in almost any fantasy-scoring category, and averaged nearly 17 points and seven boards for Fresno. He's our favorite sleeper in the draft, and we doubt we're alone in that thinking.
About.com projects that the Celtics will take Damion Jones, a small forward out of Texas. They describe him as
a talented wing player who can defend multiple positions; a nice luxury with the Celtics possibly losing Ray Allen to free agency.
They also have the Celtics taking AJ Ogilvy, a center out of Vanderbilt with their 52nd pick.
SI.com predicts that the Celtics will take Quincy Poindexter, a 6'6" small forward out of Washington. Here is what they have to say about him:
He needed all four years at Washington to improve his shooting and develop as an aggressive defender. Pondexter is a good athlete who attacks the offensive board, and his college experience will enable him to fit in nicely with the Celtics as they begin their transition from old to young.
Dime's mock draft is the first one that projects that the Celtics will pick a point guard and has the Celtics picking Eric Bledsoe, a point guard out of Kentucky as they feel that one of the main needs of the Celtics is a back up for Rajon Rondo. Inside Hoops joins Hoopshype in saying that the Celtics will pick Hassan Whiteside out of Marshall.
The Sporting News becomes the 3rd mock draft to predict that the Celtics will take Hassan Whiteside from Marshall. However they also suggest that Solomon Alabi or Daniel Orton might also be considered.
FanHouse joins Dime in predicting that the Celtics will take Eric Bledsoe, the 6'1" PG out of Kentucky.
Bledsoe, the best player available, could fit as a part of a three-guard rotation in Boston, potentially replacing Ray Allen at the off-guard and spelling Rondo at lead. The key here is in Bledsoe's potential as a floor-spacing shooter and scorer. The Celtics under Rondo become much more easily defended when Allen isn't hitting his jumpers.
The Celtics need some depth in their backcourt. Eric Bledsoe and Jordan Crawford would be possibilities, but the Celtics worked out Dominique Jones and really liked him. There's a chance they could trade down, but if not they will likely take Jones.
And finally, Chad Ford's mock draft on ESPN has the Celtics taking Solomon Alabi, the 7'1" center out of Florida State. Here is Ford's analysis of the pick:
Analysis: Alabi may seem like a bit of a reach to some, but he appears to be one of the hotter names in the draft at the moment. The Raptors, Celtics, Spurs, Thunder, Heat and Blazers are all showing interest. Those are all teams with historically good draft track records, so watch carefully. Alabi measured as one of the tallest and longest players in the draft, and he showed a nice skill game and a terrific motor in the drills.
Some scouts are comparing him to Dikembe Mutombo. I don't think Alabi has the same sort of rebounding and shot-blocking ability, but he does have a similar demeanor and presence on the court.
NBAdraftnet has a list of the players who have worked out for each team. They list the following for the Celtics: Jordan Crawford SG, Anthony Gurley PG, Jordan Eglseder C, Avery Bradley SG, Dominique Jones SG, Marqus Blakely G/F, and Ryan Thompson SG. I have also seen that with Danny being on the road with team in the Finals, he attended workouts with other teams so this isn't a complete list in the least.
So, what does all this mean? the "experts" see the Celtics as having several needs from point guard to shooting guard to small forward to power forward to center. Most see the Celtics taking a big man but there are some who feel they will take a wing or a point guard. And the bottom line is that no one really knows anything beyond the first pick. The consensus is that the Celtics will get a player who can help them right away with with the 19th pick as this is a fairly deep draft.