As we get ready for the up and coming NBA Draft, which is set to take place on November 18th, I thought it we be cool to go back and see how good a Celtics team could be, made up of players who Danny Ainge and the Celtics front office passed over in the last seven NBA drafts. Although the Celtics have let a few players fall, they have also had some amazing draft picks, I’m talking about you Jaylen Brown, and Jayson Tatum.
Let’s go over the rules for this article, the first rule is that I can only pick one player that the Celtics did pick with their pick. Rule number 2 is that I can only use one pick from each draft, the pick I will use will be the Celtics highest pick. Now that we are done with the rules let’s start with the 2013 NBA draft
2013 NBA Draft
The 2013 draft was a very interesting draft with a bunch of stars coming out of it including 3 all-stars and a few major busts, the biggest bust of the draft was Anthony Bennett, he was picked with the first pick in the draft by the Cavaliers and is often referred to as the biggest bust in NBA history. The Celtics’ highest pick in the draft was number 16. With that pick, the Celtics selected Lucas Nogueira who ended being traded to the Atlanta Hawks and never played a game for Boston.
Now on to who the Celtics could have had. With the pick right after Boston’s, the Hawks selected Dennis Schroder, who has been a good player in the league for a while he’s averaging a total of 14.1 points per game in his career with the Hawks and the Thunder. The Celtics were very close to getting back to back MVP winner Giannis Antetoukounmpo who was selected one pick ahead of the Celtics by the Bucks. The pick I will be making however is for Rudy Gobert, who was picked with the 27th pick in the draft. Gobert is the obvious choice to make considering he is a three-time All-NBA player and a four-time All-Defensive selection.
The Pick: Rudy Gobert
2014 NBA Draft
In 2014 the Celtics had a relatively high draft pick with the 6th pick. With that pick Boston selected Marcus Smart out of Oklahoma State, Smart has spent his entire career in Boston and although his career stats don’t show much, Smart is one of the key pieces of the Celtics roster. As a Celtics fan, I could not even imagine our roster without Smart but there were a few other players in that draft class that stand out. Zach LaVine is one player that stands out, LaVine was selected with the 13th pick in the draft and has averaged 17.7 points per game in his career. Last season he averaged 25.5 points a game. Also in this draft was Nikola Jokic. The Joker would be the obvious pick but because I picked a center last round with Rudy Gobert, I will pick Zach LaVine.
The Pick: Zach Lavine
2015 NBA Draft
The 2015 draft class had some amazing talent headlined by Karl-Anthony Towns and Devin Booker. Even though there are four all-stars in this draft class there wasn’t much talent after the Celtics pick at 16. With that pick, Boston picked Terry Rozier, who was a great role player in Boston and had a great 2019-20 season for the Hornets averaging 18 points per game. The only player that excites me after Rozier is Montrezl Harrell who was selected with the second pick in the second round. Harrell had a great season last year with 18.6 points and 7.1 rebounds per game while picking up the sixth man award. Harrell will be a great six-man for this Celtics team.
The Pick: Montrezl Harrell
2016 NBA Draft
Boston had a very early draft pick in 2016 at number 3, they picked Jaylen Brown with that pick. Brown has been a star in Boston and had an amazing season last year scoring a little over 20 points per game. The 7th pick in the draft, Jamal Murray is another great player out of this draft class, Murray had an amazing season that he capped off by playing outstandingly in the bubble during the playoffs averaging 26.5 points while scoring over 50 points a few times. Raptors all-star Pascal Siakam was also drafted in 2016 with the 27th pick overall. Although this was a very tough choice I am picking Jamal Murray with this pick to be the starting point guard.
The Pick: Jamal Murray
2017 NBA Draft
I did not require very much thinking to figure who to pick in the 2017 draft. Jayson Tatum was the clear choice, Tatum has quickly developed into one of the premier players in the NBA and had a great three seasons in Boston and is the future of the franchise. Tatum has averaged 17.3 points and six rebounds per game in his career so far but those numbers will only go up. Bam Adebayo and Donovan Mitchell are the only other players in this draft that I even considered for this pick. Both of those players have also had amazing careers and are both all-stars but I think Tatum is the better player and that’s why I’m picking him with this pick.
The Pick: Jayson Tatum
2018 NBA Draft
In 2018 the Celtics had the 27th pick in the draft where they selected Robert Williams, there wasn’t very much talent after Williams. Devonte’ Graham and Jalen Brunson are the two names that stand out the most for me. Graham put up 18.2 points per game this season with Charlotte while Brunson had more of a sixth man role with the Mavericks this season scoring 8.2 points per game. This makes the pick here a little easier and I will pick Graham. He will be on the bench for the team but provide a lot of scoring and three-pointers. Last season Graham had an average of 3.5 threes a game.
The Pick: Devonte’ Graham
2019 NBA Draft
Considering the players in this draft class have only played for one season it’s still pretty hard to guess how well they will perform for seasons to come. Boston had the 14th pick in the 2019 draft where they picked Romeo Langford who was out for most of the season with injuries. Although I think Langford will have a good career and rebound from his injury-plagued rookie season I feel like Brandon Clarke is the better fit. In need to fill out the power forward position, Clarke would be a great pick. Last season he averaged 12.1 points and almost six rebounds a game. Clarke was also a rookie of the year finalist this year so that makes this pick a lock.
The Pick: Brandon Clarke
The Finished Roster
PG: Jamal Murray (2016)
SG: Zach LaVine (2014)
SF: Jayson Tatum(2017)
PF: Brandon Clarke(2019)
C: Rudy Gobert(2013)
6th: Montrezl Harrell(2015)
7th: Devonte’ Graham(2018)
While this team has a ton of talent, I don’t know if they would be finals contenders next year. However, it is a pretty young team that could easily be contenders in the near future. The team is a little weak at power forward, but having one of the best centers in the league almost makes up for that. Although I like the Celtics team right now I do like thinking about having all this talent. If the current Celtics played this team it would most likely be a very good game but I do think this revamped team would come out with a victory.