After breaking up their Big-3, the Celtics are in rebuild mode and have needs at virtually every position. The Celtics also find themselves in a tough spot, being competitive too soon and eliminating themselves from the NBA Draft Lottery. The Celtics are in the middle of the NBA landscape, purgatory.
Fortunately, there is a light at the end of the tunnel for the Boston Celtics. The Nets were kind enough to gift them with draft picks for the over the hill duo of Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett. Boston also has loads of cap space to use in the next few years with only $40 million on the books this year and $15M the next. All that cap space and incoming assets from the Nets put the Celtics in a great position to use the 16th pick to target a complimentary player as opposed to desperately trying to score a starter with a mid-round pick.
Their target? Montrezl Harrell. Harrell compliments their current roster by bringing the defense and athleticism that Kelly Olynyk and Jared Sullinger lack. Harrell should thrive running the floor with the C's guard trio of Avery Bradley, Isaiah Thomas, and Marcus Smart. Harrell is also an excellent offensive rebounder, complimenting the shot happy Thomas and the poor shooting duo of Smart and Bradley.
Harrell is viewed as somewhat similar to Kenneth Faried, being a bit undersized and an "energy guy", but he has the potential to impact the defensive end in a way that Faried has yet to. Harrell has also worked hard on his shot, improving his FT shooting from 46% last year to nearly 60% this year. He'll need to continue working on his shot if he is to be more than a bench guy in the NBA.
The Celtics also considered Trey Lyles and Bobby Portis with this pick. Harrell is often considered undersized compared to those two, but due to his freakish wingspan he actually possesses the tallest standing reach of the trio.
Portis and Lyles are both more advanced offensively and are more well rounded prospects than Harrell, but both lack Harrell's explosiveness and potential as a specialist (defense and rebounding). The C's also have Sullinger and Olynyk on the roster to compensate for Harrell's offensive limitations, assuming Sullinger can quit the buffet and stop eating himself out of the NBA. With a standing reach of over 9' Harrell is well suited to playing the 5 in small ball situations, which should help to mitigate his limited offensive game. Even if his offensive game never truly develops, he still projects to be a valuable 1st big off the bench type backing up the 4/5 spots, and the Celtics have the cap space and/or future picks to address the starting spots. Harrell's unique combination of length, athleticism, offensive rebounding, and defensive potential ultimately set him apart from the other prospects available at no. 16.
*Believing he could do absolutely no wrong, Celtics fans immediately built a statue to honor Danny Ainge and protested the basketball hall of fame to immediately induct Harrell*
|1||T-wolves||Russscot||Karl Anthony Towns|
|2||Lakers||Rocky Mountain Way||D'Angelo Russell|
|9||Hornets||It's the LAW SON||Devin Booker|
|10||Heat||teenasty||Willie Cauley Stein|
|15||Hawks||George Karl Marx||Sam Dekker|
okan.idug and the Milwaukee Bucks are on the clock.