Well, it’s been nearly 24 hours, you know what that means! Time to stamp a grade on the Celtics 2010 Draft Class! The pundits have been kind so far with the lowest grade I’ve seen thus far being a B- from Chris Mannix at SI. Chad Ford and Kelly Dwyer chipped in respectively with an A- and A for The Green Team so the reaction overall has been pretty positive.
Personally, I was pretty surprised with the first round selection initially. Partially because I didn’t expect Avery Bradley to be on the board that late in the round, and mostly because I expected the C’s, like most fans, to go big. After a very long run on power forwards/centers though in the teens (Cole Aldrich, Patrick Patterson, Ed Davis, Larry Sanders, Kevin Seraphin) it ended up being the very shallow point guard crop being the group to fall to the Cs.
Knowing that the C’s would be reaching drafting any big man left at 19, it made sense for Danny Ainge to go the best player available route. This team had a plethora of needs entering this draft and even though a backup point guard, may have been number 2 or 3 on the list, it still had to be filled at one point or another.
The Celtics haven’t had a true backup point guard for the past three years, and now if Avery Bradley lives up to his potential (top ranked high schooler last year by ESPNU) the Celtics PG position could be settled for the next four years. That is an appealing thought.
The quick book on Bradley:
-Can play both guard positions (though undersized at 6-3 for SG)
-Strong spot up shooter from mid-range
-Poor free throw shooter (He’ll fit right in here!)
-Struggles at team to finish around basket/create for teammates
-Takes some ill-advised shots
-Tremendous speed and has terrific athleticism
-Needs to learn PG position
My buddy Corey may have described him best, texting me “He’s TA with good handle.” Plus a jumper.
So to everyone who is upset with Ainge for overlooking the need for a backup bigs and swingmen, (which included myself at first) I say relax. There are several different avenues from which Danny can improve this team heading into free agency, including one overlooked thus far. (trading Rasheed for a player on a team looking for cap relief, who in turns buys Sheed out)
The team knows its problems and likely has countless contingency plans based on how the Ray Allen/Paul Pierce/Doc Rivers situations shake out in the next week. Bradley was the best player available at 19 and only being 19 years old, provides the ability to potentially help now, while also having the most upside out of anyone left on the board.
Ainge has been hit (Delonte West, Tony Allen, Rajon Rondo) and miss (Marcus Banks, Gabe Pruitt) drafting guards in the past. Bradley fills a need on this team though, so it’s tough to argue with the logic.
As for Luke Harangody, all I will say is that guy will sell a lot of jerseys for this team around Boston if he makes this team. With the high number of roster spots available and his nose for rebounding, I expect that to happen. Sorry Scal, Danny found a replacement.We will always remember you regardless.
Now it’s your turn. How do you grade this draft? Is the Bradley pick a risk to you? Should Ainge have made a trade? It’s time to share your thoughts on one of the few ways Ainge could improve this team before hopefully gearing up for a 2010-11 NBA Title run.