We here at CelticsHub make a lot of predictions. We predict the winners of games, playoff series, free agent targets, and even final scores. Sometimes we get it right or close and sometimes we are way off. This week, however, we all put our rings together and came up with a guy who we felt would be on the other end of David Stern’s, “And with the 25th pick of the 2011 NBA Draft, the Boston Celtics select…” Man, were we wrong…and then sooo right.
If you read our prediction column last week than you already know how right we were. The Celtics ended up drafting Marshon Brooks before quickly flipping him to New Jersey for JaJuan Johnson, the actual player the Celtics wanted, and a future second round pick (reflecting back on Thursday night, doesn’t it seem really weaselly to draft the guy they knew NJ wanted and make them give up a future second round pick for him?).
We here at CelticsHub decided on Johnson as well for a number of reasons: he has size, he has skill, he’s polished, he works hard. Even though our consensus ended up being Johnson, he was pretty much our silver medal. Brian’s first choice was Reggie Jackson, Hayes wanted Jeremy Tyler, I was banking on Jimmy Butler, and Ryan is Canadian (and the Canucks suck). Little did we know, Johnson was also the Celtics’ second choice. After the draft, Doc Rivers and Danny Ainge admitted they had three guys on their draft board: Jackson, Johnson, and Butler. Oklahoma City took Jackson with the 24th pick and the Celtics were left with drafting Butler or Johnson (notice how Tyler wasn’t even in the running, didn’t get picked until the second round, and then was immediately sold to Golden State for cash. There’s one guy every year that fans go crazy. They almost always have physical gifts, precieved talent and potential. Last year, it was Hassan Whiteside. This year it was Jeremy Tyler).
With Jackson off the board, the Celtics had to choose between Johnson and Butler. Time will tell if this was the right choice, but what do you think? Would you rather have Johnson or Butler? I think there is an easy argument made for either guy. The Celtics needed size but Johnson may not be able to step in right away. Butler, on the other hand, is an NBA wing defender and something every team needs now that every team is trying to build themselves as Miami Heat stoppers. Considering how Jeff Green proved himself unworthy of guarding anyone, I could easily see why the Celtics were interested in Butler.
It really depends on which Celtics’ need will be more easily addressed in free agency and we won’t know that until the new Collective Bargaining Agreement exists.
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