…at least according to the ESPN TrueHoop Network Mock Draft. The other day, friend/blogger- or “flogger”- Rich Keefe gave you the CelticsHub Mock Draft, which had the Celtics selecting Cody Zeller with the 16th pick. I, as well as the other TrueHoopers, don’t think Zeller is going to drop that far. As for the Schroeder pick, a lot of factors contributed to the C’s picking the maybe Rajon Rondo clone.
1) Value. The 16th pick is a right on the cusp of “best player available” territory. The biggest problem is discerning who the actual best player available is in this area of the draft. This is even harder when you consider the vast mediocrity associated with the players in this draft. Schroeder, despite being a relative unknown, doesn’t feel mediocre. He’s young (19 years old), he’s super fast, and he’s got the measurables (6’8″ wing span) to be a fantastic defender.
Watching the this interview/highlight mash-up courtesy of Draft Express, it’s not hard to see why people see a more offensively gifted Rajon Rondo waiting to emerge from this youngin’.
As you can see, he does a good job handling pressure, dribbling through traffic, and can shoot the rock. This is all, of course, just practice footage. There’s no telling how he’ll do versus NBA-level competition and not even the most tightly edited youtube highlight video, with the most awesome hip hop pump up music can sway a GM. The Celtics will be relying on what they saw when they ran him through their own workout and the evaluations from their international scouts.
2) Flexibility. Schroeder gives the C’s some big time flexibility. I’m willing to confidently say that Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett will not be on the roster at the end of next season. Along those same lines, I’m equally as confident that the C’s will not be Championship contenders. With those two thoughts in mind, Schroeder has some time to develop behind Rajon Rondo without the immense pressure to get better quickly. The Celtics can also assess the market for Rajon Rondo knowing that they have a guy like Schroeder who can eventually step into the starting PG role. Personally, I’d opt for them both sticking around for as long as it makes sense. The Celtics have never been able to adequately fill the back-up point guard position and grooming one from infancy seems like it’s worth a shot.
3) Future. Schroeder could end up being the best point guard to come out of this weak point guard draft. If Schroeder were to pan out that way, the Celtics would have the luxury of trading Rondo, instead of what they’re going through with Pierce and Garnett right now.
I have no idea who the C’s will pick. I will say, however, that I’d be satisfied with Schroeder coming aboard. Other names on my “satisfied” list include Steven Adams, Cody Zeller, Tony Mitchell, Shabazz Muhammad and Tony Snell. Seriously, give me a long, athletic, defensive-minded small forward. I think we’ve seen enough from the likes of Jimmy Butler, Paul George, and Kawhai Leonard that they are integral parts to a championship-calibre team.