It also appears that Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, C.J. McCollum, Trey Burke, Michael Carter-Williams, Cody Zeller, and Steven Adams will be gone. So who is left? And who should the Celtics take in a year that will likely begin the re-build. I feel any position is possible and they are in a spot to pick the “best player available.” Here are four options.
Shabazz Muhammad, SF, UCLA (6-6, 222, Fresh.)
There are a lot of knocks on Muhammad (lied about age, poor shooting, dominates only against weak competition), but I still see a lot of potential from the suddenly 20 year old. I think he will be a legit 2nd scoring option on a team someday.
Tony Mitchell, F, North Texas (6-9, 236, Soph.)
If it was up to me, this is the player I would take. Crazy athletic, 6-9 and an NBA body, unlike many rookie who need to add weight/muscle. Averaged a double-double his freshmen season and admittedly had a subpar sophomore year playing for a new coaching staff at North Texas. He compares himself to Kenneth Faried, we’ll see. But lots of upside with Mitchell, and a guy who could be part of the Celtics rebuild or an intriguing trade option down the road when trying to add a superstar.
Mason Plumlee, C, Duke (7-0, 238, Senior)
This is a possibility, but one I would not be excited about. College seniors (specifically from major schools) typically aren’t great pros. (Yes, Tim Duncan is great, that was 16 years ago.) Plumlee may be more “NBA ready” than others in the draft, however even best case scenario is below All-Star caliber. I’d pass, but he’ll be in the mix and likely drafted between 15-25.
Shane Larkin, PG, Miami (5-11, 171, Soph.)
Unfortunately for teams this year, the best point guard in college last year, Oklahoma State’s Marcus Smart decided to return to school. Therefore guys like Trey Burke, Michael Carter Williams, Dennis Schroeder, and Shane Larkin all slot up. The C’s could take Larkin here (just under 6 feet tall but the most athletic PG in the draft) and then begin the Rajon Rondo trade rumors!
And of course since I mentioned these four players, it won’t be any of them. If they decided to go international it could be Giannis Adetokunbo of Greece or Sergei Karasev of Russia. Enjoy the draft!
Rich Keefe is an Anchor & Host for 98.5 The Sports Hub in Boston, and a frequent contributor on CelticsHub.com. You can follow him on twitter: @Keefe21