At this point in the season, Chad Ford’s mock drafts are purely fun speculation. Celtics fans, however, might be excused for wishing they were sourced reports after his latest release.
Here’s Ford’s latest ESPN mock draft (Insider):
#4: Jabari Parker
Boston Celtics | 11.9 percent to win lottery
Analysis: GM Danny Ainge isn’t as in love with this draft as much as the rest of the league, but he’ll still be stoked to land Parker here. Parker’s abilities as a scorer and rebounder could make him an immediate upgrade at the 3 while giving the Celtics more incentive to move Jeff Green this summer.
#15: Nik Stauskas
Analysis: Stauskas has proved to be one of the most lethal shooters in college basketball. He has a lightning-quick release and has also shown an ability to handle the ball and play point on occasion. With Rajon Rondo being a non-shooter and Avery Bradley being just an average one, adding Stauskas to the lineup gives the Celtics a serious floor-spacer.
From where I sit, the only way the draft could look any better for Boston would be if it picked up Doug McDermott with the 15th pick (Ford has McDermott going 14th to the Grizzlies, other mocks have him going even earlier). But Stauskas is obviously an incredible shooter, the kind of guard who can have a significant impact even in limited minutes (or perhaps less limited, depending on Avery Bradley’s contract situation).
Parker, meanwhile, might be Boston’s top pick even if the Celtics won the first or second pick. In Ford’s mock, Dante Exum was chosen third by the Magic, who are certainly in need of a point guard. Parker would likely make Jeff Green superfluous and would likely immediately become one of Boston’s top scorers. I’m not sure how much defense a lineup of Rondo/Stauskas/Parker/Sullinger/Olynyk would play, but it would certainly put up points in a hurry.
If the Celtics were able to make off with this particular bundle in June, this whole season might very well look a lot more worthwhile.
Follow Tom on Twitter: @Tom_NBA.