It’s unlikely that the Boston Celtics use all three of their first round picks in the 2019 NBA Draft, but here are some players they could target to build their already talented young core.
Anthony Davis is a Laker, Kyrie Irving is likely gone and the youth movement for the Celtics is on.
The Celtics have four draft picks this year with three first round picks and one second rounder. According to Adrian Wojnarowski, the Celtics have no interest in using all three first round picks because they don’t want three rookies on the team next year.
Take that for what it’s worth, but we’ll still mock all three selections to give you an idea of who could be available at those spots. Maybe there’s a player that fits the team better at 22 so they’ll trade 14 or vice versa. Anyway, here we go.
Round 1: Pick No. 14
Kyrie Irving’s likely gone, and Marcus Smart is the only guaranteed lead guard on the roster as of now. If Terry Rozier comes back, I still think there’s going to be a need for a playmaker at that position. Alexander-Walker fits that mold along with a huge 6’5, 205-pound frame and a 6’9.5 wingspan.
He’s doesn’t possess primary playmaker abilities yet, but has shown an ability to create off a pick and roll by either making the necessary skip pass or getting to the rim. His jump shot mechanics are still a work in progress, but Alexander-Walker has shown consistency with his release. He shot 37. 4 percent from three (4.6 attempts) this season and 77.8 percent from the line, so the stats back up the consistency you see on tape.
Alexander-Walker presents an intriguing offensive skillset that could easily fit in today’s game if properly molded, while his defensive activity and versatility will keep him on the floor and allow him to polish off his game. The Celtics will have a need at guard whether or not Rozier stays, so I like Alexander-Walker in this spot.
Round 1: Pick No. 20
Porter Jr. is one of the most polarizing prospects in this draft. He has top-10 talent, a smooth offensive game with the potential to be a 20 point-per-game scorer at the next level. His handle is tight, he has a James Harden-esque stepback working for him, and while his defensive activity wanes at times, he has the frame and athleticism to hide some of those mental lapses (ie Jaylen Brown).
The problem with Porter Jr. comes off the court. He spent a good portion of the year injured, but was suspended by USC for personal conduct issues. Maturity seems to be something giving teams pause on his upside, so it will all depend on how he conducted himself in his pre-draft meetings.
The Celtics may not need someone like that in their locker room, but this league is driven by stars, and Porter Jr. has star talent. They might want to take a flier on him if he drops to the 20’s.
Round 1: Pick 22
After going with the upside play at No. 20, the Celtics can get a player who’s ready to immediately contribute in Eric Paschall. the 6’7, 250 pound forward has the two-way versatility every team looks for in the draft, and Paschall has the type of game Celtics fans would fall in love with right away.
He’s explosive off the catch on his drives, can shoot from distance (35% from three), and plays a physical brand of basketball that allows him to make an impact on the floor even if he isn’t getting his shots off. The reason a player like Paschall drops this far is the lack of upside, but the Celtics are in a position where they can look for players to fill a certain role and work to help them thrive in that spot. Think Semi Ojeleye in 2017.
Round 2: Pick No. 51
Bowen was the 14th overall high school prospect in 2017 when he committed to Louisville, but a recruiting scandal ended his college career before it started. I’m not certain whether there’s interest in Bowen from any teams in this draft, but in the late-second round, the Celtics could take a flier on an incredibly talented kid who spent last season with the Sydney Kings.
There’s also a high likelihood of the Celtics trading this pick, but Bowen is a name to look out for. There’s a good chance he never becomes much of anything in the pros, but there’s also a possibility he becomes the poster-child for what’s wrong with the NCAA and the Celtics could be the team to benefit from it most.