First let me start by saying there’s absolutely no way the Celtics make three first-round picks in the 2020 NBA Draft. Even if they do, they aren’t adding three rookies to their current roster.
However, they still hold the rights to three first-round picks — No. 14, 26 and 30 — and until they trade them away for future picks or in a deal to trade up, we have to operate as if they’ll use those selections.
So here’s a Celtics only mock draft where we make three picks for Danny Ainge roughly two weeks before the real draft takes place. And yes, I know they also have the No. 47 pick, but for the sake of time we’re going to stick to the first round.
Round 1, No. 14 overall: Saddiq Bey
If the Celtics can’t manage to trade up into the top 10 to go after Onyeka Okongwu or Killian Hayes, Bey would be my first choice. He’s a prototypical 3-and-D wing with enticing defensive versatility and a good-looking three-point stroke. He shot over 45% from three on over five attempts per game at Villanova. That kind of shooting is not typically a fluke.
Bey is a safe pick, should be able to guard across the wing and maybe a little down low right away and he won’t take away any shots from Jayson Tatum or Jaylen Brown. In an ideal world, he’d be the perfect fit next to those two players.
Villanova players are also consistently solid. Jay Wright continues to pump out fundamentally-sound pros who know how to play within a team concept. If the Celtics get Bey here, it makes trading Gordon Hayward that much easier.
Round 1, No. 26 overall: Alexsej Pokusevski
If I’m the Celtics, I try to package No. 26 and 30 to move back into the teens or get another first-round pick for next year. If they can’t, then they pray Pokusevski falls into their laps at 26.
He’s a seven-foot mystery man who could go as high as the late-lottery or fall to the end of the first round. If the latter occurs, Danny Ainge shouldn’t hesitate to take a swing on a player with incredible upside and someone who could spend a year overseas polishing off his skill set.
If he hits, Pokusevski would be a ceiling-raising talent who can space the floor, shoot off the dribble and make plays for others at the center spot. If he doesn’t, then you wasted a late-first-rounder on a player you may or may not have had a spot for anyway. Low risk, high reward.
Round 1, No. 30 overall: Desmond Bane
You can never have enough shooting, and Bane is one of the best in the class. As a three-year starter at TCU, Bane hit over 40% of his threes each year despite increasing his volume each season.
Not only that, but Bane showcased an ability to make plays out of the pick and roll and hit shots off the dribble. The Celtics likely wouldn’t ask him to do much of that playing next to three All-Star level scorers, but it can’t hurt to have a player who can do that off the bench.
If Bane’s shooting translates to the pros and he can hold his own on the defensive end, he’d be a home run pick for the C’s late in round one.
Thanks for making it this far. If you’re reading this, you have the inside track on our next Celtics only mock draft. It’ll involve some trades, so stay tuned. For more of our NBA Draft coverage, check out Adam Kemp’s list of the best fits for the Celtics in the 2020 NBA Draft.