Celtics pick Avery Bradley from Texas.
Celtics president Danny Ainge really likes Avery Bradley as an upside pick. He was one of the best high school players in the country and the Celtics felt like he wasn't used correctly in his one year at Texas. While Bradley isn't a pure point guard, his ability to slash and his solid midrange game could give the Celtics a dynamic (albeit relatively small) backcourt for the future.
Some tweets from writers:
Danny Ainge has had a thing for Avery Bradley for weeks. Scared he was going to go much earlier than this.
Initial reaction: I'm not a big fan. I'm sure he was the guy that Danny thought was the best player available but I'm just not a big fan of combo guards.
"Needs to improve: Shooting" - not good for a combo guard. Of course on the plus side he can defend and he can play some backup point guard - something we've needed for a while.
So upon further reflection, I'm already starting to talk myself into liking the pick. I mean, it is hard to argue with Danny's drafting track record (please don't bring up J.R. Giddens).
More details after the break.
Strengths: An athletic guard with excellent explosiveness, Bradley has a long wingspan which helps make up for his lack of height for a shooting guard (6'3 in sneakers) ... Bradley's biggest asset offensively is his ability to shoot from the outside ... He can hit from a catch and shoot position, and looks beyond comfortable pulling up off the dribble ... His high release and strong elevation, along with his quick first step allow him to create just enough separation to get off a shot ... He has basic ball moves when it comes to creating separation, but mainly uses his quickness/athleticism to get the room he needs ...What should make Bradley a late lottery to mid-first round pick is his ability to be a lock down defender ... He uses his long arms and persistent nature, constantly causing havoc for whoever is handling the ball... His off the ball defense is no different, and if you watch him follow his man around the court, you'll notice the focus and concentration he has on trying to prevent his man from getting the ball ... His defensive intensity shows he takes pride on this side of the ball, and makes it seem like he wants to be the best perimeter defender in the league, which he might have been his freshman year at Texas...
Weaknesses: An undersized shooting guard, Bradley's biggest obstacle will be his inability to make plays for others ... When he puts the ball on the floor, it's almost a guarantee that he is looking for his own offense, as he lacks the vision, playmaking ability and awareness to find his teammates for a better scoring opportunity ... His size and lack of strength will make it a lot tougher for him to get off the shots in the pros that he got off in college ... Another issue surrounding Bradley is his inability to get to the free throw line, as he attempted less than 2 free throws per game while hitting only 54% of his opportunities ... At times he drives uncontrollably to the basket, and lacks that sense of when to kick it out, or when to pull up ... He wasn't very efficient at scoring when attacking the rim, and against better and taller help defenders at the next level, he will have to work on his body control when penetrating by using a variety of different touch and finesse shots over defenders in the post ... Defensively, most shooting guards will be able to shoot over him, limiting his availability to guarding mostly point guards or other undersized 2 guards...
Overall: Bradley's projection in the draft as been all over the map, from lottery selection to bubble first rounder... He entered his freshman year being one of the top recruits in the country (#1 in some places), and then disappointed some with an inconsistent first year in college... The ultimate goal would be for him to play a Russell Westbrook role, being more of an athletic and explosive combo guard who can play the 1... His athleticism, explosiveness, and most importantly his ability to play perimeter defense will allow him to find a role in the NBA... There is always room for a guy who can shoot and defend, so don't be surprised if a GM falls in love with him in the late lottery...
More details as they become available.
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