NBA Draft 2013: Boston selects Kelly Olynyk in Chad Ford's first ESPN mock draft

US PRESSWIRE

Kelly Olynyk, a power forward/center out of Gonzaga, is the Boston Celtics' pick in Chad Ford's first mock draft of the year.

With five games remaining in the season and the playoffs ahead for the Boston Celtics, fans of the team aren't completely looking towards to the 2013 NBA Draft. But jumping forward, let's take a peek at what ESPN's first mock draft of the year had for Boston. Chad Ford has the Celtics drafting at #16, taking Gonzaga Bulldogs center, Kelly Olynyk.

Ford says Olynyk is the type of stretch big man the the Boston Celtics have liked in the past. (Does JaJuan Johnson ring a bell?) He says his low-post game needs a lot of work but he's a difficult matchup on the high post due to his ability to put the ball on the floor and get to the basket.

Last season with Gonzaga, Olynyk averaged 17.8 points, 7.3 rebounds, 1.7 assists and 1.1 turnovers per game. At 7'0" and 238 pounds, Olynyk certainly has the frame to develop an imposing NBA body, but he is not very athletic and there are legitimate concerns that his game won't translate well to the NBA.

Olynyk didn't get much of a chance to prove himself in the NCAA tournament since Gonzaga was upset by Wichita State in the round of 32. In the tournament, Olynyk shot 16-of-37, averaging 23.5 points, 9.5 rebounds and 3.5 turnovers per game. With a 36.4 shooting percentage (8-of-22 shooting) against Wichita State, Olynyk didn't do a lot to improve his draft stock, but he certainly did enough to maintain it.

Kelly Olynyk has been compared to Pau Gasol due to his ability to stretch the floor with his jump shot and ability to put the ball on the floor. But considering Gasol is a far superior rebounder, players like Chris Kaman or Spencer Hawes are probably a more appropriate comparison. Like them, Kelly Olynyk can stretch the floor with his jump shot and is serviceable and scrappy enough down low to buy himself plenty of time on the court.

Chad Ford had the Charlotte Bobcats selecting Nerlens Noel with the first pick in his mock draft. In terms of Eastern Conference opponents, he has center Gorgui Dieng going to the Nets at #22, center Rudy Gobert going to the Pacers at #23, and power forward Isaiah Austin going to the Knicks at #24.

Stay tuned for in-depth draft coverage on CelticsBlog.com in the coming months. If there are any players you'd like to see articles about, feel free to follow me on Twitter @Kevin__OConnor and send me a message with some suggested players before the 2013 NBA Draft on June 27th!

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