(Checks calendar) Yup, it seems about the right time for draft rumors to start popping up. Every year we get hints and clues about which players in the draft Danny Ainge and the rest of the Celtics management staff likes certain players. All year Danny has downplayed the significance of this draft and obviously he can't comment on any of them specifically yet. But anonymous within the C's organization are apparently free to wink and nod at Chad Ford.
Which of course creates a fun secondary game of "is that really true or are they trying to use smokescreens and mess with other team's draft boards?"
In the past year we've heard that the Celtics like a lot of players. Parker for one seems to be pegged for Boston if we are lucky enough to get a top 3 (or maybe 4 if he lasts that long) pick. I believe I've read somewhere that the Celtics like Exum more than a lot of other teams (which is probably a nod to the C's commitment to sending scouts overseas).
But what if the C's don't land a top 3 or 4 pick? Where do they go with the next tier of players? Ford gives us a hint in his latest article.
The Celtics like Parker, Wiggins and Embiid a lot. But they are also fans of Arizona's Aaron Gordon, who is one of the best athletes in the draft. He's not as polished offensively, but he's one of those players who does a little bit of everything and impacts the game on both ends of the floor.
I've seen him compared favorably with Blake Griffin but I think most believe his upside is around the level of Shawn Marion (which isn't a knock by any means). He's got an ugly jumpshot but does everything else well. I don't like the idea of another guy with limited range on the court, but I do think he would benefit playing with Rajon Rondo.
Matt Moore does a good job of explaining why he would benefit from playing with a top notch point guard (click the link to see the GIFs and explanations but here's a summary blurb):
In short, Gordon will not be a player you can give the ball to right off the and tell him to go get you a bucket. But then, neither was the player he's most easily compared to, Blake Griffin. It takes time and development, but the raw skills are there.
You can also see his Draft Express profile here.