As everyone knows, there are some very tall men that play the game of basketball, but then there are some gargantuan monsters like 2014 NBA Draft prospect Walter Tavares. He's a 7-foot-3 center who the Boston Celtics were fortunate enough to have in town earlier today for a workout.
With a reported 92.5-inch wingspan, Tavares would automatically have one of the longest pairs of arms in the entire league, and he'd be the tallest player (assuming his measurements are accurate). At 22-years-old, he might be a little underdeveloped compared to some other prospects, but that's also what makes him so appealing.
So, why is he drawing interest from the Celtics? To preview my 2014 NBA Draft Guide, here is my full scouting report on the Cape Verdean colossus.
The full guide is available with 60 player profiles just like this; if you'd like to name your price and purchase the guide: click here or click the image to the right to find out more details. If the words on the image below are difficult to read, then click the scouting report itself to bring it into full screen mode.
What Others Are Saying
Here is Walter Tavares in his own words, courtesy of SuperSport:
"My defense game is my strongest asset. Offensively, I have been gradually improving."
"I feel prepared for the NBA now. I am confident I’ll do well during the workouts especially because I am eager to learn the NBA playing style and, more importantly, I am a hard worker."
"I speak reasonable English. I understand the language, and I can have informal conversations. I don’t think the language will be a problem for me during the workouts. Basketball is a universal language. I am determined to play at the highest level."
"I don’t know what a good draft selection is for me. For now the most important thing for me is to play in the NBA. Whether it is this coming season or the following season, I won’t give up to get a chance in the league."
How Can Boston Draft Tavares?
If the Boston Celtics want to make a play and draft Walter Tavares, they will have three different ways of doing so:
- Reach with the 17th pick: This probably isn't an ideal scenario but if they truly believe he has huge value at that position, then they shouldn't be afraid to pull the trigger.
- Trade down from the 17th pick: There's always a chance a team in the mid-20s range would be willing to trade up. Boston could easily trade down and comfortably select Tavares all while picking up another asset, possibly a mid-to-late second rounder.
- Acquire a late first: Phoenix could be looking to trade the 27th pick in exchange for a future first round draft pick, which would be the perfect spot for Tavares to be selected. It is, however, unlikely he slips into the second round, so he must be picked in round one.
Why Would Boston Draft Tavares?
- Upside: From reading my scouting report, I'm sure you got the impression that Walter Tavares has massive upside. It's rare to see 7-footers with quick feet like he has and for a guy that first picked up a basketball in 2010, he is right on track in terms of being able to learn the game. Sure, the Celtics might have to wait a few years for him to make an impact, but it might be worth it assuming he has a strong work ethic.
- Size: There's always a chance that Tavares is more NBA-ready than he appears to be and could make an impact as a rookie. Even though it's unfair to expect him to play over 20 minutes per game due to his conditioning, it's not unreasonable for him to receive some in-game action as a defensive and rebounding-oriented player. The Celtics need size and he'd provide plenty of that.
- Pick-and-Roll Option: Even though Tavares is an extremely raw offensive player, he has already shown potential as a threat in the pick-and-roll. He has good hands and can finish strong at the rim. Pairing him with a talented point guard could get him plenty of easy looks, which he didn't necessarily have playing in Spain.
Should Boston Draft Tavares?
Walter Tavares is exactly the type of player I'd like to see the Boston Celtics draft; I think selecting him at #17 would be silly, but trading down or acquiring a late first round pick would be perfect. Perhaps, Phoenix at #27 or Oklahoma City at #29 would be willing to make a swap for one of Boston's many future firsts.
I have a handful of other bigs projected to go in the same area ranked higher than Tavares, but it's like splitting hairs when assessing each prospect since I value them close to equally. Tavares certainly has more upside than the likes of Jarnell Stokes, Mitch McGary, and Nikola Jokic; it's just the element of risk is higher with him.
As I said above, Walter Tavares fits exactly what the Celtics need in a defensive specialist at the center position. Picking him with a late first round pick is truly a low risk/high reward spot and the Celtics can afford to take a risk on a player no matter what happens earlier in the draft. With steal potential, they should attempt to make a move for him if he had a successful workout with the team on Wednesday.