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Celtics 2011 NBA Draft Grades

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Another NBA Draft is in the books and the results of last night's events won't be truly known for years, but who has that kind of time? Knees must be jerked and conclusions must be jumped to. This is what we do. So let us get right down to it.

I'm giving this draft a B+ (I know the poll below doesn't have +/- but that was just to save space)

To me, Danny had one goal for last night: get a young, athletic big man (or two) that can hopefully play a small part in the rotation next year. He didn't have a lot to work with at the spots he was picking from and he didn't have a lot of trade assets.

The only thing that would have made this grade a solid A for me would be to have traded the pick for a young, athletic veteran big man in the league like a Jason Thompson or someone on that level (though admittedly that probably would have been a reach). An A+ night would have been to buy an early 2nd round pick and get a guy like JaJuan anyway, but again, that might be a tad unrealistic.

Back to reality, coming out of it with a long, athletic 4th year senior in JaJuan Johnson is a very solid move. I liked the upside of Jeremy Tyler but I must admit that Johnson seems like a much safer pick and I would venture to guess that his upside is in the same range. The more I read about him, the more I like him.

In fact, the more I think about it, the more he seem like the anti-Big-Baby - and that brings a smile to my face. They do both play the same position and can both hit the mid range jumper and play a little defense, but that's where the similarities end. What Davis lacks in height Johnson has in spades. If you see a weight clause in Johnson's contract, it will be to gain the weight, not lose it or keep it off. I'm a little skeptical that JaJuan can hold his own on the blocks (or take a charge like Baby can) but he might make up for it in help defense and shot blocking.

As for E'Twaun Moore, what can you really expect out of a late 2nd round pick? He seems like a poor man's Tony Allen (without the "unique" personality) who can do a little bit of everything but isn't necessarily outstanding at anything. My guess is that he'll find his role and contribute at some point. I'm officially putting his immediate impact rage somewhere between J.R. Giddens (nada) and Von Wafer (solid emergency backup).

Regarding Ainge's "Belichickinan" move back two spots to pick up a future 2nd rounder, I appreciate the effort but I'm not sure it was worth it. Second rounders seem pretty easy to come by but no harm done, so what's to complain about? Ainge didn't want Brooks and got some minimal value for the right to swap picks. Fine with me.

Now, if you want to spin it the way the Celtics will undoubtedly want to, you could make the case that the Celtics head into next year with 3 young players (including Avery Bradley) that could break into the rotation and give the veterans some rest - or at least an emergency injury backup. Bradley has a pro year under his belt and the two true rookies are both 4th year seniors, so all have enough experience to help out some.

Toss in Jeff Green and whomever else the C's pick up via the free agency route and this team should definitely be younger and more athletic next year. But there's a long way to go between now and training camp - and nobody really knows when that will be. But that's another topic for another day.

The Celtics appear to have gotten better last night and that's about all you can ask for.

Note: Check out Hammer and Rails - SBNation's Purdue Boilermakers blog for more background on our two rookies.

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