With the #16 pick in the first round, the Boston Celtics are at the crossroads. They aren't in a spot to select the top tier talent, so they might have reach for some players that could be available in the 20s. Many draft pundits mock Wisconsin junior forward Sam Dekker to Boston and CelticsBlog readers agree.
Dekker, of course, is one of the players that dropped out of a workout with the Celtics. But it's still a solid selection, though the Celtics would likely prefer to get a closer look at the Wisconsin product.
Dekker fits Brad Stevens' style of play with his versatility on both ends of the floor. He's a good athlete, at 6'9', who can score from all levels. The NBA is heading towards a "positionless" style, so Dekker fits in since he can play both forward spots. He can stretch the floor and hit threes at a respectable rate and he's a solid ball handler that can beat many bigs off the dribble. Defensively, he's not a standout but he's very aware off-ball and makes a lot of "winning plays."
However, Dekker doesn't really shine in any particular category. He has worked on his ball handling this summer, but it remains to be seen if he can create at an NBA level. And while he's a solid three-point shooter (34.8 percent in his career), he has struggled with consistency from deep due to his fixable mechanics.
Dekker would be a fair choice, but not a great one. The Celtics would need to be confident that they can turn Dekker into a consistent three-point shooter, because that would open up more driving lanes for him. There's no doubt his style of play fits what the Celtics are looking for, but there might be higher upside choices available.
Personally, I'd go another direction. I'd prefer to let Dekker keep sliding and try to re-sign Jonas Jerebko in free aency. There will likely be more talented players with higher upside available; a few names could be Trey Lyles, Justin Anderson, and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson.
For more analysis of Sam Dekker, check out my full scouting report of him from my 2015 NBA Draft Guide. And you can purchase the guide by scrolling down below.
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