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Boston Celtics 2015 NBA Draft Big Board 2.0

Projecting a Celtics draft board based on team needs and offseason plans.

Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

Nobody knows where the Boston Celtics will be drafting tonight, not even Danny Ainge: "Right now we don't even know where we're drafting or what position we'll be in. We think there's going to be a lot of activity on draft night, so stay tuned," Ainge said Monday. "Our draft pick may be traded before we make the pick. So I'm excited about the draft. It should be fun."

That's what makes tonight's 2015 NBA Draft so exciting from a Celtics perspective. With four picks in the top 45 and a plethora of assets, the Celtics can virtually move anywhere, provided they can find a dance partner.

Here is my top 45 big board from a Celtics perspective. Please note that this is just how I'd rank the prospects if I were a scout or executive on the Celtics. They would change for other teams, depending on their respective systems. Click here to view my final general big board.

Tier 1

1 Karl-Anthony Towns PF/C Kentucky
2 Jahlil Okafor C Duke
3 Mario Hezonja G/F FC Barcelona
4 Kristaps Porzingis F/C Sevilla
5 Justise Winslow SF Duke
6 D'Angelo Russell G Ohio State
Willie Cauley-Stein
C Kentucky

If the Celtics land any seven of these players, fans should be ecstatic. The Celtics aren't getting Towns, sorry. Jahlil Okafor gets the #2 nod because I'm growing a little more optimistic about him on defense due to his pre-draft work. I don't think he'll ever be a great two-way center, but he might become the best low post scorer in the league. I discussed the other five players in-depth here. Hezonja has the potential to be a star scorer at the wing position, filling the need of a player who can get buckets late in games. Porzingis has huge potential as a stretch forward and potential shot-blocker. Winslow has two-way potential and would be a leader on the team. Russell gets moved down because the team currently has Smart, but if he were moved he'd get shifted ahead of Winslow. Cauley-Stein got moved down because of the injury risk.

Tier 2

Emmanuel Mudiay
Myles Turner
C Texas
Stanley Johnson
11 Cameron Payne PG Murray State
Frank Kaminsky
PF Wisconsin

These are players the Celtics should hope fall to pick #16 or in a minor trade up. Turner arguably has the highest upside of any of them. Booker is an intriguing option due to his sharpshooting potential. Mudiay and Payne might be redundant with a bundle of talented guards already on the roster, but sometimes you have to take the best player available.

Tier 3

Devin Booker
SG Kentucky
14 Bobby Portis PF Arkansas
15 Trey Lyles F Kentucky
16 Justin Anderson SF Virginia
17 R.J. Hunter SG Georgia State
18 Kevon Looney F UCLA
19 Sam Dekker SF Wisconsin

These are the most realistic options at pick #16, the players I'd most like them to target if they are stuck there and none of the first 13 players on the board slip. I have Anderson higher on my board than most people do, but think he'd be a great fit based on his two-way potential. Portis is a tone-setter on both ends.

Tier 4

20 Kelly Oubre G/F Kansas
21 Terry Rozier PG Louisville
22 Nikola Milutinov C Partizan
23 Pat Connaughton G/F Notre Dame
24 Arturas Gudaitis C Zalgiris
25 Tyus Jones PG Duke
26 Montrezi Harrell PF Louisville
27 Anthony Brown SF Stanford
28 Rondae Hollis-Jefferson SF Arizona
29 Jarell Martin F LSU
30 Richaun Holmes PF Bowling Green

These are players the Celtics should target in the 20-33 range of the draft. Milutinov is my preferred option of the International bigs projected to go in this range, because his feel for the game is he best of the three. Pat Connaughton and Anthony Brown I consider as perfect fits, both on and off the court.

Tier 5

31 Robert Upshaw C Washington
32 Jonathan Holmes F Texas
33 Michael Frazier SG Florida
34 Rashad Vaughn SG UNLV
35 Delon Wright PG Utah
36 Jerian Grant G Notre Dame
37 Chris McCullough PF Syracuse
38 Willy Hernangomez C Sevilla
39 Cedi Osman SF Anadolu Efes
40 Jordan Mickey PF LSU
41 Mouhammadou Jaiteh C Nanterre
42 Christian Wood PF UNLV
43 J.P. Tokoto SG North Carolina
44 Josh Richardson SG Tennessee
45 Joseph Young PG Oregon

These are all players I'd target at picks #33 and #45. Robert Upshaw is worth a gamble, because the Celtics have the infrastructure in place to give him the support he needs. There are multiple draft-and-stash options like Cedi Osman and Willy Hernangomez who would get a bump on the list, depending on what happens in the first round.


Thank you to everyone that bought my draft guide this year. Your support and your kind words mean the world to me. I hope you have enjoyed reading it just as much as I enjoyed making it. The hours poured into putting this thing together was a long process over the course of the year, but it's all worth it knowing other people love reading it. Let's hope tonight's draft is as exciting as the pre-draft process has been.



For NBA fans looking for another resource to satisfy their NBA Draft night needs, I'm releasing my NBA Draft Guide for the second year in a row. What brings so many of you to SB Nation -- and what first brought me here -- is to get an alternative perspective on your favorite team. I hope I bring that same unique look at the draft in my guide.

The $10 eBook has full-page scouting reports of my top 60 prospects, analysis of my full top-100, team-by-team previews, a two-in-one mock and some essays on the draft. After last year's guide, I hired a designer to create these beautiful pages that you can see in the video above or by clicking here to view a PDF preview.

This guide is great for hardcore basketball fans that sit on the edge of their seat during every playoff game and for casual fans that just want to catch up on the prospects their favorite team may draft. It's also very useful for fans to reference during the season, since so many rookies will be playing heavy minutes.

Click below to buy now using PayPal.

The guide is $10. Every dollar is truly appreciated. PayPal accepts most credit cards. If the file doesn't download immediately after the receipt page, please send me an email at or tweet me at the handle below and I will process it to you by the end of the day. Thank you so much!


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