The Celtics might have the third-best lottery odds, but they have a 22.6 percent chance of ending up with the No. 4 pick in the draft. If that happens they won't have a chance at Brandon Ingram or Ben Simmons. If Dragan Bender is off the board, who could they select? In my latest mock draft in my 2016 NBA Draft Guide, I have the Celtics selecting Oklahoma senior shooting guard Buddy Hield at No. 4 (the draft order was shuffled using Tankathon.com).
I'm not totally sold on Hield as the right choice here, but he does make a lot of sense for multiple reasons. Here are three of them:
1. The Celtics need to add a sharpshooter.
The Celtics rank 29th in three-point shooting percentage over the last three seasons, which puts them only ahead of the Sixers. There's got to come a time the Celtics add a true sharpshooter, whether it's in the draft or free agency, and Hield could be that player. Hield is capable of draining threes from all over the court off all types of actions. He also hits extremely difficult shots with a hand in his face in clutch moments. You don't want to necessarily draft for need though, but when deciding between closely ranked players it can be a differentiator.
2. Hield's personality likely bodes well for his future.
Hield plays with as much emotion as Prince puts into a guitar solo. His energy is truly contagious - both to his teammates and the fans. Though his personality profile is currently and unknown, pure observation and Hield's strong track record of improvements suggest an ability to improve on his weaknesses. If he improves his ball handling in the NBA as much as he improved his shooting in college, then who knows how good Hield could become.
3. Hield is a better defender than he gets credit for.
Hield regressed on defense significantly as a senior, but that's only because he was actually pretty good as a sophomore and junior. It's possible that had a lot to do with his increased offensive workload. Maybe playing a clearly defined role in the NBA, with less responsibility on offense, would lead to an increased effort on defense. That won't change his physical limitations, but he likely won't be a liability.
I know you can already hear Celtics announcer Mike Gorman saying, "Buddy Hield, for the game...GOT IT! AT THE BUZZER!" Hield has that type of appeal and I'm excited to see how he develops in the NBA. While it's most likely that he develops into a shooting specialist, his mental make-up could give him an edge in terms of strength enhancements and weakness refinements.
Check out my full scouting report of Buddy Hield below.
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