The latest Draft Express mock draft has Marquese Chriss going to the Boston Celtics with the third pick. With all the talk surrounding Dragan Bender, Buddy Hield, and Jamal Murray ... you must be thinking, "Chriss? What!?"
But Chriss makes a lot more sense than you think.
Chriss is an alluring pick for teams that can afford to swing for the fences. He's currently ranked ninth in my 2016 NBA Draft Guide. With eight picks this year (and many more to come in the future), the Celtics could be one of those teams. At 6-foot-9 with a 7-foot-1 wingspan, Chriss is one of the best athletes in the draft, as he shows with his high-flying dunks:
Chriss is more than a dunker though. He shot 35 percent from three, and he'll likely develop into a better shooter than his percentages indicate. He stretches the floor as a forward, and he can score off the dribble with his strong first step. Look at how explosive Chriss is as an athlete, and then consider his shooting ability, and you may have a player that could become a lethal scorer in the pick-and-roll or pick-and-pop.
Of course, Chriss was a surprising projection because he doesn't receive much hype as a top-five pick. That's because he's a poor passer who gets tunnel vision and tends to be inaccurate even when he does pass. He's also a weak rebounder, despite having the bouncy athleticism to sky over the top of his opponents to snatch boards. He struggles to defend as well because he has poor fundamentals and doesn't play with much effort.
You're probably a bit turned off right now.
But watch this:
Uh, that's freaky.
So obviously the ability and athleticism is there for Chriss to be an effective defender. Maybe he needs the right situation to start putting in a more consistent effort on defense. Maybe he needs the right coach that gets the best out of his players. Maybe he needs a locker room where he'll be surrounded by positive influences. Maybe he needs a stable organization that can offer him any personal and professional assistance he needs.
Oh, right, that's basically a definition of the Celtics—the type of team Chriss might need to reach his potential.
No one should be convinced that Marquese Chriss will be or should be the third pick, but we can at least understand the appeal. Despite his flaws, the athleticism, shooting ability, and flashes on defense might be enough to make you salivate.
Want to learn more about Chriss? Check out my scouting report below and order my 2016 NBA Draft Guide by using the secure form below or by clicking here.