We polled CelticsBlog staffers to give their opinions on what they think the Celtics’ personal big board might look like, asking everyone to pretend they are Danny Ainge. Everyone
logged out of their Janos burner accounts gave their best impressions and made their picks. We compiled the results into one single big board, which we will be updating each day between now and the draft.
Alex Kungu and I (Sam Sheehan) will be discussing the picks, and what we might think the implications and thinking might be with each selection, including some additional thoughts from other CelticsBlog staffers.
With #27 approaching, the next seven players could fall in the Celtics range. Here’s #25:
#25 Keita Bates-Diop
SS: Up next, we have Keita Bates-Diop, a swing big man who is probably too thin to be a full time PF but is exceptionally long for the SF position. He’s not an excellent shooter from deep, but is very attuned to the flow of the game and he always seemed to have the right play up his sleeve for Ohio State. I’d describe KBD as a ‘jack of all trades, master of none’ type of guy. His thin frame is concerning when it come to battling for rebounds at the next level, but he’s a smart player with good length who really understands how to finish. He really jumped off the screen at me during the college basketball season, but I’ve cooled on him a little as I’ve seen some of the measurables and workout scuttlebutt. Am I overthinking this? Should this just be a “take the guy who plays the games well” situation?
AK: I’m one of the rare people who didn’t have Bates-Diop as a first round pick in our big board. I’d say the main part of that is just how much I value other guys near the end of first round, but I’m also just not convinced of his skillset. He turned himself into a somewhat respectable shooter, but I question how much of his leap was a combination of being older than everybody else and playing a role that he isn’t good enough to play at the next level. No team is drafting Bates-Diop with the intention of allowing him to have a 29.4% usage. Any team that sees him as a first round player has to envision him being an elite defender. I’m not as convinced in his switchability or interior defense.
SS: I think that’s all fair, and I found myself taking a similar journey with Bates-Diop as I took a harder look at him. It seems kind of silly to me on the one hand, as he really was one of the top players in college basketball this year, and traditionally, older accomplished guys who are at the first round is where you find your late draft steals. All that said, he probably doesn’t have the size, strength, or rebounding to work as a big at the NBA level. I’m also not sure the shooting and spacing he provides will be enough to play him full time on the wing. The term ‘tweener’ has kind of faded as we went along this decade and those ‘small ball’ 4 became the new full-time power forwards. I think Bates-Diop is really in danger of being whatever this decade’s version of the tweener is.
AK: Just thinking off the top of my head on how the Celtics would use him under the current iteration of this roster and I’m not sure where he even gets minutes. He wouldn’t beat out Semi Ojeleye as a situational defender, and he wouldn’t beat out Daniel Theis as an energy big. In a normal draft, maybe you take the swing on him and see if you can work with him to get to a point where he can be a situational guy, but with so much depth at the end of the draft I’d be disappointed if this was the pick.
SS: I think the shooting is probably going to be KDB’s biggest litmus test. If he can consistently make his shots from the corners and become a long, switchy defender to go with that, he’s got a chance to be solid role player in the league for a long time. If he’s not able to shoot and he has to play more like a traditional big man, I’m worried that his strength and subpar rebounding will really hurt him. It’s tough to see him getting much burn with Ojeleye on the roster in all but the most offense-needy situations.
Tomorrow, we’ll unveil our 27th through 30th picks as part of our lead up to what could be a very interesting draft night for the Celtics.