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CelticsBlog Draft Big Board: Pick #26

Drama builds as we enter the Celtics’ pick range

NBA: Lottery Draft Patrick Gorski-USA TODAY Sports

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.

Picks #1-3

Picks #4-7

Picks #8-10

Picks #11-13

Picks #14-16

Picks #17-20

Picks #21-23

Alex Kungu and I (Sam Sheehan) will be discussing the picks and what we 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 #26:

#26 Dzanan Musa

One more, great team effort!!!

A post shared by Dzanan Musa (@dzananm_13) on

SS: Up next, we have probably the player I know the least about in the draft. The international man of mystery: Dzanan Musa. Musa is the prospect I’ve seen the least of by far. What I can say about him, from what I’ve seen, is that he is definitely a unique player. Musa is an isolation ball-handler, but he’s also almost 6’10”. With a wide array of moves and big body, he can get to the rim pretty much at will. The problem with that is that he does a lot of this in isolation, which has some questionable value unless you are at the absolute highest level. He’s also not a great shooter, and he can’t really defend very well. He’s a guy who projects as “elite at one thing, but doesn’t bring much else to the table”. He’s such a weird player that I don’t really know how to project him and I kind of struggle to even think of what he would look like in the league.

AK: From what I’ve gathered about Musa, his feel for the game could determine how high (or low) he is on teams’ boards. He is a putrid defender, and he has some of the modern tweener problems we’ve previously talked about. Offensively, he has shown that he has the capability to be a microwave scorer who can put up 20 points but also the type of guy who doesn’t move the ball as well as he could, occasionally settling for tough one-on-one baskets rather than playing within an offense. Right now, I see him as a situational scorer who you sprinkle in throughout the year when your team can’t put points on the board, but the fact that most mocks have him going in the mid-first means that teams believe that his solid metrics and shotmaking can be molded into a starting wing.

SS: I lot of same critiques I had for Donte Divincenzo can be re-applied here. It’s even more startling in Muza’s case, as Divincenzo was a big part of a championship team and was a better shooter, and we are unsure of exactly just how Musa will translate. I think if he’s able to shoot well and consistently, he could be the “worse defensively” Dario Saric. If he’s not able to make that adjustment, well, I can’t really shake a Mario Hezonja comp that I’ve had kicking around my head.

Great first game, now it’s time for Russia

A post shared by Dzanan Musa (@dzananm_13) on

AK: Maybe Musa’s biggest advantage here is that he’s 19, and the Pandora’s box has long been a draw for NBA teams. It’s possible that some of his weaknesses were just him not applying himself fully because he’s a teenager who was much better than his competition. It’s also possible he could grow a stronger frame and improve more as a defender and decision-maker as a whole. Shotmaking in different situations is usually the hardest skill, and Musa at least has that. How would you see him fitting in if he fell to Boston? I almost think that depending on how the training camp roster looks, he could be a draft-and-stash candidate.

SS: You hit the nail on the head. I think that’s the real appeal here for taking Musa. Unless a consolidation trade comes down the pipe, or there’s a bigger than expected outflux of free agents, the rotation is going to be relatively set entering the year. Only the most talented rookies are going to stand a chance of cracking this rotation, so it might make sense to take a European player and stash him. That said, this could cut the other way should the injury beast rear its ugly head again. If the Celtics don’t have the young guys to step up like they did this year, that’s gonna be an awful lot of pressure on the two-way contract spots. So I guess part of that question comes down to your training staff and scouting staff and the rest depends on just how much further you think this kid can develop.

AK: I don’t think he’s ready to compete for a contender, but 82 is a lot of games, and there’s an interesting argument to be made that maybe the G-league/NBA back and forth could do better by him. That way, he can stay in an NBA strength training program and learn the system/culture this year while maybe getting some minutes sprinkled in throughout the year. But he’s not a guy I’d put in the “immediate impact” category.

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.

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