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 think the implications and thinking might be with each selection, including some additional thoughts from other CelticsBlog staffers.
Here are the final names on our big board.
#29 Bruce Brown Jr.
SS: Next up we have Bruce Brown Jr. of the University of Miami. Brown is a STRONG wing who projects as defensive specialist with some creative flourishes. Brown could be the guard version of Semi Ojeleye with his tough defense, rotation-ready frame, and fearless attitude. That said, he’s a pretty bad shooter and I don’t really see a reason for that to change in his professional career. Brown could be a defensive specialist but I don’t much of a path for him to develop into an average offensive player at the next level.
AK: I love that he can profile as a 1-4 defender who can rebound well for his size, makes the right reads with the ball in his hands and can finish at a pretty good level. He’s an aggressive and assertive athlete who wants to go through you which instantly is going to make him a fan favorite. It’s also worth noting he’s a Boston native that I’m someone on this site knows or knows someone that does know him. The asterisk is the shooting. It’s problematic, and it really puts a ceiling on what he can do when the ball is not in his head. But I’m kind of willing to look by it a little bit because I really like what he can do as a passer out of the PnR and by all accounts he’s a hard-worker that I think will figure out how to get his shooting up to a respectable level.
Though his overall shooting was bad, he was able to shoot 37.5% on spot-up opportunities. That’s not elite, but it’s respectable enough to force closeouts.
SS: I think Brown has the mental fortitude and toughness to carve out an NBA role for himself. I wouldn’t want to bet against him having a 7-year NBA career. That said, I don’t see much upside in the pick unless Brown has an outrageous improvement in his shooting. Personally I filed him under “Not a bad pick, but not great. Will absolutely talk myself into it by the end of the night.” Brown’s such an charming and winsome player that I feel a bit like Scrooge poking holes in why he might not succeed. At the same time though, I also think the Celtics need at least some upside with the first round selection they make.
AK: Yeah, I disagree wholeheartedly in the “no upside” part of the analysis. He has legitimate on-ball skills, is an explosive athlete, can defend at high-level, is a plus rebounder, and is a capable spot-up shooter. He is going to have to show the spot-up shooting is transferable at the next level, but if C’s are bringing him in for another workout, I have to assume they’re at the very least intrigued by his potential development. I have in the same tier as Okogie, Melton, and Evans as “hard-working perimeter guys I wouldn’t bet against.”
SS: I think that’s the biggest point in Brown’s favor right there. The fact they brought him in for round 2 means that they saw something in the first workout that at least has them considering him. I’m not as high on his athleticism and on ball skills as you are, but I still think he could be a really good disruptive defender for years to come in the NBA.