ESPN released an updated mock 2020 NBA Draft and they’ve got the Boston Celtics adding reinforcements at all three positions. Two notes:
- ESPN did not project any trades in this mock.
- The draft order was not simulated via the Draft Lottery. The order is as it stands now with the season on hiatus.
That left Boston with the #15 pick (via the Memphis Grizzlies), the #26 pick, the #30 pick (via the Milwaukee Bucks) and the #46 pick (via the Brooklyn Nets). Boston’s second round pick at #56 projects to go to the Charlotte Hornets.
At #15, ESPN mocked 6’6’’ wing Devin Vassell from Florida State to Boston. Vassell would bring some needed shooting to the Celtics roster. He’s also a competitive defender, which makes him a potential for for the 3&D role teams crave.
Boston was projected to go big at both #26 and #30, with Isaiah Stewart of Washington and Jalen Smith out of Maryland. Stewart is a tough, bouncy, energy big. He’s kind of a Robert Williams type. The talent is there, but he’s raw.
Smith projects as the new type of big NBA teams are looking for. He can hit jumpers on offense and he protects the rim on defense. Smith is probably more ready to contribute right away in the NBA due to his shooting and shot-blocking.
In the second round, the Celtics are mocked to take LSU’s 6’4’’ combo guard Skylar Mays. Mays was a four-year starter for the Tigers and improved each season. He’s become a solid shooter and defender, and he’s an improving playmaker as a lead guard.
In a relatively flat draft, these players’ draft projections vary wildly. Vassell’s range is from the late-lottery to the early 20s. Some analysts have Stewart projected as high as the mid-teens. Smith’s range seems to be the early-20s to early in the second round. And Mays has some support to be a late-first round pick or to fall all the way to the latter part of the second round.
How Danny Ainge and the Boston front office will approach this draft is something to watch. The Celtics are likely to have four picks, but the roster is already short on space. Boston added four rookies at the 2019 NBA Draft, and three more undrafted rookies in the offseason. That could mean that Ainge will be actively looking to move picks for players who can help the team win now, or for future assets down the line.
The NBA Draft is currently scheduled for Thursday, June 26.