Bill Sy: Welcome to the 2021-2022 CelticsBlog Fantasy Draft. We’ve done different iterations of this in the past. Last year, we did a historical draft with a squad featuring Rajon Rondo, Reggie Lewis, Larry Bird, Tommy Heinsohn, and Al Jefferson winning the fan vote. This summer, we’re changing it up a bit and only focusing on the current roster.
With the influx of new faces and young players looking to make a leap next year, each of us will draft a five-man team and our staff and readers will determine the champion.We’ll use a snake format for the draft and as the old dog in the room, we’ll let youngblood Will Bjarnar take the first pick. Any oppositions, Adam?
Adam Taylor: No objections here :)
Bill Sy: Alright, Will. You’re up. Adam, go second.
Will Bjarnar: Thanks, gents. It’s a pleasure to participate and it’s nice to be able to enjoy having the top pick in a fantasy draft for once. In any other sport or context, it would give me absolutely no pleasure to have such responsibility. The bust potential that comes with it is enough to send me into a full-blown panic attack for somewhere north of 12 hours — or however many weeks there are in an NFL season these days, they keep changing it on me. But no such fear shall you find here: With the first overall pick, I’m selecting Jayson Tatum, from Duke University. If I’m shocking anyone, speak now, though I have a feeling that group will be the minority. Tatum has been, is, and will be the Celtics’ best player for the long term. He isn’t a piece of this team’s future; he is its future. He’s growing into a player who will be a perennial All-Star and All-NBA honoree, a talent who will consistently compete for scoring titles and awards alike, and in the ideal world we’ve all dreamt up, the one who leads this team (in some iteration) to the promised land. On my roster, he’s the centerpiece, the offensive motor, and the man with the ball at the end of the game — though I don’t think any of the games in this league will be even remotely too close for comfort, given that I’ve nabbed the crown jewel, so perhaps I take a load management approach. I have plenty of time to kick my feet up and ponder our winning strategy before my next pick, don’t let me bore you. Adam Taylor, good lad, you’re up.
Bill Sy: Looks like someone has been checking his Instagram Stories.
Adam Taylor: With the second pick in the draft, I select none other than future president, Jaylen Brown. Brown will add athleticism, three-level scoring, and solid on-ball defensive to my team. If he can continue to improve at the rate he’s shown throughout his time in the league, we will be set-up with one of the best two-way wings in the NBA in the not-to-distant future. He may not have the flashy side-step jumper that Tatum has, but his ability to push the pace, and score off the dribble will ensure my team never struggles for scoring opportunities.
Bill Sy: Well, with the two best players off the board, I’ll draft purely on vibes. For the third and fourth picks in the 2021-2022 CelticsBlog Fantasy Draft, the Bill Sy All-Stars select Marcus Smart and Robert Williams. If we were playing roto rules, I might target Al Horford or Dennis Schroder to rack up points, rebounds, and assists, but if I’m putting together a squad, I’m Frankensteining its heart and backbone first and fortifying it with heart and soul and love and trust and freak athleticism.
Stevens extended both Smart and Williams this summer to long term deals. Those contracts spoke volumes to me. Yes, the math of it all could add up to adding a superstar at the trade deadline or next summer, but he’s also bestowing value to guys that he believes in. In Smart, he’s in effect tabbing him as the epitome of Celtics basketball: the tireless worker and unselfish teammate that will do anything to win. With Timelord, he’s betting on potential and after working with him for the last three years, knows he’s sitting on a pair of aces. So yeah, take Tatum, take Brown. I’ll be in the trenches.
Adam, you’re up with your second pick.
Adam Taylor: Wow, two high impact guys off the board in one swoop. We’re only on the second pick and I’m already feeling the pressure!
I need a playmaker, somebody who can quarterback the offense for Jaylen on cuts or lifting off screens. Someone who doesn’t mind sacrificing for the good of the team. So, with my second pick in the CelticsBlog fantasy draft, I select mr dependable, Al Horford.
Will, you’re up good sir.
Will Bjarnar: Here’s where I find myself stuck: With one of my next two picks, I’m going to need a big man, or at least someone who can masquerade as one. That’s just reality — between the double-trouble-hustle tandem of Bill Sy All-Stars and Adam’s wise selection of Grandpa Al, I’m in dire need of someone to maintain a presence at and around the rim. Then again, I need scorers, or at least alternative offensive presences to take some of the burden off of JT should he need a minute. And I think that’s what I’ll prioritize first (again, I ain’t sweating).
I’ll pick Dennis Schröder here. He (and his agent) may have misjudged how much he’d be worth this offseason, but that doesn’t mean that he wasn’t a high-level scoring threat as a sixth-man in Oklahoma City, and a reliable option for the Lakers when LeBron and the rest of the usual suspects ran cold (or, heck, just when Schröder was running hot). He gives me a PG-SG hybrid who’s far better as a distributor than I think he’s been given credit for and an effective scorer on his better nights. His offseason was a joke; he’s not.
Tomorrow, we’ll publish Part 2 of our draft with picks 3-5 for each team.