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Gary Washburn: Celtics scouting department has failed them

Washburn stopped by the A List Podcast to break down the teams’ scouting failures in recent years

Boston Celtics Practice Photo by Brian Babineau/NBAE via Getty Images

On Monday night the Boston Celtics notched a 30-point win over the injury-plagued Miami Heat. It was a solid effort, but one of the main storylines from the evening wasn’t about the result.

It was about Max Strus - a player who was on Boston’s roster not too long ago but never ended up suiting up for the C’s. Before the season, the Celtics had a choice to make for the final roster spot - Strus or Javonte Green. They chose the ladder.

On the latest episode of the A List Podcast on CLNS Media, A. Sherrod Blakely brought up the issues regarding Boston’s scouting department.

“The Celtics scouting department,” Blakely said. “It’s not that they can’t recognize talent, they just kind of decided on the wrong talent to keep and the wrong talent to let go.”

Strus nailed nine threes against the Celtics, but he’s not the only sharpshooter they’ve seemingly let slip through their grasp. Sherrod asked Gary Washburn about Desmond Bane, who he got the chance to interview not too long ago. Washburn said that Bane’s well aware of Boston’s 2020 draft-day decision.

“He’s definitely aware that they chose Nesmith over him,” Washburn said. “He knew that Nesmith and him were considered the best shooters in the draft. And he knew that they took Nesmith 14th and he fell to 30.”

One of Boston’s biggest holes in the roster this year is three-point shooting, as they are averaging 34.1 percent on the year (22nd in the NBA). Bane is shooting 42.0 percent from three-point range this season on 6.9 attempts per game.

Washburn went on to discuss more recent poor decisions by Boston’s scouting department. He pointed toward their misuse of two-way spots in the last few seasons as one of them.

“They just botched the whole thing with their two-ways with Tremont [Waters] and Tacko [Fall],” Washburn said. “Tacko tried, it wasn’t anything personal. He was a big star, I would’ve kept him, too. But that Tremont one was the one I felt like they wasted.”

Waters had signed a couple of 10-days this season and Fall is currently in the G-League. Neither is an NBA-caliber player right now, which, according to Washburn, should be the end goal when signing two-way players.

Washburn then shifted to Boston’s current two-way situation as a potential sign of hope for the future.

“If you look at a guy like Sam Hauser. I think they’re like, okay listen, he’s not ready, but give him a year or two and he can maybe become a pure shooter.”

Hauser is averaging 10.8 three-point attempts per game in the G-League this season, shooting 40.7 percent on those attempts. As Washburn mentioned, if he develops properly, he could turn into an ideal player to pair with Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown.

And that’s exactly where Washburn ended his thought process. As the Celtics continue to try and set Tatum and Brown up to succeed, their drafting continues to let them down in a major way.

“People ask why Jaylen and Jayson don’t have help, it’s because the Celtics haven’t drafted well. Carsen Edwards was supposed to help them, Semi was supposed to help them, Tremont and Tacko, those slots were supposed to be of help… Player development has fallen very short.”

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