I am…at least a little.  The Boston Celtics tonight found out they will have the Number 3 pick in the draft next month.  You may say that is better than getting the #5 or #6 pick…especially when the odds said they had the best chance of landing at Number 5.  I would say of course, dummy.  But when all the hype has centered around the presumptive top two picks (Ben Simmons and Brandon Ingram), you may understand that getting the pick right after those two are gone may take the wind out of the sails a bit.

The next “tier” of players appear to extend from picks 3-8.  Being the college basketball expert I am (not), many of the mock drafts appear to list the same 6 players:  Dragan Bender, Henry Ellenson, Jamal Murray, Buddy Hield, Jaylen Brown and Kris Dunn.  Denzel Valentine snuck into one at #8, but most have the previous 6 dudes in some order from 3-8.  But…they vary wildly in each mock.  I’ve seen Hield, Bender, Murray and Dunn all at #3 somewhere.  Hield has been at 3 and at 8.  Brown has been at 4 and at 10.  There are a thousand mock drafts and of course everyone has a different opinion.  But you get the point:  There is no consensus #3.

Bender has been getting some huge props over the last week or so.  18 years old, someone with extreme upside, blah, blah, blah.  Every time I hear his name he grows an inch or two.  He’s like 8’7″ now I think.  I know, funny.  But seriously, he is listed at 7 feet even, 215 lbs.  You know who that sounds like?  Yup, Kelly Olynyk!  And you know how I feel about that dude.  Actually, I just looked this up to compare…did you know Kelly is listed at 7 feet even, 238 lbs?  238?  Really?!  Could’ve fooled me.  Regardless, wouldn’t those measurements of Bender give you a little pause?  Especially since he is likely closer to 200 lbs than 215.  Sure, he still apparently has some growing left.  And once he gets to the NBA, surely teams will bulk him up.  But he also doesn’t have much for numbers overseas either…especially the ones under “minutes played”.  Maybe I’m looking at the wrong page…in summary, he sounds more like the next Darko Milicic to me…now anyway.  Maybe Bender looked good on video playing one on none and posting up chairs like Yi Jianlian did years ago…

I’m not going to go through every one of the above players.  Mostly because I had never heard of Ellenson or Brown until like 3 hours ago.  Plus, we have already established my lack of knowledge of college players in general.  Briefly though…Hield stayed all 4 years at Oklahoma…many would say that can be something that hurts him.  Why didn’t he come out early, even after his junior year?  Murray apparently also has a ton of upside but may need some time.  Dunn is a point guard and not necessarily the Celtics’ greatest need.  4 of the 6 are guards, with only Ellenson and Bender as “big” guys…and we already said Bender ain’t that big.  Etc.

If Danny Ainge keeps the pick, I have no idea who they would take.  Hopefully, he does.

But that’s the key…are they keeping the pick?  And if they try to trade it, what value does it have?

I have never been convinced that Danny is 100% keeping the pick.  With all the picks, players, non guaranteed contracts, etc….there are so many routes he can take, I can’t begin to predict which one he actually will.

But I can speculate that the value of the pick took a little hit by falling outside the Top Two.  And that is a little bit concerning.  Maybe there would have been more value if he dealt it before the lottery (ie: at the trade deadline).  Of course hindsight is 20/20.  I wouldn’t have dealt the pick back then either.  In any event, it’s not worst case scenario.  That pick will be “the best of the rest.”  And there is some value in that.  All it takes is one team to be salivating over Bender’s or Murray’s potential.  Then it could have tremendous value.

So I actually did watch the NBA Lottery telecast.  Something I certainly don’t make a habit of.  But figured what the hell, what else do I have to do tonight?  Other than the ESPN announcer Heather Cox butchering the word “Timberwolves” when introducing their representative, I found one other nugget particularly intriguing.  When Cox was interviewing Philadelphia coach Brett Brown about the future of the Sixers, he specifically mentioned Joel Embiid and Dario Saric, not once, but TWICE.  As key pieces of that future.  Interesting that he did not mention probably his best player, Jahlil Okafor.

Sure, Okafor had some off-court issues, at least early in the season.  But he’s still pretty damn good.  And only 20 years old.  And as opposed to the two players Brown did specifically mention, Okafor actually PLAYED last year.  Seems to me his name should’ve rolled off the tongue first.  Even if Brown also didn’t mention another probable “core” piece as well in Nerlens Noel.  Okafor’s absence seems pretty noteworthy any way you slice it.

So, what was intriguing about Brown’s comments (or lack of) was…I don’t think it is a secret that Ainge likes Okafor.  There was also some smoke around the trade deadline regarding him and maybe some discussions.  If this is all true, could this be revisited now perhaps?  For the third pick and of course other pieces involved?  Something to think about anyway.

Other than that, nothing else really jarred any emotion during the telecast.  Looks like we will have to wait until draft night to see the next step the C’s take.  The #3 pick is not the end of the world, but it just adds another layer of complexity to the “Summer of Danny.”

I’m also somewhat disappointed that the C’s decision to send Isaiah Thomas to rep them in the lottery did not work out either.  Well, no one has really worked out for the team at the lottery…ever.  Never had the #1 pick.  Despite the historical success of the franchise, that fact is astounding to me.   Maybe next year for the Nets pick they just send Bill Belichick…


About mpdenton

I am a passionate and life long fan of the local teams...and by local I mean New England. I remember the days of Ray Bourque, Larry Bird, Steve Grogan and Wade Boggs...meaning I have lived the highs and lows of the Boston sports scene. With all this pent up Boston sports emotion, I clearly have a lot to say about the local teams and sometimes about sports in general. Maybe even the Revolution... I appreciate you reading my blog and hope you enjoy my rants.

Posted on May 18, 2016, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. It was disappointing, but at least it was #3. I agree! #3 pick for Jahlil! Free Jahlil! And they need guards big time. It was reported they coveted Smart, but f that. #3 for Jahlil and I am in. I actually disagree a bit on Bender though. He isn’t Milicic. Probably somewhere between Porzingis and him. He has huge upside, which is important in today’s NBA. Though, I still like four year players like Hield because they come in and can play. Bender can shoot the lights out supposedly and is a rim protector. It is a rare combination, and is why so many people like him. Check out draft express. They do the best job without all the stupid hype ESPN does. Still I favor trading it. And there are issues with both the top 2 players I think. They clearly have the most potential, but I would bet a lot they won’t be rookies of the year because they have so much work to do. Simmons has all the tools, but I think his head is not in the game. It is in the hype and shoe deals. Ugh. Anyway, at least we know now. Give us a Center! And then sign who though? Evan Turner? Durant ain’t going anywhere now!

    • They may have to do a guard with the #3 for Jahlil. The conversations I think centered around the fact that the C’s had an overflow at G and the Sixers had many big men. Plus, the #3 is not as worth much as the Top Two, I don’t believe. I don’t know a thing about Bender. But I am hesitant. There is a huge difference with “huge upside” guys that people have actually seen (Simmons, Ingram) and “huge upside” guys that basically no one has seen in guys like Bender. At least to the people who supposedly know better. I haven’t seen a lot of any of them play, so what do I know?! One thing that makes me nervous about Bender on the surface though is I hear he is a “7-foot, three point shooter”. Which, for me, conjures up visions of Brad Lohaus and Kelly Olynyk. No thanks. But yeah, there will be issues with all…and Simmons’ shoe contract comment surely raised some eyebrows. You’re also right about Durant. And about getting the #3 at least…they didn’t fall, like they usually do. Not a lot to disagree with here…though we shall see with Bender…

  2. Don’t think Milicic or Olynyk. Think Porzingis. I watched some clips of him. He is very good and very talented. Plus, he has been through a lot which builds character and is really important in the NBA. There are so many talented players, but those that succeed have drive, and can withstand the temptations and the long season. Look at Isaiah! Anyway, I would love to see say James Young and the #3 pick for Jahlil. Or say, sign Dwight, and Harrison Barnes to max contracts and then just fucking pick Bender and roll the dice. What the H.

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