Draft Options Exist to Persist Celtics’ Contention


The 2023 NBA Draft is just a few months away, and basketball fans worldwide eagerly anticipate one of the year’s most significant events.

An intriguing aspect of the NBA draft is the depth of young talent and underappreciated studs. Several players are projected to be top picks, including some labeled as potential franchise changers. 

Following the conclusion of the NBA trade deadline, attention has shifted toward the NBA playoffs and offseason draft. Despite the draft being in June, which seems far off, teams and fans eagerly anticipate it.

Teams are already preparing for the draft now, as updated 2023 mock drafts from various NBA analysts has provided the latest dataset for predictions.

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Celtics’ Draft Projections 

Barring a trade, the Boston Celtics won’t possess a first-round pick, as team president Brad Stevens has been prioritized winning. This approach makes sense, as the Celtics have been in top form this season with a strong chance of returning to the NBA Finals.

Unlike last year, however, the Cs own three second-round draft picks for the upcoming class. 

Boston surrendered its 2023 first-round pick in a trade that acquired Malcolm Brogdon from Indiana. A no-brainer move given Brogdon’s impressive production. Moreover, if the Celtics finish the season with the best record in the league, their relinquished first-round pick will only be the 30th overall selection.

The draft order for the 2023 class remains subject to change as teams complete the regular season. The draft lottery, which determines the order of the first 14 picks, will take place in a few months, with some bottom-feeder teams vying for the chance to draft highly-touted French prospect Victor Wembanyama.

Despite this, some intriguing prospects are still being discussed in the draft’s lead-up. According to The Ringer’s Michael Pina, Boston would be wise to look for a starting-caliber center, as Robert Williams III has struggled to stay healthy and Al Horford is set to turn 37 during this year’s NBA Finals.

Searching for a center who suits their switch-everything defensive scheme and can protect the basket — who can also stretch the floor or make quick decisions of a short roll — will be hard. But that’s the kind of player the Celtics need, even after the trade-deadline acquisition of Mike Muscala, according to Pina. 

With NBA playoffs around the corner, bettors have started to weigh in on the odds of their favorite teams, especially with the industry soon set to come to the Boston market this month.

There are a number of Massachusetts betting sites that are set to go live when the activity goes legal that will likely offer fans of the team the chance to place wagers on what the franchise does during the NBA Draft.

The draft is always an exciting time for teams and fans, and many will already be looking forward to what might happen when the time comes. In last year’s draft, Boston selected JD Davison, a one-and-done player from Alabama, with the 53rd overall pick. 

Who Might the Celtics Select?

Regardless of the ever-changing draft order, let’s take a brief look at Boston’s possible picks come June. 

Clark Could Add Vital Two-Way Acumen

Jaylen Clark’s excellent scoring has helped UCLA immensely and his two-way presence will certainly interest a number of NBA teams, including the Celtics. Clark has demonstrated athleticism and versatility, which Boston values in wing players. The main concern surrounding this prospect is his sub-35% shooting from beyond the arc.

Even if this aspect of his game doesn’t improve, however, Clark could still be a valuable addition to the Celtics’ rotation in the right system.

Lively a Possibility?

Dereck Jerome Lively II is a very highly-touted center.

A five-star recruit donning Duke Blue Devil blue, Lively’s 7-foot-1 frame and 7-foot-8 wingspan make him an exciting prospect for the Celtics, who are always on the lookout for players who can contest and block shots. The 19-year-old swatted eight shots against North Carolina last month.

There’s a chance Lively could be gone long before the Celtics’ second-round selections roll around, so trading into the late first round might be necessary to get him. Tankathon.com ranks Lively as the fourth-best center in the 2023 class.

Tshiebwe a Possible Williams Replacement?

Former National Player of the Year Oscar Tshiebwe could be a solid big-bolstering fit in Boston.

Known for his rebounding, activity and toughness, the Kentucky Wildcat creates an unquantifiable amount of hustle that could cost-effectively provide much-needed depth to the Celtics’ big-man rotation— especially with Grant Williams set to hit free agency this summer. Developing an outside shot would be necessary for Tshiebwe to be fully considered as a Williams “replacement”, however.

It’s unclear where in the second round Tshiebwe might fall, but his hustle and grit will remain of great value to the majority of the NBA’s contenders.

Tshiebwe is averaging 16.4 points, 12.8 rebounds, 1.6 assists, 1.6 steals and 1.0 blocks across 31.9 minutes per game this season.

Options Exist to Persist Celtics’ Contention

The Celtics will have plenty of names to consider with the hope they can rely on for future campaigns. Every asset they have must be maximized, as championship windows open and close faster than most think.

About The Lead Staff

Articles by The Lead Staff.

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