One of the biggest question marks coming into the 2016 NBA Draft was how the Boston Celtics would handle their eight(!) draft picks on the evening.
Throughout the day, General Manager Danny Ainge was actively shopping the third overall selection. According to various sources, Ainge was ‘playing hardball’ with the pick, and the Celtics’ offers were too high for other teams.
One report that came out close to the start of the draft was a three-way deal that worked in the Chicago Bulls and the Philadelphia 76ers, resulting in the Celtics landing Jimmy Butler. Nothing came to fruition from that deal.
Philadelphia reportedly offered the Celtics Nerlens Noel, Robert Covington, and picks #24 and #26 for the third selection, but again, the Celtics didn’t budge.
When the Celtics went on the clock, they opted to keep the selection, and fans experienced the first instance of unpredictability that the draft provides each year.
With the 3rd overall selection in the 2016 NBA Draft, the Boston Celtics selected Jaylen Brown from the California Golden Bears.
The pick saw mixed reviews on social media, with some fans angry that Ainge didn’t pull the trigger on a draft day deal for the pick. In the end, Brown is a solid addition for the Celtics that could help in the coming couple of years as he continues to develop.
As a freshman with the Golden Bears, the 6’7” small forward averaged 14.6 points and 5.4 rebounds per contest, while averaging just shy of 28 minutes per contest.
He is known as one of the more athletic players in the draft, and his athleticism is arguably his best trait on the hardwood. Brown has an NBA-style frame, equipped with a 7’1” wingspan and 8’9” standing reach. In transition, he is tough to stop, and can finish in traffic and in contact with both hands.
The one knock on Brown is his shooting ability. He shot below 30% from three point range last season with the Golden Bears.
Also, he needs to work on his handle, as he committed 3.1 turnovers per game a year ago. If he can get lower to the ground with his handle, he will get faster with his dribble and limit the turnovers.
Both of his ‘flaws’ are manageable and can be fixed over time, making Brown a strong selection for the Boston Celtics moving forwards. He can be used in different spots in different lineups, and versatility is a big plus in today’s NBA.
Boston still has seven picks in the 2016 NBA Draft, so don’t be surprised to see Ainge and company actively looking for more trades. It may be more surprising to see them pull off a trade and make a move or two.
– T. Bennett