By DANNY DRAGIN
Once again the NBA offseason is completely hectic and fake news is flying around more than birds in a Hitchcock movie.
Obviously the Celtics made huge news last offseason, and it would take a profound move to make as big of a splash as the Kyrie Irving deal. After so many seasons of being “one year” away from competing for the Larry O’Brien trophy, the C’s are finally in a prime spot. But a big part of what the Celtics will need, will be determined by what they could lose during the off season. Right now they have the potential to lose Marcus Smart, Aron Baynes, Greg Monroe, and Shane Larkin. The only player that would really change the way the Celtics operate is Smart. Baynes is a nice player to have, but the reality is that he is replaceable.
What the Celtics need are more athletic wings that can shoot and defend, so they can keep their defensive repertoire. So here are some options that are emerging as the Draft draws near:
1. Grayson Allen
If you have followed college basketball at all in the past four years, then you’ve heard the name Grayson Allen. He’s looked at as just a pest who plays dirty and whines a lot, but his skill is undeniable. With Allen the stats just don’t tell the full story, which is exactly how a loved Celtic is aften perceived (Smart, Danny Ainge, take your pick). He averaged 15 points a game in his senior season while shooting 50 percent from the field and 37 percent from the three-point line. Allen has managed to have an extremely successful combine and has amazed in his workouts with specific teams. Allen is the perfect fit for the Celtics; a hungry rookie who doesn’t need the ball to be successful and can fit into the coaching scheme smoothly.
2. Moritz Wagner
Dirk Nowitzki completely changed the way people looked at the center position in the NBA, and Wagner is a clear cut product of that. The 6-foot-11 German had an extremely impressive March Madness run, leading the Wolverines all the way to the championship. Realistically the Celtics will probably either lose Aron Baynes or Greg Monroe, which would leave a void that needs to be filled, and in the next couple of years, the Celtics could be looking to move away from Al Horford. Wagner brings a solid presence to the offensive side of the ball scoring 14 points a game, shooting 61 percent from the field and just barely 40 percent from the three-point line. Not to mention he is an animal on the boards, averaging 7.1 rebounds a game in his last season. In Michigan’s Final Four game against Loyola- Chicago he scored 24 points and pulled down 15 boards to get the victory. The C’s already have an extremely versatile big man in “All Star” Al, and giving Wagner the opportunity to learn from him, could significantly impact the trajectory of his career.
3. Malik Newman
Newman is the type of player who has an extremely diverse skill set and has the potential to have huge games. He can score from just about everywhere on the court and he clearly showed that he doesn’t need to be ball dominant in order to score. Newman is very fast and recorded an impressive 10.90 in his lane agility time during the combine. Newman would fit really well if the Celtics ended up losing either Smart or Larkin, and his ability to play multiple positions makes him even more poised for Stevens’ system.
4. Bruce Brown
Brown is an over sized guard at 6-foot-5, who has the potential to play the 1 ,2, or 3 spots on the floor. Brown is athletic and is so versatile that he can literally do just about anything you ask of him. He plays with a motor that many guys don’t have and he’s always looking to feed his teammates. His 3-point shot could definitely use a little work, but you can still count on him to hit that shot when he has space. At Miami, Brown was looked at as a two-way playmaker who can wreak havoc on defense and then find a way to put the ball in the hoop on the other end. The biggest thing that Brown can bring to the Celtics is rebounding, which is something you can always get better at. He gets in the paint and goes up to get the ball against the biggest guys on the floor; he averaged 7.1 rebounds last year with the Hurricanes.
5. Donte Divincenzo
Now this could be a pipe dream because Donte could get scooped up in the beginning or middle of the first round. Many analysts and people who cover the NBA look at Divincenzo as a player who gets a lot of credit for one game: the title game against Michigan, where he scored 31 points. Divincenzo isn’t a liability on the defensive side of the ball, but it’s not his strong suit either, and playing for Stevens could definitely help him turn into a more well rounded player.
Full article @ 5 realistic draft picks for the Celtics
Source: GreenStreet Blog