Here is Part Two of my
Final 2016 Boston Celtics
1st Round Mock Draft.
SV=Standing Vert, MV=Max Vert + SR-Standing Reach = MVR Max Vert Reach.
Picks Five through Ten have become very interesting for the Celtics. Do they stick at Three and take Jackson or Ball? I think that is very unlikely, as they they traded down from One a week before the Draft. the only reason to do that is to then give Trader Danny some time to move down from Pick Three to get the two guys he truly covets.
If Danny truly does covet Dennis Smith, and a guy who can Cover Ones through Fours (Isaac) than this deal with the Kings is already done. "This is certainly a trade that is under the microscope more than others," Ainge said about the trade down to Three. "But we’re not afraid of that. Our entire staff has really studied these guys and scouted them. We feel unanimously like this is the right move for us at this time and I have great faith in them. If there was a 50/50 split amongst our group, maybe there would be more hesitation, but I feel like we were able to resolve any questions that the whole staff had, and unanimously, we’re excited about this deal." Because they now have the most coveted pick in the Draft.
The first two picks in the Draft have been made. The first open pick to trade up for Jackson, Tatum, or Fox is in Boston at Pick Three. As GMs get desperate, Pick Three becomes more and more valuable. Trader Vlad is itching in his pants for Josh Jackson, and the ammo he has to get him is obvious to everyone. And we know that Trader Danny has been planning on moving from Pick Three from the moment he got it (unless Captain Underpants has fooled me again;).
The 3rd pick has been bandied about like a monkey on a trapeze. "We feel like it’s a jump-start for us," Ainge said. "We’re getting the player we want. They’re getting the player they want. And we’ll get an additional player that we want in next year’s draft, or the year after. So I think it’s a good deal for both teams." But the timing of the trade makes the desire for an additional move part of Trader Danny's plan.
The player they wanted at Three doesn't sound like Jackson or Butler anymore. "I think they’re both terrific players," Ainge said. "I'll say that. But I don’t really want to get into any more details. Based on their workouts, I think I like both of those kids. I think they’re both terrific talents." But now he is no longer interested in either. Why the sudden change?
Because "there are a handful of players" that Danny liked live and on tape. I do believe that a handful means Five (like fingers;) right? "I think even before the lottery, we’ve been evaluating these kids for a couple years, and we felt like it was very close with the top handful of players," Ainge said. "And we still feel that way. We think there’s a really good chance the player we’ll take at Three (/Five) is the same player we would have taken at One (/Three). So this was a great opportunity to acquire an impactful asset." Or two.
There is so much noise when it comes to Dennis Smith that it is nervously making me think smokescreen. "One NBA exec told the Herald that Ainge would love to find a way to get North Carolina State point guard Dennis Smith Jr.," Bulpett wrote. "Who isn’t rated as high as the third overall pick. Another said the Celts were looking at perhaps moving down in the draft again and picking up another asset for their trouble." There is only one scenario we know about where the Celtics could trade down again and pick up another asset.
So I'm taking the plunge. The Celtics trade down from Three to Ten to get Dennis Smith, for pick Five. But what if Dennis Smith isn't on the Board at Ten? Might they go with my guy Ntilikina? Then they can stash him overseas for a year or two, as they try to fit Zizic and Guerschon on the roster this year.
7. Timberwolves- Malik Monk, Kentucky, SG, 6-4, 194, 19-years old, 19.7 PPG,
6-3 1/2" WS, 5.6 PPG, 57% 2P, 43% 3P, 62% FT, 1.5 RPG.
The Player: Malik Monk: Could Be A Celtic; Part IV. N/A-Up as soon as I walk the damn dog.
The Reason: The Timberwolves shot 37% from Three as a team. That has to change. "This, I think, has a chance to be a historic draft," GM Scott Layden said. "You look at the top end of the draft and I think there’s a chance that there’s going to be a lot of very good players, but it also runs deep into the late first round. I think that’s why there will be a lot of activity at this draft, because I think teams see potential to get a great player." They need a shooter.
A kid who is a pure 3-Point Shooter. "If there’s a player out there that has that type of shooting skill, particularly a big guy, we feel that that could open up the floor, and that creates space for everybody," Thibodeau said. "But whether it’s a big guy or a small guy, we need shooting, and we need defense, and we need toughness." They also need a defensive guard to help out in the backcourt. But a Kris Dunn is going to help out there a lot.
Monk is a better defender than I thought. "In all likelihood, the picks are so valuable at this time of year that you end up wanting to keep the pick," Layden said. "But we’re leaving all options open." They also have a losing record in close games in the 4th quarter. What they really need more than anything else is a Closer. Monk was the best Closer in college basketball last season.
It appears the Timberwolves are also after Jimmy Butler, and have offered this pick for him. "I’ve been seeing a lot of crazy things," Malik Monk said. "They’ve been coming through my phone with the ESPN app. I knew right before the draft something crazy was going to happen. It happens almost every year, so I wasn’t shocked about it." This is turning into one crazy Draft.
Second Choice: Lauri Markkanen PF
8. Knicks- Lauri Markkanen- 20-Years Old, Arizona, PF/C, 7', 225,
54.5% 2-P, 42.3% 3-P, 83.5% FT, 1.9 APG, 15.6 PPG, 7.2 RPG,
The Team: Phil Jackson has lost his mind and wants to dump his best, and youngest player, because he missed a meeting. "There's a lot of confusion. A lot of times it's basically one-on-one," Porzingis said. "Whoever, me, myself, Carmelo, Courtney, we try to make something happen. And that's not how it's supposed to be. The situation is tough. We're not doing the right thing. We're just not working together right now." That's what happens when you're led by Carmelo, who knows nothing about team basketball.
Jackson has also infected the play on Court. "It's pretty random," Porzingas said. "We have some plays that Jeff draws up, but most of the time it's after free throws. Or so we're running triangle. But we never really got it all together, and were able to execute the way we should have. It's been a lot of confusion. And then, the kicker: First of all, we don't know the triangle that well." This is a fire sale waiting to happen.
the Celtics should take advantage of the burning Knicks, and go
after Porzingis. "Well, I think we know what we’re
doing," Porzingis said. "That’s what I can say to them. Although it’s not been apparent in our record the last couple years, we’ve grown from within, we’ve got young players that are on their move up. It takes time to rebuild with youth, and I think to have confidence in the fact that we’re gonna have good players and we’re gonna have a good team and we’re gonna be on the court competitive."
One thing he can do is shoot Threes at a pace that will make Brad
Steven jump for joy.
NBA execs can smell the blood in the water, they are circling like sharks. "We're getting calls," Jackson said. "As much as we value Kristaps and what he's done for us, when a guy doesn't show up for an exit meeting, everybody starts speculating on the duration or movability from a club. So we've been getting calls and we're listening, but we're not intrigued yet at this level. But as much as we love this guy, we have to do what's good for our club." Danny has swooped in with something.
But is sounds like the water might be too deep in Jackson's mind. "The future, you know, what it brings," Jackson said. "Does it bring us two starters and a draft pick. Or something that's even beyond that? Something we have to look at as far as going down the road. We know what he is. He's a unicorn and he's special." Is it just me? Or does him calling him a unicorn sound crazy?
I don't know, but I do know that he is already talking about Porzingas in the past tense. "I don't think I've ever had a player over 25 years of coaching, maybe 30, not coming to an exit meeting, so it's not happened to me," Jackson said. "I know it happens to other people and other players. His brother and his agent have downplayed it, but still, it's a chance for a person to express themselves, and I had a real good relationship with Kristaps over the last two years. So it was kind of surprising." And that ain't good. If they trade Porzingas they might look for his twin here.
The Player: Markkanen is a stats prospect. His biggest positive is that he shot over 50 on 2-pointeres, over 40% on 3-Pointers, and over 80% on FT. That is a rare and efficient combination of numbers.
I like him because he has some nasty. He can play it rough. He will hit back with his shoulders, hips, and elbows. He is pure shooter, who once he gets the ball over his head good things happen more than not. But he does little else. He averaged less than One Assist, steal, and Block per game. That is just sad.
He knows how to play Pick and Roll defense. He will play peek-a-boo behind the pick and use his long arms to help contain the guard. He can dance around and cut off the driver on the side of the pick with his great long arms. He does a good job helping on the ball handler, and keeping some trouble between him and the roller. He is mostly a size long arm defender, with good quick feet against Bigs.
He looks a little stiff sometimes, but when he is moving he plays with excellent agility. He has some nice coordination and balance for a true 7-footer. He is s straight up and down shooter. Great job using his wrist and legs. He hangs out at the 3-point line too much. But he has NBA range, and you could see him shot NBA Threes in college.
He will hit NBA 3-pointer at a good clip. He is an excellent pick and pop player. He knows how to set a pick, and is quick to pop after the defender slides around him. He can move his feet to catch the ball a little off balance, and still settle and go up for the Three. Essentially he can shoot the Three from anywhere and that's all GMs are going to can about.
He is a Big center playing out of position. He can up fake and drive right to the basket and score. Pure shooter. He will stay inside for an entire possession and fight for position and rebound. Sets nice picks on the 3-point line, and then pops to the right. He is a good rebounder, not great. He can dribble to the hoop and draw the foul.
He can shoot the layup lefty, and even drive down the lane on the left side and shoot it lefty. Very nice step through on the right. He can be quick and fluid on defense. His size intimidates a lot of shooters in the Paint. He has quick hands and will slap the ball out when Bigs expose it. But he does play intensely on defense. He can move his feet well. He can cut off the center driving righty, and draw the charge. He gets low in his stance (for a 7-footer;).
He can dribble to his left and dish the ball, which I think is extremely interesting. I would not cry if the Celtics took him at Five or ten. He likes to dribble lefty, but he shoots righty. He can two-dribble left and pull up from 15. He can two dribble lefty down the lane and stop and pop from anywhere inside. He height, fall away, and quick shot make it impossible for college guys to block his shot. I have seen him more than two-dribble lefty.
Reason: If they ditch Porzingis they have to replace him.
Second Choice: Donovan Mitchell SG
9. Mavericks- Dennis Smith- PG NC ST, 6-3, 195, 20 years,
WS 6-3, 18.1 PPG, 4.6 RPG, 6.2 APG, and 1.9 SPG,
The Team: The Mavericks are in a world of hurt, and are going to be a Lottery team for a while. Dirk is done, and so is Dallas. JJ Berea is still their starting PG. That has to change. They want to get a bigger more explosive point guard.
They recently have been more linked to Ntilikina, whose coach has connection with Dallas. "He’s worthy of a [top-9 pick]," Jay Bilas said. "He’s a point guard who has got good size and he’s very, very talented. I don’t rank him among the top-10 prospects, but [Fran Fraschilla] may differ on that." I definitely differ on that.
He took more than a few steps up this past year, and is still growing. "He doesn’t have the polish of a Fultz or Ball or the speed and athleticism or raw athleticism of Fox or Smith," Fraschilla said. "But he has the look and feel of an NBA guard when he grows up." He is bigger and has longer arms than both Ball and Fultz.
He played in a smart mans' League over in France. "He can make decisions well," Fraschilla said. "He shoots it well. He’s athletic. He could be a good defender. And you’re also looking at a kid who’s still 18 years old. His long-term potential as an NBA player is very good." Okay fine, I'll switch Ntilikina and Smith.
a little bird told me that they do like Smith as well. "“I’ve already looked at the top 15 prospects, and it’s a great
draft," Mavs HC Rick Carlisle said.. "There’s great opportunity there. I don’t know which player, obviously, at this point we’re going to draft, but we’re going to get a good player. I’m really excited about it."
They want a young point guard who can take over the team.
It has come down to Dennis Smith and Ntilikina here (and I'm switching again;). "If you look at our roster, we do have certain needs," Carlisle said. "But at the same time, if there is that player out there that can really be a star, there’s an awful lot of merit in just taking him and figuring it out from there. So, between now and late June we’ll collect a lot of information. We’ll interview guys, we’ll have workouts, we’ll figure out as much as we need to figure out and make the decision." It seems to have come down to those two guys by all accounts. I like both those cats, but I like Frank a little more because of his size. But Smith is the more explosive of the two (which usually translates better to the NBA). And he played more of an NBA game at NC State.
They also are looking at Porzingas as a poor man's Dirk.
The Player: Dennis Smith: Could Be A Celtic: Part II. N/A-Up as soon as I walk the damn dog.
The Reason: And just so you don't think I'm taking a cheap shot at the Celtics here, Draft Express has them taking Dennis Smith here as well. They need some scoring and play making to help off the declining Dirk. So I am sticking with that pick here.
Second Choice: Frank Ntilikina PG
Ntilikina- France, PG, 6-6,|170,
6-6, 200, 7' WS,
5.3 PPG, 2.3 RPG, 2.1 APG, 1.2 SPG,
The Team: If all the scuttlebutt is anywhere near true than the Celtics will be picking 5th and 10th. I keep thinking that if the Kings are here they take Ntilikina. We all know how much Trader Vlad loves the Euros. And if the Celtics are here they can draft and stash Frank in France for a year or two as they sort out the mess Captain Underpants has created in this Draft.
Remember, there is still talk that they want to add Zizic and Guerschon. Which means a draft and stash guy might me more valuable than a draft and develop guy. They have some spots opening up this year on the roster, but they appears to be filled as fast as they open, with a line of guys still waiting behind them. They want Smith here, but the Mavs are 50-50 on Smith and Frank, with Markkanen getting some love as well.
The Player: Frank Ntilikina: Could Be a Celtic Part: III. N/A-Up as soon as I walk the damn dog.
The Reason: It is still most likely that the Kings keep this pick. If they do, we know how much Divac loves his Euros. Frank brings the added benefit that he can be stashed overseas to mature physically and mental for a year or two, and open up a roster spot for another developmental player. And the Kings need all the developmental players they can get.
Second Choice: Dennis Smith PG