Here is Part One of my
2018 Boston Celtics
1st Round Draft Review.
SV=Standing Vert, MV=Max Vert + SR-Standing Reach = MVR Max Vert Reach.
Drafts are a funny thing. We spend so much time trying to figure out what teams will do, and then rarely learn the lessons about the team afterwards. The GM and HC will tell you what he is thinking about his team in the Draft. Their actions in the Draft speak louder than their words.
Like the Patriots. What did we learn about the Patriots in the NFL Draft, and free agency? We learned that BB is rebuilding the O-line because he is not sure how many more beatings TB12 can take. He decided that the number one priority this off season was to build a dominate run game to help Brady.
They resigned Waddle and Tobin (yes, Tobin wasn't with the Pats last year, but we was signed by the Pats before;). Those were good signs. Buy he also signed Rex Burkhead and Jeremy Hill. Two veteran runningbacks who are great runners. They both have some issues that have prevent them from being elite. Burkhead gets injured, and Hill fumbles.
But the big signing was Trent Brown. "He's the best right tackle in the National Football League," Von Miller said. "And he may even be a top-five tackle, period, in the National Football League. There's not another tackle who's that tall, that big, and can move the way he moves." He is a gigantic, and was a right tackle last season.
He was the starting OLT at Patriots Mini Camp after the Draft. "I’ve always played both sides," Brown said. "I started out in college playing left. I played left in high school. I really started playing right when I got to the University of Florida. But switching sides has never been a real big issue for me." It is a really big issue from Brady.
He is the most important move the Pats made in the off season, and Patriot fanatics have no idea who the hell he is. "I move well for a big guy," Brown said. "I don’t know if you’ve seen." Yeah, I haven't.
He was down from over 350-pounds to 325 to play OLT for the Pats (even though he looked like he was back up to 355 at minicamp;), but he is still 6-8 or so. But what is also interesting is the Wynn lined up next to him at OLG in minicamp. I thought Wynn was the best run blocker in last years draft. He was a force pulling outside to his left to lead Michel.
The Pats spent their two biggest pieces of their Draft Capital on the run game to protect Brady. Wynn and Michel were the the best OL-RB duo in the SEC last season. They both are certainly worthy of 1st Round picks. I thought Michel would drop to the 2nd because of his knees not his talent. But what is important is what it spoke about what BB's thinks about his team.
Brown, Wynn, and Michel with be the center pieces of the Pats new run game. BB is saying with those three guys (and Rex Burkhead and Jeremy Hill, and Waddle and Tobin), "my top priority is keeping Brady healthy. I'm scared to death that the TB12-Method is going to falter too soon to make me comfortable, after I was forced to trade Jimmy-G)." Thuney was also practicing at OC against Andrews. Shaq was the ORG, and Waddle and Cannon will be battling it out at ORT.
We learned, like a flashing neon sign, what BB thinks about the Patriots during the Draft. His O-line can-not, under any circumstance, continue to play the way they did last year. "Screw the defense!" If we don't stop the hits on Brady there will be no Unprecedented Sixth. The O-line could have new starters at four positions next season: Brown at OLT, Wynn at OLG, Thuney from OLG to OC, and Waddle as the starter at ORT (Cannon was the starter opening day, but missed most of the season do to injury).
Brady took more hits last season than every before, especially in the first half of the season. BB spent the off season using as much Capital as he could to ensure that didn't happen. So when Preseason starts look to the O-line, if you want to get a feel for whether BB was successful this past Off-season. From this vantage point it looks like he was very successful at rebuilding the O-line, and the run game to protect Brady.
One thing we learned about the Celtics is that both Danny and Terry are funny. "I was obviously joking with Terry about the guard position. I had no idea I was on live, whatever it was," Ainge said. "I thought he was Face-Timing me. I had no idea (he was live on a Draft show;). But anyway, that is sort of funny. We're excited about Robert, and we felt like he was the best player available, and we think he's a great fit for our team." No Danny, that's hilarious.
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1. Phoenix- DeAndre Ayton- Arizona, 19, 7-1, 223, 7-4 WS, 9-3 SR,.
34.3% 3-P! 73.3 FT%, 20.1 PPG, 1.5 APG, 11.5 RPG, 2.0 Blocks.
The Team: I had this pick.
The Suns need a poster guy. "Having my name called to be the 1st pick for the Phoenix Suns was mind-blowing," Ayton said. "Having all that confidence and leading up to that point when I saw Adam Silver came out, I was just waiting for my name. And when he called it, my mind went blank." The guy that everyone thinks of when they think of the Suns.
DeAndre is unstoppable in the Paint. But he can also step outside and shoot a little. He will also be the anchor of the Suns new defense.
The scary part is that the Suns might have the best young outside shooter in NBA. "Basketball is really changing. So the two-man game is really hard to stop," Ayton said. "Having a guard like Devin Booker, who can really score the ball. And me being a big man who can really pick-and-pop (and) very versatile? That’s very dangerous. The team in general is a very young and hungry team. We just have to: stick together, get a great chemistry, and start a winning legacy in Phoenix." Booker is just nasty outside the arc.
They may have just added the best young inside guy in the League. "It is extremely rare for a player with his size, length and athleticism to be able to not only finish around the rim but also step away from the basket and make shots," Suns GM McDonough said. "At 7-1 and exceptionally strong, he is uniquely gifted with his hand-eye coordination and footwork. In addition, he has strong ties to this area and we can’t wait to see him in a Suns uniform." In four or five years they could have the best inside-outside duo in the NBA.
He reminds me of Patrick Ewing, who I saw up close in high school. "I think it was my 16th draft last night between the Celtics and now in Phoenix. I think he’s probably in the top-five talents I’ve seen in that time, over a 16-year period," McDonough said. "Historically for me, a few guys stand out: LeBron James, Anthony Davis, Kevin Durant to name a few. I’m not saying he’s going to be as good as those guys. I’m not saying that. But you know, when you’re scouting guys or watching games, certain guys just pop." Nice face up jumper.
He owns the Boards. "He was the clear front-runner all along," McDonough said. "Obviously, growing up here in Phoenix, playing at Hillcrest [in Arizona] a little bit, and playing at the U of A, we watched him very closely. He’s such a unique player. Such unique talent. He’s a guy we fixated on for a long time. He was the leader in the clubhouse all the way through the process." The point of defense to make the offense miss, and create a rebound. He can create a rebound, and grab every rebound near him.
is very-very rare for a true freshman to be named Unanimous First
Team All-American. "Igor loves Luka Doncic and so do we.
He’s going to be a great player," McDonough said. "Deandre, it was clear in terms of the talent.
And we think he’s going to be the best player. And we think he’s the best fit for our
roster. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t other guys in this draft who we think are going to be
great. And Luka Doncic is at or near the top of that list. It’s not like it was a no-brainer just because there aren’t any other good players. That is the case I think some
years." Easy shooting hands.
The Player: He is huge. Elite offensive rebounder. He cannot be stopped in the paint going to the hole. He is not fast in the open court. When he is on the court, the team is a slower team. Great team defender. Nice agility on spin move to the hoop. He has a nice elbow jumper. Terrific passer out of the post. Nice driver to the hoop from the high post. Great job setting picks. Great quick feet moving backwards on defense. He makes every basket inside look easy. He can 2-dribble lefty. Likes to spin left, but can't shoot with his left.
Ayton is known as the generational Center, but their might be more than one in this Draft. His assists per game worries me a little, but he is so dominate down low that he is expected to score. Great footwork, Vert, and power make him impossible to stop in the post. He will need to work on his passing to become a true team player. He reminds me of Artis Gilmore.
He also has some flags. I'd like to see him dominated the Paint more. Which is dumb, because he faced a lot of zone defense that collapsed on him. Which is why I think passing is his primary weakness. He can be a little mechanical in the post sometimes. But again, he is so physically dominate that it will come.
He is not great on defense on the perimeter. "He’s a terrific athlete. I think a lot of it was schematically they had him playing the four with Ristic. So he was guarding away from the basket on the perimeter (a lot)" McDonough said. "In the NBA he’s a Five. He slides well, he moves his feet well. He’s a tremendous athlete at that size in terms of strength, fluidity, coordination, all of that, so I think what I’ve seen on film and person a lot of it is just experience.
"Knowing defensive rotations, when to switch, when to rotate, that just comes with time and playing. I think he has a high-level feel for the game, especially on the offensive end of the floor and, from my experience, guys who have that on the offensive end of the floor usually over time are able to translate that to the defensive end of the floor."
However, he does switch out to the 3-point line. He has such great length that Wings can't get past him. But he gives up the Three a lot. In the new NBA covering out to the 3-point line is imperative for Centers if they want to stay on the court. Like a lot of super high school stars, he played defense to not foul, as he was instructed by his coaches. When he got in foul trouble his teams lost. Jaren Jackson and Bagley are better perimeter defenders.
He does a nice job showing, but can over show and has trouble getting back to his man. His perimeter defense is better than expected, but still needs work (big surprise;). He has a nice handle, and can take the pass before half court and dribble to the hole righty. He can catch the low pass in traffic and score smoothly.
Solid post passer. He is a solid midrange shooter. He can catch, turn, and shoot with ease. He has easy natural hands to catch and slam. Unstoppable dunker in the low post. Solid elbow jumper. He uses his legs and wrist well in his shot, and should get better and better.
Freshman Season (2017-18): Consensus First Team All-American as selected by USBWA, AP, NABC and Sporting News… Karl Malone Award winner… Pac-12 Player of the Year… Pac-12 Freshman of the Year… First Team All-Pac-12 selection… Pac-12 All-Freshman Team member… Pac-12 All-Defensive Team selection… Most Outstanding Player of the Pac-12 Tournament… Became first player in conference history to win Player of the Year, Freshman of the Year and Tournament Most Outstanding Player in the same season… Joined Cal’s Shareef Abdur-Rahim and UCLA’s Kevin Love as the only players in the history of the Pac-12 to win Player of the Year and Freshman of the Year… USBWA District IX Player of the Year… Ended the season averaging 20.1 points, 11.6 rebounds and 1.9 blocks per game while shooting 61.2 percent from the field… Was one of only three players in the nation to end the regular season averaging 20 or more points and 10 or more rebounds a game, joining Duke’s Marvin Bagley III and Saint Mary’s Jock Landale… Set a new Pac-12 record for double-doubles by a freshman with 24 for the season, which was also the most double-doubles in a season by any player in UA history… Became the first player in Arizona program to score 30 or more points and grab ten or more rebounds in a Pac-12 Tournament game, doing so twice, with monster games of 32 points and 14 rebounds versus UCLA and 32 points and 18 rebounds in championship game win over USC… Became the first Wildcat since Al Fleming in 1975-76 to tally a 20-20 game with his 26 points and 20 rebounds versus California (3-3-18) on Senior Day… Earned Pac-12 Player of the Week honors on two occasions, including one following 23 points and 19 rebounds in win over No. 3 Arizona State… Many other notable single-game performances include 29 points and 18 rebounds in win over Alabama (12-9-17) and 28 points and 18 rebounds at Oregon (2-24-18)… Became first Wildcat since Bob Elliott in 1974-75 to finish a season averaging 20 or more points and 10 or more rebounds per game… Finished his time in Tucson posting UA top ten, single-season marks in points, rebounds, blocks and field goal percentage while setting the freshman season records in all four of those categories as well… Ended 2017-18 campaign with 20-point, 10-rebound showings in nine games with seven games of 15 or more rebounds.
The Reason: He is a 7-footer who can play in the new NBA. It is still a game of height and Vert. Anton has the size, the agility, and the ability to step out and cover smaller guys. He can change the game inside and outside. I love his post play. I find the post game the most skilled and interesting part of the game. I don't find a guy shooting Threes 20 times a game particularly interesting.
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2. Sacramento- Marvin Bagley- Duke, Center, 6-11, 41.2% 3-P! 73.2% 2-P!
1.5 APG, 21 PPG, 11.1 RPG, 61.4% FG%,
The Team: I love Bagley as a baller, I had him as my 2nd choice here. "A guy who is very talented, in my mind elite talent in this draft," Kings GM Vlade Divac said. "And it was a really easy choice for me... That’s what our future is." He dominated the Boards for Duke last season.
He owned the Boards. "He can play Three, Four and Five," Divac said. "That's what's in Marvin's unique talent. He can play multiple positions." Amazing smooth athlete for a guy his size.
He is way-way-way F-ing better than Doncic. "Marvin for us is better fit, better player and great talent," Divac said. "So, it was an easy choice for us." Who in the hell is Doncic going to cover?
Sacramento needs some toughness and smarts on their team. "Marvin is an elite talent in this draft, a great player," Divac said. "He's a guy who works hard, wants to improve, learn, coachable, good teammate. Checks all the boxes that we want." Bagley will do that for them.
Bagley over a Euro really speaks volumes about how much Divac liked
Bagley (and how much Doncic is overrated). "I'm just looking forward to showing every aspect of my game,"
Marvin Bagley said. "I'm an all-around player and how comfortable I am with the
ball: dribbling the ball, handling it, creating for teammates, making the right basketball play, just playing the game."
He is a much better baller than Doncic.
The Player: Marvin Bagley: Smooth.
The Reason: Divac is making the picks, and knows Bigs. "That's just the type of player I am," Bagley said. "I'm going to have confidence in my game. I still think I'm the best player in the draft and I stand by that. I put a lot of work into it and I'm glad that I'll be able to show it with Sacramento." Bagley is an underrated tough inside player.
Bagley was the most underrated player.
"It just lit a fire inside of me to want to play and compete at a high level," Bagley said. "So I'm happy it ended like that. Now all we can do is step out on the floor and play the game. That's what it all is."
He is going to change so much for the Kings on offense and defense.
Like all these rookies, it is going to take a few years for him to learn the mature NBA game, because he is not playing against kids anymore. "I think I can bring a lot to a team, offensively and defensively, inside and out," Bagley said. "I'm very confident in my game and my abilities. I know how much work I put into this and how much I sacrificed for it. I'm excited to show the world, my team and my teammates everything I can do." He was such a force last season.
Second Choice: Marvin Bagley C/PF
3. Atlanta/Mavs- Luka Doncic, Wing, 6-8, 228, 30.9% 3-P! 59.2% 2-P!
4.6 APG, 14.5 PPG, 8.1 RPG, 1.1 SPG,
The Team: This is apparently the Mavs picks. "To us, they were the best two playmakers in the draft (Young and Doncic), being able to make other people better with their passing ability and what they can do in pick-and-rolls," Hawk GM Schlenk said. "They were both extremely intriguing. In all our honesty, our group was really split between the two. It certainly wasn’t clear cut." Atlanta wants Trae Young, and traded this pick to the Mavs.
With the condition that Young is available at Five. "Dirk Nowitzki, he is example for everybody," Doncic said. "He's achieved so much. He's a legend. He's a leader. So, I'm really glad that I can be there." He is not Dirk.
He shot less than 31% from Three last season. "I’m not sure what position he is," Mavs HC Carlisle said. "I think his position is on the floor playing and making plays and making people better. He’s the kind of player who’s going to be able to play with virtually anybody. He has a skillset and understanding and feel for the game. And he’s a great shooter so he creates space for others players." He is not a great athlete.
He is a volume shooter who makes the highlight plays that every sees. "This kid has won everything there is to win in in European and international basketball," Carlisle said. "And he’s done it an age that’s unprecedented." He played on a lot of good
But he misses a lot more than you think. "" Did they Draft a 6-7 Steve Nash?
Huh? No. "Think of a 6-7 Steve Nash that isn't quite the shooter Steve was but is only a teenager," Cuban said. "Good vision and can pass. He was just named to the Euroleague All-Star team for the first time." Huh? No.
He has Tape of the worst defense I have ever seen. "Absolutely. It's just this is a whole different level. Even the great ones from Europe take a year or two," GM Donnie Nelson said. "It took Dirk two years and he's arguably the greatest player to ever come over. So if he would've had to do it all over would he have another year to put under his belt and experience? That's really a question for him. Is he ready? Yes. Does he have some defensive challenges? Is there going to be a gestation period? He's going to go against the best cross section of athlete in sport. The 2s and the 3s in this league are killers. There definitely will be a period of adjustment." His defense terrifies me.
Doncic: Mr. No D.
The Reason: I don't know.
watching him play defense, I think this pick is not going to work.
"I think the fact that Donnie Nelson was absolutely, 100 percent sold that this is the guy we need to get, that spoke loudly to Cuban,"
MacMahon said . "Because the last time Donnie Nelson highly recommended a European prospect, Cuban said
'Nah.... In 2013, the Mavericks had their first lottery pick in forever and Donnie Nelson said 'Look, this Greek kid is going to be the best player in this draft. We should take him. We should take
him.' Cuban said 'Nah. We need cap space. Let's trade down. Let's trade
down'.' [So they} traded down a couple times and ended up with Shane Larkin."
He is not Nowitzki
4. Memphis- Jaren Jackson- Center, 7'-.25", 203, Texas, FR, WS 7-10! 9-5 SR!
16.3 PPG, 7.4 RPG, 3 APG, 54.9% 2-P, 37.8 3-P, 1.7 Steals, 1.1 Blocks,
The Team: Hey, I had this pick.
Jackson is a great freak. "We got two exceptional defensive players," ex-Celtic Chris Wallace said. "We got the best shot-blocker in the draft in Jaren Jackson, got the best perimeter defender in Jevon Carter. Got two great intangible guys with a lot of room to grow. I think we got a shot at grit-n-grind back tonight." He can hit the Three, and is smooth in the Post.
He is a phenomenal man defender who can cover Wings and Smalls past the Arc. "It could be the Five, the Four, the Three, the Two, the One," Jaren Jackson said. "Realistically, the 5 or the 4. Whatever coach can put me in, I'm all for it." Defense is his game.
He also garnered 3 blocks per game. "In today’s NBA, he’s that switchable defender," Chris Wallace said. "He’s just a young colt growing into his body with a tremendous amount of runway in front of him." He is a great athlete with great length.
He will also get bigger and stronger with age. "I know that I'm young, and there's always growing to go," Jackson said. "Any player has to go through a lot of learning curves. I think with the vets they've got there, it will help me speed up the process." He has an odd set shot from three, but he nailed over 40% from the college Arc.
I have said for month that he is the best defender of Smalls out at the Arc of the Bigs. "Grizzlies GM Chris Wallace basically told me Jaren Jackson Jr. could become the best shot-blocker and all-around defender the franchise has ever had," Michael Wallace wrote. "That’s high praise considering Marc Gasol was a DPOY (D Player of the Year), and Tony Allen was arguably best defensive guard of his era." That is a huge deal in today's NBA. But he can also score.
Player: Jaren Jackson PF/Wing/C: He sometimes seems more interested in boxing out than rebounding position.
He deferred to his older teammates too much. He is an amazing
athlete who can cover anyone out to the 3-point line. He doesn't
have his offense down yet, and needs a go to move to start. Great
rebound. Great length.
He can hit the three, and drive to the hoop. Then he can sprint back and block the shot on the fastbreak. Smart kid. He has to get a little stronger in the base. He can struggle to hold position against wider Bigs. He has a nice quick shot from Three. You do not see guys his size with a tight quick shot like that. He can attack the hoop from the 3-point line lefty, and shot the lefty layup. Very impressive for a 6-11 guy.
The Reason: This years Draft is an elite Draft of Bigs. Basketball is still played by oversized freaks in the NBA. If you have a chance to take a 7-footer who can dominate the paint, and still be athletic enough to get outside can cover smaller 3-point shooters, you have to take him.
Next years Draft is not considered to be a good one, while this year's Draft is considered to be a great one. You want a top five pick this year, not next year. They have Memphis 1st next year in their back pocket. Memphis knows they suck-suck-suck and won't be a winner for a while. So while Rozier is a player with All-Star potential (or at least Playoff winner potential at the point), they are not desperate for a PG. But Rozier, pick 27, and the conditional Memphis pick the Celtics own that takes away a giant piece of their future that they really can't part with? That is a strong maybe.
The Celtics are overloaded with young players who showed some potential in the Playoffs, and they won't really have space for next season. Players like Semi Ojeleye (who showed he could be a 3 and D guy in the Playoffs), Yabusele (a muscle guy who can hit the Three), and/or Theis (a veteran Euro guy who showed he has that knack for getting the ball) could be the finals fillers. They are not the main pieces. Rozier, 27, and Memphis's conditional Pick are the meat, and those three players could be the potatoes that makes the trade complete.
Now this is mostly speculation, but their have been talks. Danny has shown he will hoist up a lot of good to very good pieces for a great one.
Plus, the entire Grizzlies franchise completely collapsed last season when they benched their veterans. "The whole Marc Gasol situation has been a very strange storyline during an already strange season for the Grizzlies," Jack Noonan wrote. "When David Fizdale was fired, everyone jumped on Gasol for being a 'coach killer', because it was a known fact that Gasol and Fizdale had their differences. The organization went with their All-Star center over Fizdale. So, this creates the question of, since they stuck with him once, will they hold on to him through the down years of a rebuild?" They are in a complete rebuild, and they know it.
Now there's even a power struggle in Ownership. "The head of any decision the Grizzlies make for the future will be ex-Celtics GM, Chris Wallace," Noonan wrote. "Even with all the blunders Wallace has made, he always finds a way to survive it, and it looks like he may again with the ownership in flux. The Grizzlies have a chance to hit the reset button, but nothing is as easy as it should be with Chris Wallace in charge." The minority owner optioned a clause that takes power away from the majority owner.
The roster is old and past it's time. "I think whether or not Gasol ends up being traded this season will depend largely on how the ownership battle plays out," Aimee Stiegemeyer wrote. "If Robert Pera sells his stake in the team, I think there’s a fairly good chance that Gasol ends up being traded." They are desperate for a youth movement, with zero chances of coming out of the West in the next five to ten years.
This trade would give them a sudden influx of young players that have shown it in the Playoffs (Rozier and Osemele), a couple of young Euro Vets (Theis and Yabusele), and a couple of 1sts that they desperately need. While the Celtics get a big Center who they can build their defense around.
Second Choice: Memphis takes Jaren Jackson C/PF/Wing
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