Here is Part One of my
2019 Boston Celtics
1st Round Draft Preview.
SV=Standing Vert, MV=Max Vert + SR-Standing Reach = MVR Max Vert Reach.
The Celtics are in a tough position now. With Davis traded to the Lakers, the Celts are in full rebuild mode. “We always talk about there’s A-to-Z. Really, there’s A-to-G or E,’” Ainge said when asked about the Celts off season plans. “This year, there’s definitely A-to-Z.” They are in a tough spot.
Kyrie looks like he's gone. “There’s a lot of unanswered questions with free agency," Ainge said. "And the Draft and all of the players on our roster.” They now on the rebuild trail, as they have to rely on Brown and Odom growing into the stars they looked like in the Play offs a years ago.
They went from contenders to pretenders in one season. Kyrie completely fell apart in this years Playoffs, and choked the Celtics out of the Playoffs with his ball hog buffoonery. I don't think they should take him back. He is not a Number One. He might be the best Number Two in the NBA, but he is not a stand lone Superstar. That choke in last years play off was a disgrace.
They are desperate for a PG (with Kyrie and Rozier looking like they are going to bail) and a leader. “We do like a lot of guys in this draft and there are scenarios when we would have three guys and keep them all,” Ainge said. “It’s certainly manageable on a 15 or 17-man roster now with two-ways to have some rookies.” They are looking to trade up to pick 4 for a PG to run the offense: Garland (or Morant?).
But Morant has become the hottest player in the Draft. "Boston has the No. 14, 22 and 51 picks in this year's draft," Lott wrote. "It could package a couple of those to get up to No. 4 to take Garland. However, the Knicks are reportedly working out Garland on Wednesday and considering taking him at No. 3." So if that doesn't work I think the Celtics go Big Euros.
Horford is looking to leave Boston, but I do think that their 1st round pick from last year flashed some star traits. “We couldn’t get Robert Williams in last year before the Draft because he was projected to be 10-15 [pick], and so that was the group that they focused on,” Ainge said. “This year it’s been easier because we have 14 all the way to 51. So we’ve seen a lot more guys.” Ainge is working out guys all over the world.
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1. New Orleans- Zion Williamson- Duke, 19, 6-7, 285,
33.8% 3-P, 22.6 PPG, 2.1 APG, 2.12 SPG, 8.9 RPG.
The Player: Williams is a game changer. He is a freakish Charles Barkley like physical athlete. He is as physical strong and overwhelming as Barkley. He is so big, and can still jump power leap over everyone anyway. He also plays smart like Barkley. I don't really have a lot to say about him because everyone has seen him dominate. There is not a person, who kid isn't in this Draft, that think anyone else should be the first pick.
When he gets put in or taken out the game changes. He is such a freak physically. He can stop on a dime and explode off the floor and block the shot of the taller guy. Elite smooth scorer going to left. Elite power scorer going to his left. Not so much going to his right. Though he can dunk going to his right. Better righty handle than you'd think for a power player his size. Good 3-point shooter, and should get better as he gets older.
He is said to have an 11-6 Max Vert Reach.
He can make the great pass. He is no an exceptional passer. But he
can make the right pass at the right time. He just has to show he
can do it more consistently. He garnered 14 double-doubles last
Left hand dominate on defense, which is a great weapon. Elite attack the right hand on defense with his strong left hand. When guy go up to their right (which is most of the time) into his left, he can know them off their feet hitting the ball with is strong left hand.
He can drive to the hop with a one dribble with his right, and explode off the floor for a Barkley dunk. He is a lefty Charles Barkley. I don’t know if he has his mean yet, but he has his size and amazing vertical leap that made Barkley great. He is the only guy you can compare him too. When he gets aggressive he is unstoppable going to the hole. When he gets a lane he is the Round Mound of Rebound going to the hole.
He can go end to end with a righty dribble through contact, but will still drag it back to his left to shot at full speed. He can shoot the righty lay up. Like Barkley, he is not just an overwhelming physical talent whose size to Vert ratio is unmatched to the mortal realm. He also has some touch and finesse going to the hole as well. He is also willing to drop it off to teammate, much more so that Barkley.
He is monstrous on the boards. When he sees it he is unstoppable on the offensive boards. He can explode to the right with his dribble and soar up over a defender and slap it righty. That is very impressive for a lefty. He can be at his best when he goes right and shoots left. Lefties tend to be even worse with their left hand than righties, and that is not the case. He has no trouble grabbing a rebound and taking off down court with a righty dribble. That is just a phenomenal trait.
He is strong as an ox. He cannot be stopped physically. He over powers everyone he faces. He is not a center. But he is so physically strong that he can play center and not be overwhelmed by much taller guys. He is also very young. He is a physical freak, but he will struggle early against bigger and smarter grown men that he never faced in college. But when he adjusts, watch out. The Pelican are now in full rebuild mode.
We have not seen a guy with his size, strength, bulk and explosion off the floor since Charles Barkley. “Zion's incredibly unique. Not just as a player but as a young man. He's still only 18 years old. And as good of an athlete. He's a top percentile athlete in the world, not just in the game of basketball," Krzyzewski said. "He's that level of young man. He gets it. I enjoyed every day with that kid. And he's improved, he's going to be a star in the league. Everyone talks about his jumping and his dunking, but he's very smart and his lateral quickness is phenomenal. Not good, phenomenal. And his ball handling, it's hard to think of him small, but when he was smaller he was a point guard. So he has an incredible skill set and talent set that'll set him apart.” At 280-pounds or so he is the biggest physical freak to enter the Draft since Barkley.
(2018-19): Consensus National Player of the Year and consensus first-team All-America selection.
Just the 21st player nationally since 1982 to sweep the six major National Player of the Year awards, and just the fourth Duke player – Christian Laettner (1992), Jason Williams (2002) and J.J. Redick (2006). Williamson and Texas’ Kevin Durant (2007) are the only freshmen to have been the consensus National Player of the Year. Joined teammate RJ Barrett as a consensus first-team All-American, marking the first time in NCAA history a pair of freshman teammates accomplished the feat. Williamson and Barrett also became the first freshman teammates in NCAA history to each average 20.0+ points in a season, finishing as the ACC co-leaders at 22.6 points per game, Named ACC Player of the Year and ACC Tournament MVP, becoming the first freshman in ACC history to achieve both in the same season and the 11th Blue Devil. Named to the ACC All-Defensive Team and was a national finalist for the Naismith Defensive Player of the Year. Claimed the Karl Malone Award as the nation’s best power forward and the Wayman Tisdale Award as the nation’s best freshman. Earned six ACC weekly honors during the season. Finished among the ACC’s top five in seven major statistical categories, including co-leading the ACC in points (22.6 – 15th NCAA) and leading the conference in field goal percentage (.680 – 2nd NCAA) and offensive rebounds (3.5 – 9th NCAA). Was second in the ACC in steals (2.12 – 26th NCAA), third in rebounds (8.9 – 44th NCAA), third in double-doubles (14 – 27th NCAA) and fifth in blocked shots (1.8 – 62nd NCAA).
Finished as the only player in the NCAA to average 20.0+ points, 8.0+ rebounds and 2.0+ steals. Finished as the only player in the NCAA to average 20.0+ points and shoot .600+ from the field. He and Barrett were the nation’s highest scoring duo, combining for 45.2 points per game. Became just the third Blue Devil in history to record 50+ blocks and 50+ steals in a single season, joining Shane Battier, who accomplished it three times, and Shelden Williams. Averaged 26.4 points over Duke’s seven postseason games, setting a team record for postseason scoring average, and becoming the first Blue Devil in history to score 20+ in each of a player's first seven career postseason games. Totaled 57 points over his first two NCAA Tournament games, joining Kevin Durant as the highest-scoring freshmen on the NCAA Tournament’s opening weekend. Averaged 27.0 points and 10.0 rebounds in the ACC Tournament, leading Duke to the program’s record 21st title. Broke the ACC Tournament scoring record for a freshman with 81 points, surpassing the 78 by North Carolina’s Phil Ford in 1975. In Duke’s ACC Tournament quarterfinal win over Syracuse, Williamson was 13-of-13 from the field with 29 points, 14 rebounds and five assists – setting both the Duke and ACC Tournament, and tying the overall ACC record, for field goal accuracy. His .680 field goal percentage for the season ranked second in the NCAA, broke both the Duke and ACC freshman record, and was the second-highest in a season in league history (.697 by North Carolina’s Brandon Haywood in 2000). His 35 points against Syracuse on January 14 set Duke’s single-game freshman scoring record. Set the Duke freshman record for most 25-point games (16), while his 23 20-point games were second-most by a freshman in ACC history (RJ Barrett holds that record with 26).
The Reason: The Pelicans are now in total rebuild mode. They have garnered a group of young players and the 4th pick to add to Zion. They will likely be in the top five again next year with a far too young team to even think about winning.
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2. Memphis- Ja Morant PG- Murray ST, 6-3, 175,
10 APG! 24.5 PPG, 5.7 RPG, 36.3% 3-P, 1.8 SPG,
The Team: This pick is going to help the Celtics, who own the Memphis pick next year. They are set to draft Morant, which means they are going to trade Mike Conley. So they will be a lot worse next year, and they have the 2nd pick in the Draft this year. He was their best player last year.
This pick is a sign that Conley has successfully shot his way out of town. That means as bad as they were last season they will be worse this season. Go Celts!
The Player: Love this kid. He reminds me of Portland PG Damian Lillard. He range extends well beyond the NBA 3-point line. Remarkable shooter. When he is on the floor spacing will naturally get better, as you have to defend him past the 3-point line. He is a great passer, but gets loose too much and averaged 5.2 TOs a game. That has to change.
Nice hang time. He is a long jumper who can float and shoot the ball five or six feet from where he took off from. That is one of the most valuable NBA traits you can have. He can throw the alley-oop from behind the 3-point line. Great vision. He can break past his man at the 3-point line, and throw the alley-oop on the move just inside the line.
Morant is frightfully thin. He needs to get up to 200-pounds to take the beating. At 6-3 it shouldn't be that hard. Age will naturally take care of most of it. He is sophomore and not a freshman, so his transition should be a little easier than most of the one and done prospects. He is a remarkable passer who finished last season 331 assists!
That is a HOF number. "Averaged 24.5 points and 10.0 assists/game making him the first player to average 20/10 in a season since the NCAA began to officially recognize assists in 1983-84. His 10.0 assists/game was 2.3 assists/game more than second place. Ranked eighth nationally in scoring (24.5 points/game), ninth in double-doubles (20) and 82nd in steals (1.76/game)." It was 6th all time in NCAA history.
Knows how to draw contact and then hit the shot. He never seems in a rush. Elite eyes and awareness on the court. He can draw the foul by out slowing the defender and almost forcing him to do something stupid. He was the best player on the court against Auburn, who played in the Final Two. He is already an NBA 3-point shooter.
He is a terrific twitchy athlete. Guys just can't stay with his quickness and handle. Great hang time. He shows terrific creativity in the passing game. He gives his teammates freebies. Needs to pass off the pick more. Like to shoot it not pass it off the pick. Shoots to far past the 3-point line too often which lowered his percentage close to 1/3. Smarter should will increase the percentage.
Easy NBA shooting range. "Had had 15 games this season with 20-plus points and 10-plus assists; no other player nationally has three such games. His 18 assists in a game against UT Martin are the most by a Division I player this year and the second-most in OVC single-game history. His 20 double-doubles were four off the nation's lead and he is the only player in the top 25 nationally in double-doubles under 6'6" tall." He can shoot well beyond the NBA 3-point line.
He can shot it off the dribble, on the move and catch and shoot. However, he is mostly an off the dribble shooter. "In January Morant became the first Division I player in 20 years to record 40 points, 11 assists and five steals in a regulation game (doing so vs. SIUE). In that contest he hit 21-of-21 free throws, establishing a new OVC single-game record (just three off the NCAA mark); he was the first Division I player with 21 or more made free throws in a game without a miss in the past 20 years." Great at using picks to set up his shot, but not so much passing it.
He is a great passer inside to his Bigs. He is a great passer off the dribble. When he wants to he can get the ball inside to his Bigs for easy baskets. He has that ability to make his teammates better by getting them easy shots. He will get too fancy sometimes and get in trouble when multiple defenders collapse on him, and can then flick it to a teammate for a wide open shot.
He is tall, athletic, and has a great Vert for a PG. Easy high-flying dunker. He can go back door catch and draw the foul. Elite knack for drawing fouls. Tough kid. He has that knack for drawing fouls. He is an underrated high-flier. He can really get up high and make player at the peak or while dropping down. You have to consider if he translates from small school wunderkind to NBA force. I think he does, because he rally as a great vert and play in the air and consistently make the right play.
Terrific lefty dribbler. Tricky getting into the paint and drawing the big to give a freebie to his big. He loves to attack the hoop with the lefty dribble. He can attack forcefully with his left hand very impressively. Great job attacking the left side of the hoop and than flicking up a little wild half hook with his left after getting fouled and sneaking it in the basket. He is a very skilled player with both hands. Amazing shooting lefty lay-ups from all over.
2018-19 Season: Turned in one of the top single seasons in Murray State and OVC history. Won multiple All-America Honors (Updated as of March 27). Eight All-America honors including first team recognition by National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC), Bleacher Report, Sports Illustrated and the USBWA. Named to second-team honors by NBC Sports, Sporting News, Stadium and USA TODAY Sports.
(Updated March 27) Was named to the list of four finalists for the Oscar Robertson Trophy and the Naismith Trophy, and one of 15 finalists for the Wooden Award; each award is given to the National Player of the Year. He is also one of five finalists for the Bob Cousy Award, given to the nation's top point guard.Named OVC Player of the Year. His selection gave the Racers have back-to-back winners after Jonathan Stark won it in 2018. This marks the first time the Racers had back-to-back winners that didn't involve the same player. Morant is the 15th Murray State player to be named OVC Player of the Year for a total of 20 awards. Finished the season with 331 assists, the sixth-most in NCAA single-season history.
Averaged 24.5 points and 10.0 assists/game making him the first player to average 20/10 in a season since the NCAA began to officially recognize assists in 1983-84. His 10.0 assists/game was 2.3 assists/game more than second place. Ranked eighth nationally in scoring (24.5 points/game), ninth in double-doubles (20) and 82nd in steals (1.76/game). Recorded three triple-doubles (including only the ninth in NCAA Tournament history), which led the country (he was one of only two people with multiple triple-doubles in 2018-19).
Had had 15 games this season with 20-plus points and 10-plus assists; no other player nationally has three such games. His 18 assists in a game against UT Martin are the most by a Division I player this year and the second-most in OVC single-game history. His 20 double-doubles were four off the nation's lead and he is the only player in the top 25 nationally in double-doubles under 6'6" tall.
In January Morant became the first Division I player in 20 years to record 40 points, 11 assists and five steals in a regulation game (doing so vs. SIUE). In that contest he hit 21-of-21 free throws, establishing a new OVC single-game record (just three off the NCAA mark); he was the first Division I player with 21 or more made free throws in a game without a miss in the past 20 years.
He was named MVP of the OVC Tournament after averaging 32.5 points, 6.5 rebounds and 5.5 assists/game while hitting 55.4 percent from the field and 79.2 percent from the free throw line.
Had 29 points, eight assists and six rebounds in a semifinal win over Jacksonville State, including converting a traditional three-point play in the final 10 seconds to give him team the win.
Scored 36 points, grabbed seven rebounds and had three assists in a title game win over Belmont.
Scored 17 points, 16 assists and 11 assists in the First Round NCAA Tournament win over Marquette, marked just the ninth triple-double in NCAA Tournament history (since assists became an official stat in 1983-84). The 16 assists tied a first round NCAA record and were the second-most ever in a NCAA Tournament game. Helped Murray State to a 28-5 overall and 16-2 OVC record, a share of the OVC regular season championship and the program's second-straight and record 17th OVC Tournament Championship.
The Reason: They are in complete rebuild mode, and the Celtics are grateful. They have Conley on the trading block and have no choose but to try and get a placement here with a too young talent who has All-star potential.
3. Knicks- RJ Barrett- Wing, 6-7, 203, 30.9% 3-P! 59.2% 2-P! FT% 66.5%
4.3 APG, 22.6 PPG, 7.6 RPG, 1.1 SPG,
The Team: The Knicks are sitting here in third with the consensus third best player in the Draft waiting for them. If they don't agree? This pick could be easily trade for a small King's ransom. This is considered a three player Draft. This pick is worth a ton of cake. If they want to get Kyrie this pick could be in the deal.
The good news is that he is a local kid. "I like Madison Square Garden," Barrett said. "I got to play there. But my family is from Brooklyn. So I guess that's my favorite part (of NY)." He a great player at Duke and had to fill multiple roles during the season.
The Kicks don't really have a choice as this is a three player draft, but Barrett actually wants to play for them. "No, I do not. I won't be meeting with any other teams. So it's this and then the draft," Barrett said. "This is the place I want to be. So I hope they draft me." A match made in heaven.
Nice poise in the paint. He can turn an up fake into an easy layup. Needs to be more assertive. He reminds me of Tatum, but RJ is a better passer. This is an easy pick for the Knicks. Even they can't screw this up.
The Player: He is not just a pure lefty scorer. He is a terrific passer who loves the no look pass. If a defender is smart enough to take away his left he can look bad real fast. He can pass to his big for the alley-oop on the break. Nice Vert to absorb the hit and still hit the shoot. He has star potential, and is a better passer and assist man than Zion.
Nice floater in the lane. He is a very good rebounder. Great fighter on the Boards. Excellent lefty dunker on the break. Nice passer on the break to set up the alley-oop for his teammate. He can more than two dribble with his right on the break, but will still pull it back to his left to shoot. Great speed heading down the floor with either hand.
He can take the hit and still hit the layup. He pushes his jumper a little, and it can be a little slow sometimes. You can see he worked very hard on his righty dribbling, but is still very lefty dominate. But he showed he could go to the hole with either hand and shoot in a variety of ways. That is very impressive for a 19 year old kid. Love his footwork on his jumper when he is in control. He has a great little backwards arc on his jumper that really helps. But he still looses control of his game sometimes like a kid.
He is an immature scorer who will still take some terrible shots and get himself in trouble sometime. Very underrated handle, and can play the point a little. He could develop into the ball dominate Point Forward who can bring the ball up and set up the offense. He has a great no look pass inside when he brings the ball up. He can see the floor like a PG, when he is playing smart, calm, and mature. Which should be a sign of things to come.
When the Duke PG got injured. He steeped into the Point Forward role of setting up his teammates. He is the best passing wing in this Draft. That is kind of Wing that NBA exec crave in today's game. He still gets out of control sometimes, but as he matures physically and mentally his ability to pass to his teammates will separate him from most players in this Draft.
He is a Wing who can also play set it up a little. "I love being a wing because I feel like they can play the point guard position a little," Barrett said. "But then they can also get down there, down low with the Bigs. I feel like that's the perfect position to be. And I'm really excited to see how my game translates." I love how he snaps off no look passes underneath the basket.
He seemed to go toe to toe with Zion, and was named the NCAA Player of the year last year. He averaged 22 PPG last season even though he had to play the Point do to injury for a few games. He is unstoppable when he gets to his left hand. He has a great high lob pass off the righty dribble. He has so many traits that you need to be a star in the NBA.
He is so smooth and unstoppable on the Break. He is such an easy natural ball handler. He never fights the ball. Plays with his eyes up and is always looking for a place to pass it. He is so good on the second pass on the break. He has that knack for when to slip it and when to lob it a little. He knows when and where to hit his teammate for a shot. That is as special a talent as you can have.
He is a Wing who can run the team. That seems to be the most desired type of player now a days. Great job grabbing the rebound and immediately attacking down court. Terrific pick and roll passer. His height gives a great look over the defense. He has college 3-point range, but I don't know about NBA.
He has an underrated handle. He can go behind his back with his right hand. He is a lefty. Nice high lob pass to his Big underneath. He has great eyes when he is running the point. Sneaky drive to the basket. Defender have to watch for the pass.
Barrett has a legit chance to be a Paul George type dominate Wing player who can do it all. “R.J. will flourish here in New York. He wants to be here. He is so mature. He just turned 19 last Friday, but he's been a part of the Canadian basketball program since [he was] a little guy, always played up," Krzyzewski said. "And what says a lot about him is his relationship with Zion. You know, the two of them could (have been) very jealous of one another, envious. (But) they became brothers. Literally. They love one another. And this kid is a multi-dimensional player. He would start right away. He has the potential to be a double-double guy. He's a great defensive rebounder, and if he gets the defensive rebound he can push, and he can play one through four. Because he can pass too. As he grows, there'll be times in this kid's career where the triple-double will happen more than once. He's a star. There's no question. Beautiful, beautiful kid.” He will be an NBA Point-Forward.
2018-19 Duke: Named the USA Today National Player of the Year. Consensus first-team All-America selection. Earned the Jerry West Award as the nation’s best shooting guard. Joined teammate Zion Williamson as a consensus first-team All-American, marking the first time in NCAA history a pair of freshman teammates accomplished the feat. Barrett and Williamson also became the first freshman teammates in NCAA history to each average 20.0+ points in a season, finishing as the ACC co-leaders at 22.6 points per game.Earned mention as a first-team All-ACC selection, an ACC All-Freshman honoree and on the ACC All-Tournament Team.
Honored five times with ACC weekly awards. Named to the Maui Invitational All-Tournament Team and the NCAA All-East Region Team. Scored 860 points, the second most in a season at Duke by any player and trailing only the 964 points by J.J. Redick as a senior in 2006. His point total set both the Duke and ACC freshman records, and were the most scored by any ACC player since NC State’s TJ Warren scored 871 in 2013-14. The first ACC freshman to score 800 points and just the third to surpass 700. Finished as the only major conference player in 2018-19 to score 13+ points in every game of the season.
Set the ACC freshman record for most consecutive double-figure scoring games (38). Scored 402 points in games at Cameron Indoor Stadium, breaking the venue’s season scoring record previously held by J.J. Redick (390 points in 2006). Was the only Blue Devil to start all 38 games and set the Duke freshman record for minutes (1,341). Set the ACC freshman record for most 20-point games (26) and was one shy of tying Marvin Bagley III’s ACC freshman record of seven 30-point games.
Posted just the fourth triple-double in Duke history with 21 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists in the win over NC State (2/16). It was the first triple-double at Duke since Shelden Williams versus Maryland in 2006. Flirted with two other triple-doubles, had 23-16-9 versus Syracuse (1/14) and 19-10-7 versus Miami (3/2). Scored 33 points in Duke’s win over Kentucky in the Champions Classic. The most by a Duke freshman in a debut game. Also scored 33 points against North Carolina (2/20). The most by a Duke freshman against the Tar Heels.
Averaged 24.0 points in nine games against AP top 10 opponents. No player in college basketball averaged more against top 10 teams. Recorded back-to-back 30-point games against North Carolina (2/20) and Syracuse (2/23), becoming just the second Duke freshman to accomplish it (Marvin Bagley III last season).
Reason: I don't know. "Fizdale is a great coach,"
Barrett said. "They have a great crew there. I know Kevin Knox and Allonzo
Trier. But just to see the team that they have. We'll see what happens."
He seems to want to go to the Knicks.
4. Celtics- Darius Garland- 6-2, 175, 6-5 WS, PG, Vanderbilt, Fr, 45.5 FG%
38.2 3-P%! 64.8 FT%,3.7 APG, 18.5, PPG, 6.4 RPG, 1.5 SPG,
The Team: There is a remarkable consensus on the top three picks. So the Mocking really starts here. There are a lot of choices for the Pelicans here. But the Celtics are stepping in to trade up for a Point Guard here. Their is a lot of smoke on this pick. The Pelicans want out, and a few teams want in. It looks like the Celtics can put together the best package. So why not have some fun
The Celtics are rumored to be interested in trading up to Pick 4 to draft Garland. "Darius Garland will conduct a last-minute workout in Tarrytown with the New York Knicks tomorrow, a source told ESPN. Garland is in serious consideration for the No. 3 pick," Givony Twitted. " Minnesota, Boston, Chicago are teams looking at potentially trading up to No. 4 with Garland in mind." He is the hottest player in the Draft right now.
But there is trouble in paradise, because he comes with a injury and size issue (175-pounds is not an NBA build). "Garland has the potential to be the best point guard in the draft," Westerholm wrote. "Even though he projects to be the second one taken behind Ja Morant. Garland lost most of his freshman season at Vanderbilt to a torn meniscus." But he is maybe the best 3-point shooter in the Draft.
There is a lot of smoke on this story of three 1st for pick Four. "The Celtics are a late addition to the trade-up-for-Garland rumor mill, and it makes some sense with Kyrie Irving expected to leave as a free agent, and Terry Rozier hitting restricted free agency," Rosenblatt wrote. It would take quite a bit to jump from No. 14 to No. 4, especially with other teams (Bulls and Timberwolves, per ESPN’s Jonathon Givony) interested. The Celtics have assets to trade, especially that 2020 Grizzlies pick. Brown’s stock fell off this past season. It might be quick to cut bait for Boston, if they view Garland as a potential All-Star, it’s worth considering. The Celtics still have two other first-round picks, too." The Pelicans clearly want out of pick Four, as they need more than two young player in this crash and burn rebuild.
Ainge does not want to add three rookies to this team. But Garland has some risk. He is only played five game last season do to Meniscus surgery. But he is a legit NBA shooter from the PG position. He can set it up and make the pass as well. He still has more of a teenagers game than an NBA veteran's game. But he will mature and grow into an NBA PG.
There are a lot of suitors for Garland. He is the hottest prospect in the Draft right now. "Based on talent alone, he's a top-five prospect and potential franchise point guard," Cavs' GM Koby Altman said. "Who is built for the modern NBA thanks to his ability to shoot off the dribble from distance. Garland is highly regarded for his approach to the game and intangibles." So the Pelicans will be trading this pick. Garland is a pure Point who can run the offense. He has great Tape, and looks like a star to me. That's why the Celtics want to trade up to get him.
The Player: Darius Garland: Ainge Believes!
5. Cavs- Jarrett Culver- 6-7.75", 195, 6-9.5" WS, SG, Texas Tech, Soph,
18.5 PPG, 7.4 RPG, 3.7 APG, 54.9% 2-P, 37.8 3-P, 1.7 Steals, 1.1 Blocks,
The Team: The Cavs were the worst team in the League. They need everything. Especially a leader. I think this pick comes down to Hunter or Culver. Culver is a better 3-point shooter, but Hunter is a far superior defender and a Champion. They gave to get some offensive help for this team first. They have no offensive identify, and I think Culver is better suited to start that identity.
The Player: Culver looked like an NBA Wing his Soph year at Texas Tech. Than he showed up at the Combine 6-6.75 in shoes. With a 6-9.5 Wingspan. Both were excellent numbers for him. He showed he could handle the ball a little and garnered 3.6 assists per game, which is another great number for him. He also was the leading scorer (18.5 PPG) for a team that went a lot further in the Tournament than expected.
He is a good shooter from the college arc. He is not always as aggressive as you want on offense. He has to get more aggressive on offense to be a star in the NBA. He often plays the middle of the offense at the top of the key like the PG. He runs the offense a little more than most Wings. He seems to look to pass first, and then look for his shot. He will bring the ball up as well. He really was the Texas Tech PG.
He is a fierce competitor. “People don’t really realize that my mentality,” Culver said. “I watched Michael Jordan and Kobe a lot. Just try to get that mentality from them and seeing how they take over games and how competitive they are.” He is a calm cool shooter from Three.
When he decides to shoot he can hit it. He has a great high release on his jumper and falls back just a little as he shoots. He has a terrific pull up jumper off the break. He has a smooth natural feel for the game that I like. He never seems to be rushed or out of control. Terrific 3-point shooter. He can spread the floor.
The mechanics of his jumper is a little odd, but he knocks ‘em down. He can hit the Three through contact and over hands. Great fall-away jumper. Love his high release. Near impossible to block. He will get drafted in the top ten because of his 3-point shot, and he doesn’t need the ball in his hands a lot to impact the offense.
Not a great plus passer who put his guys in better position. “They have a lot of great players,” Culver said . “D-Book [Devin Booker]. Great young guys over there in Phoenix. I know if I was there, I could fit in with the young guys and being able to play and make an impact on the game.” More of a swing the ball passer.
Terrific first step to the right. He makes thing happen when he attack the hoop, but doesn’t do it enough. If he can get more consistent and aggressive attacking off the dribble he could he a great NBA Wing. Terrific attacking the hoop off the pass. I like when he gets aggressive to the hoop. He can pass to the cutter off the dribble. Plays with his head up.
Terrific defender. Great feet and hands moving laterally with the driver. Very smart and aware on defense. Nice instinct on defense. He has a way of moving off his man to get in the way of the driver. He has good length and strength to cover the Big when he has to switch on the pick. He can get under the big and push him out of his position. Then move back quick to make him fumble the pass and knock it out of bounds. Very smart defender in the Post.
They really use him all over the court. High on the 1-2-2, and low in Man. He will play the middle passer like a PG, and post up with his nasty fall-away. He has some versatility on offense. I’d like to see him drive more. Not afraid to fight inside against Bigs and draw fouls. Not afraid to stay outside the arc and pass or shot the 3. Very tough inside defender in the post. Great perimeter defender protecting the arc.
SOPHOMORE SEASON (2018-19): Culver was named the Big 12 Conference Player of the Year and a Consensus All-America in a sophomore season where he led the Red Raiders with 18.5 points, 6.4 rebounds and 3.7 assists per game… He scored a career-high with 31 points in the regular-season finale at Iowa State to help lead Tech to the program’s first Big 12 Conference regular-season championship where he was 12-for-19 from the field with four 3-pointers… Culver scored in double figures in 37 of 38 games, went for 20 or more in 13 games and also had 30 points in a win over Abilene Christian… He led the Red Raiders with five double-doubles and had a career-high 16 rebounds in a home win over Iowa State… His double-doubles included Oklahoma (23/13), ISU (20/16), Oklahoma State (19/10), West Virginia (26/10) and in the second round of the NCAA tournament against Buffalo where he went for 16 points and 10 rebounds… Culver finished his second season with the Red Raiders shooting 46.1 percent from the field and made 49 3-pointers…
He scored his 30 points against ACU by going 12-for-13 from the field with two 3-pointers and followed it by scoring 25 points with six rebounds in the New York showcase against Duke in Madison Square Garden… Against the Blue Devils, Culver shined by drilling four 3-pointers and also had four assists and two steals… In conference play, Culver averaged 17.6 points and 6.8 rebounds per game where he shot 44.6 percent from the field and led the team with 68 made free throws… He went off for 26 points in the home win over Kansas and had the double-double against WVU in the conference tournament with his 26 points and 10 rebounds… He had a career-high seven assists in wins over Northern Kentucky and TCU and would finish the season with 23 games with four or more assists… He led Tech with five assists in the national championship game where he also had 15 points and nine rebounds against Virginia… Defensively, Culver had 57 steals for the season including five in games against Kansas State, TCU and West Virginia… During the NCAA tournament, he averaged 18.5 points, 6.8 rebounds and led the Red Raiders with 25 assists in the six games… Following his sophomore season, Culver now has scored 1,119 points and has 327 rebounds, 209 assists, 98 steals and 48 blocked shots through 75 games played… He is the first Red Raider in program history to surpass the 1,000-point milestone as a freshman-sophomore and is currently 27th on the all-time scoring
6. Suns- DeAndre Hunter- 6-7, 225, SF/PF, Virginia, Soph, 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: They really want a PG, or to trade this pick for a veteran. “There’s a very good group of young guys who are really good basketball players,” Suns GM James Jones said. “I think that gets lost. All these guys are really good basketball players. And at the end of the day, if you can add a very good basketball player to your team, it makes your team better.” Culver is a very good basketball player.
He could play as a rookie, because he can play some defense. “We were one of the best defensive teams in college,” Culver said. “I feel like I take pride in defense and it’s something I want to do.” Hunter is the best defender in the Draft.
They are looking for more Three and D players. “I think every team is looking for a guy that can switch and defend multiple positions and if you just focus on that then you have a team full of defenders without guys that can play offense,” Suns GM Jones said. “So for us, it’s more important that we find guys that embrace the defensive end but show the capability of expanding their offensive game.” He can be a NBA 3-point shooter very soon.
The Player: Not a big part of Virginia offense sometimes. More of a backside guy. He floats on backside to create space for teammates and sets picks a lot. But then ends up as the leading scorer most of the time. Easy dribbler. Knows how to find space to pass into. When they got in trouble his teammates looked to him a lot. He can drive into the paint and dish to his big underneath for the freebie.
He is a shutdown defender. Nice clutch rebounder late in games. Not ball dominate scorer, but he is a good scorer. He plays the inside guy on free throws. Great instincts and hustle on defense. He finds a way to get his hand on the ball on defense. Nice job fighting for position on rebounds. He can cut off two players to stop the fast break by himself. Plays great positional defense. Uses his long arms well to steal the ball.
He can look real bad real quick on offense when he pushes it. Not a smooth shooter. Trick or treat 3-point shooter. Good wing who is a drive and inside scorer. He can dunk with his left. Moves inside to shoot lefty. Likes to shoot outside with his right and inside with his left. Doesn’t have a smooth flow on offense. Looks like his role is a 3 and D Wing, but he is not a 3 and D Wing right now at all. He is a terrific inside scorer and player. He looks like a Wing but play inside like a PF a lot.
Elite man defender. He uses his feet and long arms to torture shooters. The ball seems to find him a lot on the defensive end. Great long arms on defense, and he knows how to use them. Plays a lot of minutes and floats sometimes. Great twitch to cut off drivers. Very sudden off his man to cut off drivers who broke down his teammate. Like to see more of that twitch, awareness, and suddenness on offense.
Great backside picker, and can then power his man back on the box out for the offensive rebound. He has some twitch on offense. Plays inside on the blocks a lot. He has to expand his offensive game out more. Good job setting picks. Good Post player. Nice fall away from the low block. Works a lot off the ball setting picks. He can initiate the fast break and pass to his teammate for the layup.
He has great ups to block the shot of the aggressive driver. He can defend the wing at the arc, and block the 3-point attempt. Great man defender. Great boxing out bigger guys and keeping great position on the boards. The more I watch the more I like him. Great off the ball helping his teammates with picks and getting in the way of defenders, and always seems to present a target when his teammates get in trouble. I love this kid.
Likes to go to his right on the pull up jumper. He will bring the ball up sometimes to relieve pressure. Smartest guy on the Champs. The offense was not as smooth when he was on the bench. He does a lot of off the ball things to help the offense. When they rested him last in the 2nd half, Auburn made a comeback to g et back up to within three. And despite my criticisms of his personal offensive skills, the offensive really suffered with out him on the floor helping his teammates off the ball, and really being their only inside scorer.
He posts up twice as much as he gets the ball beyond the arc. Elite smooth and smart athlete on defense, but not so much on offense yet. Gets great weakside position on defense. Seems to use position to hide on offense sometimes. Ultra-smart, confident and aggressive on defense. Herky-jerky and unsure on offense sometimes. He has to find his offensive flow, like he did on defense, to be a star in the NBA.
2018-19: Started 38 games. Julius Erving Small Forward Award Finalist. Consensus Third-Team All-American. USBWA All-America Third Team. Sporting News All-America Third Team. Wooden Award All-American. NABC National Defensive Player of the Year. ACC Defensive Player of the Year. All-ACC First Team. All-ACC Defensive Team. Battle 4 Atlantis Tournament MVP. Shot 52 percent from the field, 43.8 percent from 3-point.ange and 78.3 percent free throws. Ranked second in the ACC in field goal percentage (53.2%) and ninth in scoring (15.6). Scored in double-figures in 34 games, including 10 20-point efforts. Registered two double-doubles this season, including a 20-point and 10 rebound effort vs. Notre Dame.
Averaged 19.3 points and 7.7 rebounds en route to ACC Player of the Week for week 3 and Battle 4 Atlantis MVP honors. Tallied a game-high 20 points, including 4-4 3FGs vs. Coppin State (11/16/18). Game-high 15 points, eight rebounds and career-high nine assists vs. Middle Tennessee (11/21/18). Scored 23 points vs. Dayton (11/22/18). Scored 20 points at North Carolina (2/11/19). Scored 21 points and set career highs in 3-pointers (5) and blocked shots (3) at Syracuse (3/4/19). Notched a game-high 23 points to lead UVA to the win over Gardner-Webb in NCAA first round (3/22/19). Hit the game-winning layup to give UVA the final lead in the overtime win over Purdue in the NCAA Elite Eight (3/30/19). Scored 14 points with five rebounds and two blocks in the Final Four win over Auburn (4/6/19). Sank a 3-pointer to send the NCAA Championship into overtime, finishing with a game-high 27 points with nine rebounds in the win over Texas Tech (4/8/19).
The Reason: The GM said they want a defensive player first. Hunter is the best defender in this Draft. If he is on the Board, he is everything Jones described as their ideal pick. This is too perfect to happen.
7. Bulls- Coby White- PG, 6-4.75", 191, UNC, FR, WS 6-5,
16.1 PPG, 3.5 RPG, 4.1 APG, 51.6 FG%, 35.3 3-P%, 1.1 Steals,
Team: They need a PG. “We’re going to add another good player in this draft,” Paxson said after the draft lottery. “We’re going to spend some money in free agency where we add some vets who help our team.”
White is the best available.
He is worthy of a top ten pick. “We feel we have two very good pieces that we got in the last two drafts at No. 7,” Paxson said. “We’re just going to try to keep building this thing. We’ve gone on our board already. And there are more than seven (players) there that we like. Now we have to get in the process of getting to see them and know them and really dissect them. We’ll get to work now.” I just don't see Paxton, a former PG, passing on White.
The Player: Terrific leader and team player. “I just loved every minute of coaching Coby,” UNC HC Roy Williams said. “He committed to us prior to his junior year, so even though he played one season as a Tar Heel, we’ve known his family for a long time. It’s been an honor to have gotten to know them. His father (who passed away prior to White’s senior year in high school) told me he wanted his son to play for me, which is one of the neatest compliments I’ve ever been given. Coby not only played for our team and for himself, he played to make his father proud, and he certainly has accomplished that.” Everyone seems to like him.
Nice step back 3-point shooter. "He is one of the most exciting young players in the game," Williams said. "I am going to enjoy watching him play at the next level.” He likes to use the step back jumper when ever he can.
He is a terrific PG. He can be pure flash and dash when he gets aggressive with his game. But he is a reserved dude who wants to set things up first. He is listed at 6-5, but he doesn’t look like it on the court. He is a terrific catch and shooter from Three. Smooth balanced shooter. When he gets keeps his feet under him he can really shoot the Three.
Great dribble through traffic. He has great balance and body control attacking the hoop past multiple defenders. Great up and under move past the Big in the air. Excellent size for a PG. He can run the offense. Easy lefty dribble. He can use the pick with the lefty dribble, and then jump up beyond the NBA arc to nail the Three moving to his left.
Great flashing to the hoop for the lay up. Bouncy point guard. Rushes his jumper sometimes. Super quick. He has that twitch and suddenness you need at PG. Never seems rushed. Always seems in control. Plays with his eyes up reading all the time. Nice job floating down for the corner Three. Good first step. Always seems smooth an in control.
Not super fast. More of a controlled runner, player, and driver. Good man defender. He can cut off the PG through the pick. Doesn't like to switch. Like to shut his man down. Gets into the Paint to help rebound. Good vision to spot the bad pass and go and get it. He is a tricky defender, who can steal the ball without guys noticing.
Not elite attacking down court on the fast break. More of a set it up PG. He will grab the rebound sometimes and attack down court. Nice speed to win the race down court. He can bring the ball up over his head and attack the hoop, and swing under two defenders on the break. Very tricky in the open court. They really had to reign him in at UNC.
Nice quick release on Three point shot. He can catch it from all around the college Arc and shot it quick. He shot technicals for UNC. Fights through picks well Dives to the floor for ball. Terrific competitor. When his feet are set and he goes straight up and arc back a little in balance he is a great 3-point shooter. He'll show it from NBA range sometimes.
He can stay with his man down the lane and into the paint, and then block the shot when he goes up. He does a great job playing and staying low so he looks shorter. But when he leaps up on defense he looks 6-5 and can make a play on the ball. He can take off for the sneaking fastbreak. Like the up and over move one on one in the Paint on the Break.
Easy an natural lefty dribble. He shots it righty every time though. I haven't seen him shot a lefty layup. He can take the hit from both sides and still finish the and one.
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