Photo: The Telegraph
By: Patrick Whalen
The Celtics enter tonight’s draft with 4 total draft picks, 3 which were inside the top 22 picks. Everyone expected Danny Ainge to make a trade with at least 2 of the picks for a star but he did not so instead he went to work on stealing high end talent again.
The Celtics draft night started at the 14th pick when they took Romeo Langford out of Indiana. Langford, a 6’6″ guard, averaged 16.5 points and 5.4 rebounds per game in his one year at Indiana despite playing his last 26 games with a torn thumb ligament. Langford was one of the most highly touted prospects in last years recruiting class as he was ranked 5th in ESPN Top 100. Langford is a dynamic scorer that is great at getting to the rim and the foul line. He does need to improve his three-point shooting consistency but that should come with his thumb being at full strength. Also, he needs to improve his free throw percentage as he only shot 72.2% but that improvement will come with time. I can see Langford developing into a Bradley Beal type of player if he can get his shooting stroke consistent. Langford will most likely be coming off the bench in his first year providing an offensive spark for the Celtics much like Terry Rozier’s role for the last few years.
Trader Danny then went to work sending the 20th pick to the Sixers for picks 24 and 33. Then with the 22nd pick, the Celtics took Grant Williams out of Tennessee. A 6’7″ forward played three years at Tennessee and upped his scoring and rebounding each year. In his last year, he averaged 18.8 points and 7.5 rebounds per game. He also finished with a career-high field goal percentage in his last year with 56.4%. The back to back SEC player of the year is a big physical player at 236 lbs and ironically enough I see a lot of Al Horford in him with his passing ability. His jump shot will need to improve but his physical down low presence is just what the Celtics need coming off the bench. For his role with the Celtics, I see a lot of what they did with Glen Davis when he was younger.
Trader Danny was then back trading again as he sent the 24th pick and Aron Baynes to the Suns, for the Bucks 2020 first round pick. This trade frees up another $5.4 million for the Celtics this offseason.
With the 33rd pick that they acquired earlier in the draft from the Sixers, the Celtics selected Crasen Edwards out of Purdue. The 6’1″ guard draft stock skyrocketed after his amazing NCAA tournament run that featured two 42 point performances and averaging 34.8 points per game in the tournament. During his third year at Purdue Edwards averaged 24.3 points per game. His ability to get the foul line is his main strength as he averaged 6 free throws a night and shot 83.7% from the line. Edwards main weakness is his efficiency as he only shot 39.4% from the floor and 35.5% from three but his NCAA tournament performance shows that he can perform in the biggest moments. He is a little undersized but with his motor and his scoring ability I see a lot of Kemba Walker and Isaiah Thomas in him. Edwards will most likely be that third point guard for the Celtics especially if Terry Rozier returns and if he doesn’t he could be the Celtics back up point guard.
The Celtics finished off their draft night by selecting Tremont Waters out of LSU at 51. The 5’11” guard averaged 15 points per game in each of his two seasons at LSU. He also shot 43% from the field while also averaging 5.8 assists per game. Waters is a very effective offensive player but is also a great defender as he took home SEC defensive player of the year this past season. With his defensive ability and ability to get to the rim and distribute I can see him as a Darren Collison type of player who could be a borderline starter in the NBA but is much more suited to be a role player. The New Haven kid will most likely be the Celtics third point guard if Terry doesn’t return and if he does return Waters will most likely spend much of this season in the G League.