The Celtics did not make any exciting moves during Thursday's draft. As of now, many of us hopefuls feel a bit betrayed. This being said, we should be optimistic. Aside from Jaylen Brown, the C's made some interesting picks. Let's examine some of their lesser known choices.
Selected with the 58th pick in the draft, Abdel Nader from Iowa State is a 6'6" 230 pound small forward who is a prototypical 3- and -D type of player. While he most likely will play in the D-league, what should be noted is his improvement from his junior year to senior year. He started all 35 games his senior year on a very solid Iowa State team and averaged close to 13 points a game. Hopefully he can develop into a strong rotation player for the Celtics.
Ben Bentil selected at 51, in my opinion was the Celtics' best pick of the night. At 6'8" 229 pounds with a 7'2" wing span, the quick shooting power forward led the Providence Friars in scoring and rebounding last year, and he would dominate, scoring over 35 points on multiple occasions. He is exactly what the Celtics need, a big man who can shoot and a big man who can flat out score. As a fan, I was more excited with the selection of Bentil than the selection of Jaylen Brown. Look for big things from Ben Bentil.
Demetrius Jackson out of Notre Dame is a physical point guard built on the same frame as Marcus Smart. He also carries around that same tenacity. Jackson really fell in this draft as he was projected to be anywhere from a 15-30th pick. The Celtics picked him up as their 45th pick. While the Celtics have a logjam in the back court, they were simply drafting the best player available by selecting Jackson.
Ante Zizic will mostly likely be a draft-and-stash guy. This means they will likely let the young center develop overseas for a year or two and then attempt to bring him over to see if he fits with the Celtics. He has a large frame, is physical which is not what most people expect from European players, and is a gifted athlete who can run the floor. He has a nice offensive touch around the rim but his overall game is still a work in progress. He is still only 19-years-old, so we will see what the Celtics end up doing with him.
The Celtics selected Guerchon Yabusele at 16 which was a bit of a surprise pick. Yabusele is another possible overseas player who was projected to go in the early second round. According to sources, he is a big man who can shoot the long ball at a decent clip. He is also a decent finisher in the paint and has an NBA ready body. Being that he is only 20 years old, he is another player who is likely to stay overseas as he develops.
All-in-all, I wouldn't fret too much about these selections by the Celtics. Look for Bentil to earn a roster spot this year and possibly be a contributing role player in the upcoming season. Look for the Celtics to move around players as they attempt to compete in the upper echelon of the Eastern Conference.