As the NBA Draft is only one day away, all 30 teams are preparing for another draft night filled with trades and anticipation on the future of their franchises.
In particular, the Boston Celtics are in the driver’s seat, holding four picks in the 2019 Draft, three of them in the top 25 (14, 20 and 22) out of the two rounds that have 60 total selections. What is a likely scenario for the C’s, as reports have come out in recent days regarding center Al Horford’s future with the franchise, Boston may be in the market to find Horford’s replacement in the draft or pursue a trade for a high profile stretch 4 or 5 position. Horford does have the option of restructuring his contract after opting out of his previous four-year deal (he is entering his fourth year with the C’s).
Trading the majority of the picks seem to be a viable option for a Boston team filled with youth and promise, but maintaining the 14th pick (the last selection within the NBA lottery range) could give the C’s a highly touted player with hope to contribute right away. Here are some players that could fall down to 14 or taking a flyer on a prospect that was graded lower. Also, these prospects could be hanging out in the 20 to 22 range if Boston decides to keep them or package up.
Tyler Herro, G – Kentucky: At 6-foot-5, Herro has length on the outside, allowing him to look over smaller guards. His catch and shoot technique is outstanding with the ability to drive to the rim and create AND-1 situations. His three-point range was deadly in his lone year with coach John Calipari and Kentucky (burying approximately 36 percent of his shots), and will carry over to the pros nicely. His shooting form is a work of art, a high arch approach with great touch. One of the knocks on Herro is his wingspan (6’3.25″). This will give him a disadvantage when on defense. As an offensively gifted player, Herro fits with Boston’s scheme, allowing generous three-point attempts and having a pure shooting guard on the roster compared to versatile shooting small forwards such as former No.3 overall selection Jaylen Brown.
Matisse Thybulle, G – Washington: Compared to Herro’s lone season in college, Thybulle played four years with the Huskies, capturing attention for his style of defense. A ferocious defender who was named the Naismith Defensive Player of the Year, the 6-foot-5 guard knows how to create havoc for opposing teams. His 3.5 steals per game along with a three-point percentage that has hovered between the 30-40 percent range over his career puts him in good position to get drafted higher than expected because of the trends of high caliber defensive players. Boston could be a destination due to the emphasis on how defense is played under coach Brad Stevens. Thybulle paired with veteran Marcus Smart could make a back-court tandem that thrives on defensive pressure.
Naz Reid, C – LSU: One of the freshman phenoms entering this draft, Reid is an interesting talent that reminds me of former Celtics 1st-rounder Jared Sullinger. At 6-foot-10 and nearly 260 pounds, he has an NBA-sized body to control the paint. An offensively gifted player, Reid understands how to drop the ball in the net from inside the arc. An intelligent dribbler for a near 7 footer, today’s NBA game filled with outside shooting fits his style like a puzzle piece. With Boston on the verge of losing Al Horford, Reid has similar traits to Horford with a polished post game and efficiency shot selection. Reid is flying under the radar due to the presence of other highly-touted players but could be wearing green Thursday night.