If you watched game seven of the NBA Finals you noticed a Boston Celtics team that just ran out of gas in the fourth quarter. There is little doubt that next season the Celtics need to get younger and more athletic. Big changes might be in store this off-season when free agency begins on July 1. Both Paul Pierce and Ray Allen may not be on the roster when the season starts in October. The face lift begins with the NBA draft and here is what the Celtics came away with.
Avery Bradley: With the 19th pick in the first round the Celtics selected guard Avery Bradley out of the University of Texas. In his freshman year, for the Longhorns, he averaged 11.6 points per game. He is known for his defense, which fits in nicely with the Celtics style of play. Looking at his stat line one thing jumps out at me and that is a 55% free throw percentage. Add this to the horrible free throw shooting of Rajon Rondo and I don’t see how these two could be on the court at the same time in a close game. Unlike Rondo, who is excellent at driving to the basket, Bradley is really just a jump shooter.
Analysis: With the 19th pick in a draft that isn’t very deep, Boston could not expect to get a player that was ready to start next season. What they did get was a decent role player that can come in and play some lock down defense. At 19 years of age Bradley may develop into something more for the Celtics, but I wouldn’t put any money on it. Grade: B-
Luke Harangody: In the second round, the 52nd pick overall, the Celtics took Notre Dame forward Luke Harangody. Basketball fans in Boston will probably recognize his name because he played four years in the Big East Conference. In his senior season he averaged over 21 points and 9 rebounds per game. He developed more of a perimeter shooting game later in his college career, a plus since at 6′ 7″ he is small for a power forward in the NBA. Harangody is not the most athletic player out there and that to me runs contrary to the direction the team should be heading in.
Analysis: When you are making a pick this late in the draft you are looking for a player that can come off the bench for a few minutes each game. Harangody could come off the bench and average six to eight points a game. He could just as easily not make the team and spend the season with the Maine Red Claws of the developmental league. It is up to him if he wants to get in the best shape of his life and not have his lack of athleticism be a detriment when he is on the parquet floor. Grade: C
On a day that started with rumors of Kendrick Perkins being shipped out in a trade, the Celtics decided to stay put and just make their picks. It was a quiet beginning to what will most likely being a tumultuous off-season. Overall Grade: C+
Avery Bradley page, espn.com
Luke Harangody page, espn.com
Sam Amick, Boston Offering Kendrick Perkins and Pick in Draft Talks, nba.fanhouse.com