It's a broken record around draft time, the Celtics need to draft a big man. There are a lot of intriguing prospects at Center that should be available at 17 and possibly 26 as well. However, a lot of drafts seem to have has going for a guard at 17:
RJ Hampton - PG/SG - https://www.nbadraft.net/nba-mock-drafts/
Tre Jones - PG - https://www.cbssports.com/nba/news/2020-nba-mock-draft-knicks-move-up-in-trade-with-golden-state-to-select-lamelo-ball-at-no-1/
Theo Maledon - PG - http://www.nbadraftroom.com/p/2020-nba-mock-draft.html
Aleksej Pokuševski - PF - http://www.tankathon.com/mock_draft
While Aleksej Pokuševski is 7', I'm not sure he has actually declared for the draft yet.
Lets focus on 5 Bigs that I've seen associated with the Celtics from various places around the web:
ISAIAH STEWART VERNON CAREY JR. JALEN SMITH ZEKE NNAJI XAVIER TILLMAN
I think that all 5 could be good players in the NBA but at the same time they could not pan out. There are things to like about them and some questions for them to overcome.
I have liked Carey since the season started but his lateral movement and ability to step out and guard on the permitar is an issue. I tried to like Nnaji but he just seems too skinny to make it as a center in the NBA. I know Theis is undersized (which is why i want to draft a more Physical Big man) but he did surprise me with his ability to bang in the post this year. Still I'm not sold on Nnaji. Smith is also on the skinny side but he looks more like the type of big who can stretch the floor like Stevens likes. Smith could be a natural fit for the Celtics. I really like the physicalness of Stewart and his foul shooting. He actually reminds me of Rob Williams, who we already have so do we nee another of the same player? Williams is looking like he may be an injury concern as he seems to always be injured, so maybe a healthy version of him is what we need. Tillman was a guy I wasn't thinking about until read a fan post on this blog, making him look like a really attractive prospect.
Tankathon has a feature that lets you compare players side by side. So I put in all five bigs and came up with a nice statistical comparison. Here is a link to that Player Comparison:http://www.tankathon.com/players/compare?players=vernon-carey-jr--zeke-nnaji--jalen-smith--isaiah-stewart--xavier-tillman
I think we can probably get any one of them at 17 and probably some of them at 26. Maybe 1 or 2 of them last to 30 but that's more of a gamble. So who do you take? Do you go with a back up PG at 17 or do you go big? Do you Go big at 17 and 26 picking two of these guys then go PG at 30? Do you go PG at 17 then Big at 26? Do you not like any of these five guys and go with a different big.
I liked how Wanamaker played and I think Waters has potential. So I'm inclined to go big at both 17 and 26 then look for a guard or wing at 30. I would take Smith at 17 because he seems less likely to be there at 26 because of his ability to stretch the floor. Then I'd look at Stewart and Tillman at 26. I think Tillman may be the better player right now but he's a junior and Stewart is only a freshman and apparently has worked really hard to improve some weaknesses he had coming in to collage, like his foul shooting. I'd probably take Stewart if they were both available but if I was left with Tillman at 26 I'd b ok with that.