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Celtics Draft grades (from media)
« on: November 20, 2020, 02:08:34 AM »

Online CelticsElite

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The Celtics entered the draft with four picks in the top 50 and nowhere to put all of them. They left with two first-round picks who theoretically fill rotational needs ó Nesmith as ďan absolute sniperĒ and Pritchard as a backup point guard ó around core playmakers Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown and Kemba Walker, even if both may have been a bit of a stretch for their draft slot and neither brings a defensive pedigree to Boston.
With their other two picks, they draft-and-stashed Yam Madar, who ESPNís Mike Schmitz described as ďan Israeli Patrick BeverleyĒ on the draft broadcast, and passed on potential sleeper Tyrell Terry to turn the 30th pick into a pair of future second-round picks from the Memphis Grizzlies. A meh draft if there ever was one.


CBS Sports: A+

I feel like I'm too easy of a professor, but these players the past few picks are coming off the board in the order I ranked them. That makes Nesmith again a really solid pick. Nesmith had an injury in college, but he can really knock down shots. He could be helping the Celtics because of that shooting right away.


USA Today: A-

Vanderbiltís Aaron Nesmith, arguably the best shooter in the draft, was taken at No. 14. That selection gives the Cís a volume shooter who can make an immediate impact. Picking Pac-12 player of the year Payton Prichard at No. 26 was a shocker considering the other point guards on the board at the time, but itís a Brad Stevens pick in fitting a heady floor general into his system. Then they went with Yam Madar of Israel at No. 47.


New York Post: B

The Celtics needed shooters off the bench and got a pair in Nesmith, who is coming off foot surgery, and Pritchard, who can bring some energy as a backup point guard. They then traded away the No. 30 pick for two future second-rounders and got a stash in Madar.

Sports Illustrated: C+

Boston didnít opt to find a rim protector with either first-round pick, though they did add a pair of enticing perimeter assets. Aaron Nesmith projects to be an elite shooter off the bench, while Oregon guard Payton Pritchard brings big-game experience after starting 140 games with the Ducks. Neither Nesmith nor Pritchard present the chance at landing a future All-Star. But itís feasible we see both making contributions to a playoff team in 2020-21.

Sporting News: b-

Knockdown shooting. That's what Boston gets in Nesmith, though it's unclear how he can excel at the next level beyond being a spot-up threat. There are also concerns about Nesmith's health after he missed significant time at Vanderbilt with a broken foot. This is an upside play for the Celtics


The Ringer: B

 The Celtics drafted for fit rather than upside, which makes sense given the current state of their team. Nesmith might be the best shooter in this draft, although his reputation comes almost entirely from his 14 games he played as a sophomore before fracturing his foot. He doesnít really bring much other than shooting, but thatís all he will need to do on the Celtics, who expect to contend for an NBA Finals appearance. Boston has a bunch of players who can create shots, defend, and make plays. All they need their rookies to do is spot up from 3 and launch open shots. Nesmith is more than ready for that.


SB Nation: C for Nesmith, c for prichard

Nesmith is considered one of the best three-point shooters in the draft. He hit 52 percent of his threes as a sophomore for Vanderbilt through the first 14 games before suffering a season-ending stress fracture in his foot. After hitting only 33.7 percent of his threes as a freshman, itís fair to wonder where Nesmithís shooting would have come in over a full season. The bigger issue is his lack of off-the-dribble game and how he struggles to beat the defense as a passer. Nesmith is a long wing (6í10 wingspan) with a signature skill, but it doesnít feel like thereís much versatility in his game.
Pritchard was one of the best players in America as a senior for Oregon this past season, but there are major questions about how his game will translate to the NBA. If thereís one thing the 6í2 guard can be expected to do in the league, itís shoot: he hit 41 percent of his threes and 82 percent of his free throws. The questions with Pritchard centers on everything else. He doesnít have a ton of juice to create of the dribble and will likely struggle to stay in front of faster and stronger NBA guards. It felt like there were better options on the board for Boston.


DraftKings: B+

The Celtics went into the draft trying to deal picks left and right to add an established player. Gordon Hayward wasnít dealt either, and the Celtics kept most of their picks. Boston added shooting at the guard position with Vanderbilt G Aaron Nesmith and Oregon G Payton Pritchard. Both should help out behind Kemba Walker and Marcus Smart in the backcourt.

ClutchPoints: C-

Realistically, Danny Ainge addressed an area of particular importance, which is never a bad thing for a contender. The Celtics nabbed a vital floor-spacer in Nesmith, whose shooting will instantly improved a team that struggled from the perimeter during the Eastern Conference Finals. But the Payton Pritchard selection was a bit puzzling. Sure, the Celtics needed a backup point guard. However, was he really a better option than Stanford point guard Tyrell Terry, a guy who seemed to surge up NBA draft boards. Regardless, Bostonís spot in this section does not really have anything to do with their draft picks. Or at least, not in that way.
The Celtics entered the night with three first-rounders. Considering they just made the ECF and also face some uncertainty with respect to Gordon Hayward, this seemed like an opportunity for Ainge to trade out either to possibly leap up the board and grab Wiseman or secure another established star. It was not for lack of trying. Boston reportedly had discussions for the No. 2 pick involving Marcus Smart, but the talks folded when the Warriors countered. The Celtics also made the Pelicans an offer for Holiday, but David Griffin opted for future value. Still, failing to move the picks for something more significant feels like a loss for an established contender like the Celtics.


RotoWorld: A-

The Celtics added a ton of shooting and two very productive college players. Nesmith in particular shot 52.2 percent on 3s at Vanderbilt last season, and it sounds like he could have gone even earlier if not for a broken foot.

Mass Live: B+ for Nesmith, C for Prichard

Nesmith isnít much of a shot creator, but he can really shoot -- he made 52 percent of his triples as a sophomore, most of which were off the catch. After struggling with Duncan Robinson in the playoffs, the Celtics picked up a player who has drawn comparisons to him.
There were several players available who felt like better value than Pritchard, but there were rumblings Boston liked him. Pritchard plays hard and can shoot, but heís not very athletic, older and there were better shooters available.


Hoop-Ball.com: C+

A very uneventful draft for the Celtics. Over the past few years they have prioritized length, athleticism and toughness with their picks and this year they went in the opposite direction. Nesmith is regarded as one of the best pure shooters in the draft but his college numbers could be somewhat inflated based on a relatively small sample size. Outside of shooting, he does not do much else. It is hard to see where he fits in on a deep, guard-loaded Celtics team. To that same point, Pritchard was a surprise late in the first round. Boston does have a need for a backup point guard, but they could have addressed it with a few better options that were still on the board. A 19-year-old Israeli, Madar is a work in progress and probably will not see time in the NBA for a few years.

TheGameHaus: B+

Boston grabbed a few shooters to fill up their bench. While Nesmith is coming off of a foot injury, he can still a great pair with Pritchard, who can bring energy as a backup point guard, or maybe as a starter, as Danny Ainge might shop Kemba Walker for a good deal.

FanSided : B
The Celtics played it relatively safe, drafting for fit above all else, but that approach tracks for a legitimate title contender that couldnít package its picks to move up in the pecking order. Nesmith only played 14 games last season, but he shot a blistering 52.2 percent on 8.2 long-range attempts per game. Heís a one-dimensional player at this point, but all the Celtics need from him is to spot up and hit open 3s anyway.

Ralphie Report (SB NATION): B+ for Nesmith, C+ for Prichard

Aaron Nesmith is an electric three-point shooter who should open up the floor for Boston to attack the rim. He has good size at 6í8, defends his position well and could still develop the rest of his game if he remains healthy.
Speaking of reaches, the Celtics apparently had a favorite guard among the half-dozen or so options still left at this point. Pritchard, a four-year starter at Oregon, is a proven shot-maker who will thrive in a pick-and-roll based offense. Itís just hard to see him becoming more than a bench guard.

Bleacher Report: C+ for Nesmith, C- for Prichard

The Boston Celtics have their stars set, so if anyone could justify spending a lottery selection on a specialist, it was them. They did just that by grabbing marksman Aaron Nesmith with the 14th pick.
Some players can shoot. Nesmith is a professional shooter. He's always ready and willing to fire, and before a foot injury knocked him out after just 14 games of the 2019-20 season, he was hitting an absurd 52.2 percent from range on 8.2 attempts per night.
The question is where he can make an impact beyond shooting. He can straight-line drive around aggressive closeouts and won't get torched defensively, but Boston should depend on him for spacing and consider any other on-court contributions an added bonus.
The Celtics were top-heavy last season, and they looked gassed at times in the postseason. Nesmith will lengthen their rotation, though he may not carve out the biggest role without providing more than a perimeter stroke. The Boston Celtics were shy on second-team scoring last season, and they need a backup lead guard if they donít plan on reuniting with restricted free agent Brad Wanamaker. Payton Pritchard has a chance to address both issues, though this is a big bet on his limited physical tools not holding him back. Pritchard isn't the toolsiest prospect by any stretch, and he isn't helped by the fact his 22nd birthday is behind him. But his skill level impresses, and certain aspects of his game already seem NBA-ready. He's a clever ball-handler who's always looking to push the tempo. He can catch defenders sleeping with pull-up threes, and while he's most effective as a scorer, he won't dominate possessions and keeps his teammates involved. He competes defensively, but he's not the quickest side-to-side mover, which could leave him exploited in unfavorable matchups. Saying that, he seems destined to fill a reserve role, so he should be able to provide passable defense most nights. Boston is in the championship chase, and targeting an NBA-ready talent makes sense. But was Pritchard the best instant-impact prospect left? Thatís debatable with Desmond Bane, Robert Woodard II, Malachi Flynn and Cassius Winston still available.


NBA.com: B+

Analysis: The Celtics have long needed a sharpshooter on the wing and Nesmith gives them exactly that. Shooting 52% on over eight 3-point attempts per game this past season at Vanderbilt, he is among the best shooters in this draft class. Having a marksmen of his calibre sitting on the wing should make life easier for Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown and Kemba Walker.

Busting Brackets (FanSided): C for Nesmith,  F for Prichard

Danny Ainge and the Boston Celtics were looking to either package their three first-rounders for a larger trade or to use them to fill in holes on the bench. With the fourteenth pick, the earliest of their selections, they went with Aaron Nesmith, the best movement shooter in the draft who shot a blistering 52.2 percent from 3 in his abbreviated sophomore season. Itís worth noting that we listed the Celtics as his worst fit in the lottery, for various reasons. Brad Stevensí offense isnít one that maximizes off-movement and off-screen shooters, given the teamís emphasis on pick-and-roll creation, which doesnít exactly maximize a shooter of Nesmithís ilk. Heís also not a player who offers much else in terms of off-the-dribble shooting or slashing, despite Stevens regularly asking his guards and wings to be able to do so. Itís possible that Nesmith improves in this regard, but between the unideal fit in Bostonís offense and the existing defensive concerns, there were better landing spots for Nesmith in this range and better targets for Boston.

Itís not every day that you see two consecutive picks used on extreme, puzzling, inarguable reaches. And yet the Boston Celtics and New York Knicks managed to do so at the tail-end of the first round of the 2020 NBA Draft, selecting a pair of prospects that a large swath of draft evaluators viewed as late-second-rounders at best, and undrafted pickups at worst. Boston going with Oregonís Payton Pritchard (career 13.5 ppg on .379 3P%) ó a shaky decision-maker whose athletic profile may not translate well to the NBA ó despite the number of superior guard prospects available at that spot (Tyrell Terry, Desmond Bane, Tre Jones, Malachi Flynn, etc.) is questionable at best, and a horrific miscalculation at worst.
« Last Edit: November 20, 2020, 02:48:22 AM by CelticsElite »

Re: Celtics Draft grades (from media)
« Reply #1 on: November 20, 2020, 11:12:08 AM »

Offline jambr380

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This seemed to have drift off the 'latest discussions' section and thought I would bump it just to give others a chance to see what the talking heads are saying. Thanks and TP for posting CE!