avery bradley? gerald green was considered lottery level before the draft. so was sullinger.
27. Boston Celtics - Robert Williams, C, Texas A&M
This is wild. Williams is a lottery-level talent as a shot blocker and rim runner in the vein of Clint Capela. He already has NBA-level strength and can jump out of the gym. Incredible value for Boston. How do they always pull this off?
Ummm, Boston has NEVER pulled this off before. Who else is a lottery-level talent who slipped to the end of the draft and was drafted by Boston?
Bradley and Green were both picked in the teens, which isnít quite the same thing. Even Sullinger in the early 20s is different, since a lot of people thought he could fall due to medical issues. Williams going 10-15 spots after people thought kind of took everyone by surprise.
We got a bit lucky that most of the teams in the 16-26 range didnít necessarily need a player like Williams, since they already have someone comparable.
Phoenix has Ayton/Philly has Embiid
Milwaukee has Maker
Spurs could have picked him
Atlanta has Collins
Minnesota has Patton (and Towns and Dieng)
Utah has Gobert
Bulls maybe could have picked him, but they already had a promise to Hutchison (and had already picked Carter)
Pacers have Turner
Blazers have Collins and probably Nurkic
Lakers could have picked him
Sixers have Embiid
Once he fell below Washington, who needed a player just like him, there really werenít all that many great landing spots. The Spurs got another lottery-level talent with injury concerns, and that was about it until the Lakers passed at 25. So there definitely was some real fortune there if you believe that Williams was the top prospect on the board for a few picks.
Thinking about the draft process has gotten me a little more excited about Williams, and Iím willing to believe that he could have gone 5-10 spots higher but for Washington making a bad pick and the circumstances with most of the other teams in between prioritizing wings over a rim-running big, as itís a specialty position that you generally only need one of.