After 903 days of waiting, the Celtics were finally able to use their first significant asset from the blockbuster Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett trade with the Brooklyn Nets and they used that pick to select California freshman forward Jaylen Brown.
Celtics fans were initially displeased with the pick as boo’s wrung out across the Barclays Center and the Celtics draft party at the TD Garden, but Wyc Grousbeck and Danny Ainge didn’t look into the displeasure all that much. This morning Ainge told Toucher & Rich on 98.5 The Sports Hub that initial fan reaction typically isn’t a good indicator of how well a draft pick will pan out.
Here are the videos Draft Express put out on Brown’s strengths and weaknesses:
Initial thoughts after the season were that the Celtics would take the Croatian forward Dragan Bender, but then Bender quickly fell down the draft board and the C’s began looking elsewhere. The Phoenix Suns took Bender with the fourth pick.
Kris Dunn was a name that floated around in the 48 hours leading up to the draft. The Philadelphia 76ers were interested in the Providence guard and a trade seemed to be in the works. Then the trade wasn’t in the works and Jimmy Butler was always seemed like a pipe dream. The magical 2008 draft night would not be recreated this year. In the end the Celtics were saddled with the third selection in a two-man draft and took Brown.
I’m personally a fan of Jaylen Brown. Maybe not at the third pick, but in a few years, after all the analysis settles down, the draft slots don’t really matter all that much. He said all the right things in the post-draft interviews with ESPN and CSNNE. He has the potential to be a very edgy and athletic forward like Draymond Green (although I feel like ten thousand players have been compared to Draymond). He just needs to work on the shooting. Two or three years from now I can see Brown being the Diet Draymond Green in an era where starting line-ups are getting smaller.
AND never forget, the Celtics have an incredible amount of draft picks over the next couple years and added yet another first round pick last night in a trade with the Memphis Grizzlies. They’re building a strong base for the 2020-2023 NBA Finals.
But for now, it looks like the Celtics are content with being a team of average players (with a little French flare involved after selecting forward Guerschon Yabusele out of France with the Mavericks pick at number sixteen).