The NBA Draft is now officially over, as the NBA held yet another thrilling and emotional year of rookies being drafted. The Boston Celtics had four draft picks this time around to hopefully fill in the holes on their roster. Going into the 2020 draft, the Celtics had picks 14, 26, 30, and 47. Three first-round picks and a second round.
With the team’s first pick at 14, Boston selected forward Aaron Nesmith from Vanderbilt. Nesmith played two seasons at Vanderbilt, in which he showed major progression in his abilities. From averaging 11 points in his freshman year to 23 the following year. He has shown vast improvement in his game. Nesmith is valued as one of the better sharpshooters heading into this year’s draft. In a shortened 14 game season his sophomore year, the forward shot a tremendous 52 percent from three.
To provide better context, Nesmith attempted eight three-pointers a game. His shooting motion is smooth and quick, giving him ample ability to create his own shot off the dribble. Although he is only 6’6”, he should be able to guard players at the small forward position. His defense is not ideal, but his athleticism and speed should help make up for his height. Nesmith’s role for his rookie year would be to come off the bench and provide the much-needed offense that this team lacks.
Nesmith should be able to be a multiple point scorer is some games. He will not immediately come to Boston and become another star alongside Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown, but he is a sharpshooter that can score the ball. Expect to see multiple games in which Nesmith attempts ten or more threes on ridiculous shooting splits.
With the team’s second pick at 26th, Boston selected Payton Pritchard. A point guard from Oregon, Pritchard was named the PAC-12 player of the year in his senior season. Averaging 20.5 points and 5.5 assists with Oregon last season, Pritchard looks to be a well-versed point guard. Boston wanted shooters, as they now selected another sharpshooter in this draft. Pritchard shot 41% from three in his senior year and 37% in all four years. The Celtics needed another point guard who can provide consistent offense. Brad Wanamaker was serviceable but is not considered a long term fix.
With Pritchard, the Celtics now have a highly skilled ball-handler who is capable of leading an offense. Something the Celtics lacked this past season. Pritchard along with his ball control and shooting provides gritty play. Similar to Marcus Smart, the Oregon guard will dive for loose balls and fight for rebounds. Although he is what the Celtics are looking for in a backup point guard, it is unclear if he will be with the team for the upcoming season. Wanamaker is still under contract, and Carson Edwards and Tremont Waters are both looking for more playing time. Pritchard could see himself more with the G-league affiliate the Maine Red Claws than with the Boston Celtics in his first year.
The Celtics would trade their last first-round pick to the Memphis Grizzlies. Pick 30 will head to Memphis in exchange for two future second-round picks. This deal allows the Celtics to gain more pick value, for an already tight roster.
The 47th pick was the Celtics’ last draft pick of the night, and they selected Yam Madar from Israel. Another point guard drafted by the Celtics, Madar is heavily scouted as a tremendous playmaker and a capable scorer. Madar played for Israel’s senior national team, where he averaged 15.9 points and 7.7 assists against other professional ballplayers.
This draft pick is a bit unnecessary for Boston. They already have a crowded backcourt filled with younger talent. Under the age of 25, the Celtics have Romeo Langford, Carson Edwards, Tremont Waters, and Pritchard (26th pick). Adding Madar will only invoke his playing time to the Maine Red Claws. The Red Claws already have Waters and possibly Pritchard heading there. The Celtics drafted a talented playmaker. With the current situation of limited roster space and very limited playing time, it seems that they drafted a player to waste.
Madar could use this time to develop, but it seems almost unfair for the player to ever reach consistent minutes on this current Boston roster. The only upside to this pick is that if the trade rumors of Kemba Walker end up going through, Madar’s chances of rising are increased. Walkers trade rumors are just rumors though, as nothing has come to fruition, nor does a trade seem likely anytime soon.