After a disappointing 2020-21 campaign, the Boston Celtics find themselves with needs across the board and the 2021 NBA draft is one of the avenues for the team to improve.
The Celtics are going to need a primary scorer off the bench as well as a big man who can stretch the floor and this draft has some options. Boston’s draft will start at No. 16, which is a selection they’ve held 10 times previously (most in the franchise history).
Celtics 2021 Draft Picks
- No. 16
- No. 45
At No. 16 – Cameron Thomas, a 6-foot-4 Shooting Guard from LSU, is an eye-catching name likely to be available. Thomas set the stage as a true freshman for the Tigers last year. This guy can be an offensive weapon, as he averaged 23.0 PPG and shot 40.1% from the field and 32.5% from the three-point line. If the Celtics can land this kid at No.16, they are getting a guy that is reminiscent of Lou Williams, who has made a career off being a guy who can come off the bench and instantly produce due to how aggressive and consistent he is on the offensive end.
Josh Giddey is another candidate. Playing in the NBL Australian League, Giddey, who is a 6-foot-8 point guard, showcased masterful playmaking ability. He’s a very creative and gifted passer and great at finishing around the basket. Plus he’s capable of filling up stat sheets across the board. Giddey’s season averages at 10.9 PPG, 7.6 AST, and 7.3 REB per game for the Adelaide 36ers. He also shot 42.7% from the field. Giddey will be more of an option if Kemba isn’t in the picture for the long term future but regardless if Kemba is on the team or not Giddey would be a very nice option off the bench and a guy you can use in many different ways due to his wingspan, athleticism, and height.
At No.45 – Isaiah Todd, a 6-foot-10 athletic forward, is a candidate at this spot. Todd spent this last season playing in the G-League after forgoing the NCAA. Todd has a 7’0 wingspan and an 8’11 standing reach, according to NBA Draft Net. He also can extend beyond the three-point line which is what the Celtics have needed with a big man.
One of his weaknesses is poor shot selection, as sometimes he settles for that three-ball a little too much and should focus more on developing his inside game. But with Williams and Thompson in the picture in Boston, there is no rush to develop Isaiah Todd’s game immediately.
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Another prospect that jumps off the board at No. 45 for Boston is Isaiah Livers. Livers managed to have a very successful career over the last four years at the University of Michigan. The 6-foot-7, 230-pound combo forward is an efficient all-around player. He shot 45.7% from the field and 43.1% from the three-point line his senior season, which was also his best overall year, although it ultimately was cut short due to injury.
Livers won’t be a guy who is filling up the stat sheet on a nightly basis but he’s a guy who’s close to being NBA-ready and will do a lot of the things that don’t get mentioned and don’t show up in the statistics at the end of the night. He’s built for Boston basketball and he’d represent the city in great fashion if he was the pick with this selection.
Now in the second round, this pick for Boston isn’t as critical from the jump for them to come in and make a contribution right away. The amount of roster spots they have open is just very minimal. But the focus will be a power forward/center, especially if they decide to go with a guard with their first-round selection.