The 2014 NBA Draft is rapidly approaching, and the Boston Celtics are in prime position to land a top prospect. They went 25-57 in 2013-14, putting them in best position to land the No. 5 overall pick (the actual spot will be determined by the lottery, however). With the fifth pick, there’s several different directions Boston could go with the pick. There’s the two elite guards, Dante Exum and Marcus Smart. They could elect to grab the swing-man Aaron Gordon of Arizona.
But if Boston wanted to give themselves one of the most elite interior duos in the league, they should select Kentucky’s power forward, Julius Randle.
Randle, one of the few elite freshman in the country, came off a season in which he was a constant double-double threat. Randle averaged 15.0 points, 10.4 rebounds, 1.4 assists, and posted 24 double-doubles. He showed an incredible amount poise in the NCAA tournament, leading his Wildcats all the way to the championship game. Plain and simple, Randle is one of the best overall players in this year’s draft.
Now, bringing him to Boston would be a genius move for Boston’s management. While Boston does have emerging young power forward Jared Sullinger, a move to center could be in the cards for Sully, especially if Randle is brought into Celtics green.
Pairing those two together would not only create an elite rebounding tandem, but an elite post-scoring presence. Both players are efficient scorers, bringing together Jared’s elite jump shooting for his position, and Julius’ strong post game would create an invaluable scoring presence on a Boston squad with no elite scorer.
Randle has the body and skill to be a double-double threat night in and night out in the pros. Boston averaged 42.5 rebounds per game. While that’s not necessarily are a terrible stat, improving it could seriously turn Boston into a contending squad quicker than they may otherwise.
Boston’s overall offensive rating was 27th out of 30 in the league. That’s a stat that should scare Celtics fans. However, with Randle in the post being an efficient scorer, using his big body to find several different ways to score, it could only help their chances to become a more dominant offensive team.
There wasn’t a whole lot to be excited about with Boston’s stats last season, and with the roster they had it’s understandable. Where Boston will most likely be drafting, they wont be landing one of Andrew Wiggins or Jabari Parker, but grabbing Randle would still be an incredible find. The draft is still over a month away, so we’ll have plenty of more time to debate picks, but one may have a hard time trying to find a better option than Kentucky’s Julius Randle.
Shawn McFarland covers the Boston Celtics for HoopsHabit.com