The Boston Celtics are coming off their worst season since before Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen came to Boston before the 2007-08 season. Through the draft lottery they landed the No. 6 overall pick, but that’s not the only pick they have in the first round pf the 2013-14 NBA Draft.
In the trade that sent Paul Pierce and Garnett to the Brooklyn Nets this past offseason, Boston acquired the Nets first-round pick (well, the higher of either Atlanta or Brooklyn) which happens to fall at No. 17. While it may not be a lottery pick, it’s a solid pick to have in such a deep draft. Boston has plenty of areas that need to addressed, but T.J. Warren may just be the best pick.
Warren, a sophomore out of North Carolina State, was one of the best all-around scorers in college last year. Warren averaged 24.9 points for the Wolfpack on a .525 shooting percentage. He’s one of the most efficient players in this year’s draft, something Boston could desperately use (they ranked 28th in the league in overall shooting percentage over the course of the 2013-14 season).
At 6’8″, Warren averaged 7.1 rebounds per contest. While Warren was mostly playing the power forward position in college, he’s more likely to stay at the small forward position in the NBA. While he has the length to pull down a few rebounds per game, it’s unlikely that he records anything near a 7.1 clip. Either way, Boston could use the rebounding help from the forward position, seeing as their starting small forward, Jeff Green, only averaged around 4.8 rebounds this past season.
Speaking of Green, some say his act is getting old in Boston. For someone who was expected to be a leading scorer, he hasn’t exactly proven that he can do that since he came to Boston. In his first full season as a starter, Jeff averaged 16.9 points, on a woeful .412 shooting percentage. Am I saying that Warren can take over the starting job? Not necessarily, but if Boston chooses to part ways with the former Georgetown product in Green, Warren could be a capable replacement.
Looking at the draft itself, it’s very possible that the 21-year old Warren falls to the Celtics at 17. Most scouts project Warren to go mid-first round, and there may not be a whole lot of competition for him. While Chicago and Atlanta, picks No. 16 and No. 15 respectively, could use a player like Warren, Duke forward Rodney Hood could also interest one of these teams, allowing T.J. to fall into Boston’s lap.
This of course is all assuming that both Jabari Parker and Andrew Wiggins are gone by the time Boston is selecting at No. 6, forcing them to draft another position, leaving the door open for Warren to step in at No. 17.
Warren’s scoring ability will be a hot commodity come the draft, and it’s easy to see those skills translating over to the NBA. If Boston could land him with the 17th pick, they could potentially be walking away with the steal of the draft.