Boston Celtics: 2019 NBA Draft grades

Photo by Ryan McGilloway/NBAE via Getty Images
Photo by Ryan McGilloway/NBAE via Getty Images /
1 of 6
Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images
Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images /

The Boston Celtics were busy, as usual, on Draft Day 2019. The question is, did their draft right the ship after a disastrous start to the offseason?

“How could Danny Ainge let this happen?” was the question leading into the 2019 NBA Draft; a far cry from recent drafts, such as 2017, that saw the Boston Celtics luck into the first overall pick and trade down with the Philadelphia 76ers to take Jayson Tatum. This time around, the Celtics’ future was surrounded by more misfortune than luck.

All signs are indicating that the Kyrie Irving era in Boston is coming to an end after a disappointing 2018-19 campaign. Not only that, but the rift between center Al Horford and the front office was reportedly too large to expect the two to close a deal.

A draft that was once thought to harbor a high lottery pick from the Sacramento Kings (it conveyed at No. 14), and the Los Angeles Clippers (conveyed at No. 20), the Celtics were also anticipating not even using all three of their picks. However, situations change rapidly in the NBA, and the Celtics are no exception.

While they did use their three picks, it was not without movement by the general manager dubbed Trader Danny. Boston made multiple trades throughout the first round of the playoffs, once again phoning Elton Brand and the Philadelphia 76ers to offer up the No. 20 in exchange for picks No. 24 and 33.

No. 24, however, wouldn’t belong to the Celtics for long. Ainge quickly turned it around to Phoenix in a package that included center Aron Baynes in exchange for the Milwaukee Bucks’ 2020 first round pick (top-seven protected).

It’s probably not insignificant that the trades combined to free roughly $8 million in salary cap space for the 2019-20 season. By renouncing their rights to restricted free agent Terry Rozier, Boston can create $34.1 million in space — enough for a max free agent. But before free agency officially opens on June 30, let’s take a look at grades for each of Boston’s 2019 NBA Draft picks.