As the 2022 NBA trade deadline inches closer to arriving this Feb. 10 at 3 pm ET, attention for fans of the Boston Celtics begins to turn in the NBA media sphere towards the other primary tool used in building up teams for the future, the 2022 NBA draft.
While still many months away in the future, teams at the NCAA level and in other professional leagues are starting to get into the meat of their own respective schedules, giving us our first chunks of meaningful data to analyze where the potential prospects to populate this year’s NBA draft are at in terms of their personal development as players.
And to that end, another mock draft projecting who the Celtics might pick up in the 2022 draft has been released, this one from SB Nation’s Ricky O’Donnell.
O’Donnell highlights who he sees each team in the league taking in the first round of the draft — no second-round picks projected yet this early in the game, evidently — that was put together more with the best player available at each slot of the round more than team need.
Ironically enough, the selection O’Donnell and his team came up with certainly fits the recent draft history of the team with an undersized point guard who has struggled to hit efficiently but is great on defense.
That of course was an archetype favored by previous President of Basketball Operations Danny Ainge, so we may see this iteration of the team’s front office go a new route under new team president Brad Stevens.
The player in question? 19-year-old, 6-foot-0 University of Tennessee guard Kennedy Chandler, who possesses a 6-foot-5 wingspan that helps make up for his dearth of altitude as a guard at the NBA level.
“Chandler was a blue-chip point guard recruit out of Memphis who was battle-tested on some of the biggest stages before arriving at Tennessee,” writes O’Donnell.
“At 6-foot and 170 pounds, Chandler is a quick and shifty ball handler who will have to clear a high bar in terms of skill level to find sustained success in the NBA. There have been flashes of exactly that: he has extremely good hands defensively, makes solid passing reads in the pick-and-roll, and (has) shown the ability to hit a pull-up jumper. Of course, a player as small as Chandler needs to be excellent at breaking down defenses and creating offense for himself and others to make up for his lack of size. Solving his mid-range scoring issues and developing a reliable floater would help immensely.”
“While we didn’t factor fit into this mock, Chandler would be an excellent fit for a Boston team that desperately needs a talented playmaking point guard,” notes the SB Nation analyst, surprisingly (accidentally?) violating the mock’s directive to focus more on the best talent available by draft position.
While we do see some of the positives O’Donnell points out, there seems to be a fairly high bust potential built into such a pick, and given the preponderance of such players not working out under the team’s previous regime, we’d prefer the Celtics to look further down this faux draft for larger help in the backcourt.
G League Ignite guard Jaden Hardy at 6-foot-4 with a much more highly-rated past seems a safer bet to at least pan out as a rotation player, as would 6-foot-6 wing Dyson Daniels.
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