As bad as many observers believe the Celtics will be this season, they are unlikely to be so bad that they snatch one of the top three picks. That means they have next to no chance at drafting Andrew Wiggins, the hotshot swingman scouts have called a once-in-a-generation talent.
The Celtics could still come out of draft night with a really good prospect, though. The latest mock draft by ESPN Insider Chad Ford predicts the Celtics would take Duke freshman Jabari Parker, who just a couple of years ago was considered roughly equal to Wiggins as a high school star. That’s not a bad get at No. 5.
Parker, like Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge, is a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, Ford points out. That’s largely irrelevant to the Celtics drafting Parker, of course, but the fact that Ainge has offered some advice to Parker on his plans for his Mormon mission means the two have history.
“Forget for a second that [Ainge] and Parker are both Mormon and Ainge has been an informal adviser to Parker in the past,” Ford writes. “With a super-skilled frontcourt of Jared Sullinger and Kelly Olynyk, and an athletic backcourt of Rajon Rondo and Avery Bradley, Parker fits great in between — especially for Celtics fans who aren’t sold on Jeff Green as the Celtics’ future.
“Parker could be the second coming of Carmelo Anthony as a scorer, with an even better approach.”
Parker, 18, projects as an NBA small forward with his 6-foot-8, 241-pound frame. While Celtics fans might have trouble viewing any comparison to Anthony positively, Ford really did mean it as a compliment to Parker.
Photo via Facebook/Jabari Parker