Every first-round pick in the NBA Draft wants to play right away. Players selected in the lottery expect to play right away. Playing time usually come quickly to these lottery picks because they are on teams without a lot of depth and/or talent.
The Boston Celtics are the rare championship contender in the lottery thanks to a fantastic trade with the Brooklyn Nets in 2013. The C’s have the best chance (25 percent) of winning Tuesday night’s NBA Draft Lottery because of their pick swap with the last-place Nets.
Playing time won’t be easy to come by on the C’s roster next season, and according to ESPN’s Chad Ford, that has agents of top prospects in the 2017 draft class a little concerned.
Ford reported Saturday that “several agents” told him “they were considering holding their clients out of workouts” with the C’s.
“I have deep respect for the Celtics,” one agent told Ford. “They may have the best GM and head coach in the league. But I’d have to understand what the plan would be for my client before I let them come. They are loaded at every position. There’s a real danger that they take a player and either he plays a limited role off the bench, or he becomes an asset to be traded to a situation that we’re uncomfortable with. It’s tough.”
Ford mentions Jaylen Brown as an example.
Boston’s rookie forward averaged just 17.2 minutes per game this season after the C’s selected him with the third overall pick in the 2016 draft. Brown averaged about 10 minutes per game less than No. 2 overall pick Brandon Ingram of the Los Angeles Lakers, who led all first-year players in MPG.
While that might not be an ideal situation for an elite prospect who’d rather play a more impactful role as a rookie, playing on a contender is pretty cool, too.
Brown basically said as much when asked about it after a recent Celtics-Wizards playoff game.
Finding a prospect with Brown’s attitude and talent should be the goal for every team in the lottery as June’s draft approaches.
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