ESPN NBA Mock Draft Predicts Celtics Will Select These Players In 2019


Apr 12, 2019

The Boston Celtics will be busy as beavers this summer in their effort to construct the brightest possible future.

ESPN’s Jonathan Givony on Thursday published a mock 2019 NBA Draft, in which he predicts the Celtics will draft four players. The Celtics will have as many as five picks, depending on the outcome of the NBA Draft Lottery, but Givony projects they ultimately will pick four — three in the first round and one in the second — with the Memphis Grizzlies’ pick rolling over into next year.

Boston will own the Sacramento Kings’ first-round pick if it falls below No. 1 and will use it to select Gonzaga forward Brandon Clarke between 12th and 14th overall, Givony projects. Here’s why.

With Boston’s bigs potentially hitting free agency, frontcourt could be a real position of need for the Celtics at the draft.

Clarke’s versatility as a rim-protecting and pick-and-roll-switching lob-catcher is intriguing on this roster. He will turn 23 prior to his first NBA game and should be ready to step in and help right away.

The Celtics also own the Los Angeles Clippers’ first-round draft pick, which will fall between 18th and 20th overall. Boston will select Virginia Tech shooting guard Nickeil Alexander-Walker in Givony’s mock.

The Celtics are loaded at the guard spots, but with both Kyrie Irving and Terry Rozier entering free agency, finding a strong backup in the draft would be wise.

Alexander-Walker is coming off an outstanding sophomore season, making significant strides on both ends of the floor. He has the perimeter-shooting ability, length, feel and versatility that Boston typically covets.

A tiebreaker will determine whether the Celtics’ own first-round pick falls at Nos. 21 or 22. Givony projects the Celtics to select Kentucky forward Keldon Johnson. Here’s why.

Danny Ainge has long valued toughness, versatility and 3-point shooting — all strengths for Johnson.

Although his struggles creating offense off the dribble caused his stock to fall somewhat, Johnson won’t need to be much of a ball handler on a team with this much star power.

Givony has the Celtics completing their draft by selecting Wake Forest power forward Jaylen Hoard.

Keep in mind mock drafts are inexact sciences. Nevertheless, Givony’s takes offer valuable insight into what kinds of players the Celtics might prioritize in the months and years ahead.

Thumbnail photo via Gary A. Vasquez/USA TODAY Sports Images
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