Though a lot of basketball was missed during the NBA’s coronavirus hiatus, Celtics fans can take solace knowing no matter how things play out in the unprecedented bubble return, Boston is still well-positioned to bring a majority of guys back and take another shot at a championship.
And that’s because of the quality of its young core of players. The future looks bright for the Celtics with their up-and-coming prospects and the three additional first-round picks in the 2020 NBA Draft.
For those reasons, The Athletic’s Sam Vecenie ranked Boston No. 2 in his “2019-20 NBA Rookie Scale Rankings.”
Vecenie touted Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, Grant Williams, Robert Williams, Romeo Langford, Semi Ojeleye, Carsen Edwards, Tremont Waters and Tacko Fall as the best young collective under contract through at least next season.
Here’s an excerpt from Vecenie:
Two-way wings who can take on tough assignments and create their own offense are the toughest things to find in today’s NBA. Any team that has one of those players is in a great position moving forward. For Boston to have drafted two, in back-to-back drafts in the top-three, is an embarrassment of riches. Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown are under team control long-term, and will give the Celtics ample flexibility in how they go about building out the rest of the roster. In relative terms – given that building a title team isn’t easy even after you’ve acquired these kind of guys – Danny Ainge and company have done the hard part, and they’ve even acquired an All-Star point guard in Kemba Walker to go with them.
Boston is really well positioned to be a contender going forward, and it also has a bevy of interesting, situational potential role players who could fill out the roster for a cheap cost over the next three years. Oh yeah, and the Celtics have three additional first-round picks this year. I couldn’t justify making them No. 1 in these rankings, but a few executives certainly made the case for them, particularly after Tatum’s leap in the spring.
Only Zion Williamson’s New Orleans Pelicans ranked above the Celtics with the Memphis Grizzlies, Atlanta Hawks and Dallas Mavericks rounding out the top five.