The Boston Celtics are poised to receive another injection of youth.
The NBA conducted the 2020 NBA Draft Lottery on Thursday night, with the results confirming the Celtics’ positions in the draft. ESPN’s Jonathan Givony subsequently published his latest 2020 NBA Mock Draft, in which he predicts the players Boston will select with its three picks in the first round.
The Celtics’ top pick will be No. 14 overall and it comes via a previous trade with the Memphis Grizzlies. Givony links the Celtics with guard Killian Hayes, a 19-year-old Frenchman who plays professionally in Germany for Ulm.
“Hayes’ positional size, passing creativity and off-the-dribble shooting potential give him significant upside to grow into considering he just turned 19,” Givony wrote. “He also is experienced and productive for his age, having already played 72 pro games in Europe. With Kemba Walker on the wrong side of 30, the Celtics could look at adding some backcourt talent, which is considered the strength of this draft class.”
The Celtics naturally own this year’s 26th overall pick, with which Givony predicts they’ll select Mississippi State forward Robert Woodard II.
“At 6-7, 230 pounds with a 7-1 wingspan, huge hands and a greatly improved shooting stroke, Woodard could give coach Brad Stevens additional depth at the combo forward spot,” Givony wrote. “Woodard’s weaknesses as a shot-creator would be mitigated on a Celtics team that is flush with ballhandling, allowing him to lock into a role as a 3-and-D forward.”
Finally, the No. 30 overall pick also belongs to Boston because of a previous trade with the Milwaukee Bucks. Givony has them selecting Kansas center Udoka Azubuike to finish off the first round.
“When Al Horford walked, the Celtics experimented by turning to undersized Daniel Theis to start at center,” Givony wrote. “Danny Ainge might look to add a different dimension to the frontcourt in Azubuike, a unique physical presence with at 270 pounds with a 7-foot-8 wingspan and 9-foot-4 standing reach.”
The 2020 NBA Draft is scheduled to take place Oct. 16. Givony’s mock draft represents speculation, and he might link the Celtics to other players in the coming weeks.