The Boston Celtics might not turn themselves into NBA finalists on the night of the 2020 NBA Draft but they can step in that direction.
The Celtics will attempt to boost their present and future prospects via the draft, which will take place Wednesday night. They own three picks in the first round — Nos. 14, 26 and 30 overall — and how they use them likely will impact their fate going forward.
As an Eastern Conference finalist in 2019-20, the Celtics won’t need to overhaul their roster in order to contend for the NBA Finals. However, anyone who watched Boston closely last season will conclude the team has areas of concern it needs to address. Doing so, via the draft or other avenues, might prove difficult, as Boston’s roster and salary-cap space both are scant. Nevertheless, here are those needs they might target in the 2020 NBA Draft.
The Celtics could use a player capable of providing scoring punch off the bench. What position he plays is far less important than his ability to score consistently, so there likely will be at least a few available options at No. 14. Expect the Celtics to target a versatile scorer with their top pick.
The Celtics’ struggles against premier big men were well-documented throughout the season and came to a head again in the Eastern Conference finals. With Enes Kanter’s future unclear, the Celtics might enter the season hoping Robert Williams, Grant Williams or Tacko Fall develop dramatically enough to push incumbent starter Daniel Theis for minutes.
If they pursue a big man in the draft, he might not be NBA-ready and thus could fall into the “draft-and-stash” (overseas or in the NBA G League) category.
Backup point guard, future starter
Kemba Walker won’t be an elite point guard forever. In fact, his balky knee already has some in the NBA community recommending the Celtics trade him just over a year after his arrival.
Backup point guard Brad Wanamaker is a restricted free agent. If he leaves the Celtics will have little choice but to draft a backup point guard of the present, one who would develop into Walker’s heir in the best-case scenario.