The Boston Celtics still must attend to playoff business, but it’s not too early for some draft chatter.
ESPN on Tuesday projected in its latest 2021 NBA mock draft the Celtics will select LSU shooting guard Cameron Thomas in the first round and Paris Basketball’s Juhann Bégarin in the second round. ESPN believes Boston, which owns the No. 16 and No. 45 overall picks, will enter the draft in search of more wing scoring, and Thomas and Bégarin might fit that particular bill.
“The Celtics cycled through a host of wing options all season and will likely continue to look to fortify this position to complement Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown and Marcus Smart,” ESPN’s Jonathan Givony wrote. “Thomas is one of the best scorers in the draft and will likely need very little time to acclimate himself offensively thanks to the instincts he brings on that end of the floor.”
Thomas averaged 23 points, 3.4 rebounds and 1.4 assists per game in his freshman season at LSU, helping the Tigers go 19-10 in the regular season and reach the second round of the NCAA Tournament. He was the fourth-highest scorer in Division I and also earned All-SEC First Team honors.
Bégarin, 18, averaged 10.8 points, 3.7 rebounds and 2.7 assists in 26.5 minutes per game in 2020-21, according to RealGM.com.
The 2021 NBA Draft will take place July 29, giving the Celtics plenty of time to evaluate prospects and mock drafters to link the team with Thomas, Bégarin and a host of other players.
The Celtics trail the Brooklyn Nets 2-0 in the first round of the NBA playoffs. Boston will host Brooklyn on Friday at TD Garden in Game 3.