NBA Draft 2012: 5 Bold Options for Boston Celtics' 3 Draft Picks
The Boston Celtics will have a great opportunity to rejuvenate a once-aging team with some fresh faces through next week's NBA draft. With three selections in a deep draft class, the Celtics have to be pleased with the direction they are headed in.
The Celtics hold picks No. 21, 22 and 51, leaving Danny Ainge and the rest of the Celtics' front office with some intriguing decisions to make.
Selections towards the back end of the first round may not prove to be the safest, but they could end up paying significant dividends down the line.
Although there are options aplenty, it will be difficult for the Celtics to find young players capable of replacing the production of Brandon Bass, Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen and even Jeff Green. With their three picks, the Celtics will afford themselves a great opportunity to build a bright future.
Here are five bold options for the Boston Celtics' three draft picks.
Iowa State's Royce White is undoubtedly one of this draft's most intriguing prospects. White possesses all of the athleticism in the world, and while his game isn't exactly polished, there's plenty of room for growth.
White is an active body on the offensive end, typically looking for his shot anywhere inside of 12 feet. At his best, when he's driving the lane, White excels in the paint at both scoring and rebounding.
As a sophomore at Iowa State, White recorded 13.1 points and 9.2 rebounds per game while shooting just over 53 percent from the field. If there's a knock on White, it's that his game hasn't been developed completely, which is why his name has been devoid from lottery consideration.
The Celtics are certainly in the market for frontcourt depth with picks No. 21 and 22, but a player with White's upside may be too good to turn down.
Standing 6'8" tall, White projects as a small forward at the next level, but his weight (261 pounds) makes him a more versatile option. While he may not be prototypical small forward like Paul Pierce, White has some time to grow into a role while learning from one of the NBA's best.
In a draft replete with frontcourt talent, Jones could easily slip into the Celtics' range in the first round. In years past, a player like Jones would figure to be a lottery selection, but much like Royce White, there are questions about how complete his game is.
Jones is one of the best athletes in this draft class, and at 6'11'', could be a future staple of the Celtics' frontcourt. He's no Kevin Garnett, but Jones is a player who can easily develop into a double-double-per-night kind of player.
Playing alongside a point guard like Rajon Rondo could open up the floor for Jones, and ultimately simplify his game.
If Jones can learn to work on the blocks and become a competent mid-range shooter off of the pick-and-roll, he could become a very nice player for years to come.
If the Celtics are looking to fill the void left by Ray Allen, they should look no further than Vanderbilt's John Jenkins.
Aside from Florida's Bradley Beal, Jenkins may be this draft's most deadly three-point shooter. In his three seasons at Vanderbilt, Jenkins never shot lower than 46 percent from the field and never lower than 40 percent from beyond the arc.
The folks over at NBADraft.net have compared Jenkins to players like Dell Curry and J.J. Redick, but with that said, there's a risk associated with spending a first-round draft pick on a specialist. Jenkins is certainly worth consideration at the back end of the first round, but his defensive prowess is below-average to say the least.
Jenkins would figure to back up Avery Bradley at the 2-guard, and without a shooter like Ray Allen to stretch the floor, Jenkins fits the mold for the three-point specialist that this team is missing.
The first name that comes to mind when comparing Tony Wroten to a current NBA player is Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo. While he's bigger and stronger than Rondo, Wroten excels in the open floor, passing and scoring well in transition.
The knock on Wroten is clear: he possesses no semblance of a consistent jump shot. However, teams like the Celtics should not be scared away just because Wroten appears to be an offensive liability. As we've seen with Rajon Rondo throughout the course of his career, a jump shot is perhaps the easiest skill to develop at the professional level.
Wroten is unique in that he's a 6'5'' combo-guard who possesses all of the traits of a prototypical point guard. With his size, Wroten could end up developing into a very nice complement to guys like Rondo and Avery Bradley.
Without a breakout performance in the NCAA Tournament, Norfolk State's Kyle O'Quinn would not even be in the draft conversation as a late-second-round prospect.
Picking at No. 51 overall in the second round, the Celtics will be looking for a diamond in the rough and O'Quinn could be just that.
Averaging a double-double over his last two seasons at Norfolk State, O'Quinn is built in the mold of an ideal role player. He's the furthest thing there is from selfish and will throw himself on the floor, scrapping for each and every loose ball.
A rarity in today's NBA, O'Quinn will come in with a full four years of college experience under his belt and his maturity could be invaluable in propelling him into a significant role with his first NBA team.
As the Celtics search for frontcourt depth in the absence of Kevin Garnett and Brandon Bass, O'Quinn could be an integral part of a youth movement in Boston.