NBA Draft 2012: Royce White Must Be a Boston Celtic in 2013

Matthew SchmidtFeatured ColumnistJune 23, 2012

LOUISVILLE, KY - MARCH 17:  Royce White #30 of the Iowa State Cyclones looks on dejected from the bench late in the second half against the Kentucky Wildcats during the third round of the 2012 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at KFC YUM! Center on March 17, 2012 in Louisville, Kentucky.  (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

The Boston Celtics are in for a very eventful offseason, one that could potentially result in a championship in 2013 or the start of a new era in Beantown.

Obviously, the biggest story of the summer for the Celtics is whether or not Kevin Garnett returns, but before that is addressed, Boston gets to bolster its roster through the NBA draft.

The C's have two first-round draft picks this year (Nos. 21 and 22), one of them coming thanks to the Kendrick Perkins trade.

Thankfully for Danny Ainge and company, the 2012 draft is considered by many to be the deepest in years, meaning the Celtics can certainly haul in two quality players with their pair of first-round selections.

One name that has been floating out there ever since Boston's season came to an end is Iowa State's Royce White.

White may very well be the most unique player in the field, and there is a very good chance that he turns into the steal of the draft.

Actually, I'll go even further than that: he has the talent to develop into one of the best players of this draft, period.

You're probably asking yourself, if this kid is so good, why in the world would he be available at the No. 21 pick?

Well, as I'm sure many of you already know, it is well-documented that White has an anxiety disorder and has a fear of flying. Now, he flew all over the place in college and has been doing so during his draft workouts, so you have to wonder if the latter is a bit overblown.

That said, it is still a concern, and that is why he is being projected to be drafted around No. 20 rather than in the top 10.

Still, I think this is a risk the Celtics have to take, and there already have been rumors that the C's have promised White that they would take him if he were to be available at No. 21. Whether or not this is true is anyone's guess, but I think it does make sense.


Let me start by telling you the type of player White is, because unless you follow college basketball religiously, chances are, you didn't see much of Iowa State this past season.

White is a 6'8", 261 lb. forward who can handle the ball like a point guard. As a matter of fact, his dribbling and passing abilities rival many of the actual guards in this draft.

He has incredible court vision and has no problem leading fast breaks thanks to his high basketball IQ and aforementioned handles. White is also a good rebounder, as he is able to use his large frame to ward off multiple opponents and come down with the board.

Of course, just like any other player, White has his weaknesses.

For one thing, he is a pretty poor jump shooter. He doesn't seem to keep his body square on his jumper, and his hands are so large that they actually inhibit him from shooting the ball cleanly (sound familiar, Celtic fans [Rajon Rondo]?).

His form is not terrible and squaring up is certainly something that can be worked on. However, his hand size will likely keep him from ever being a knock-down shooter.

White also has some work to do defensively, as he is not the quickest player laterally and sometimes loses focus on that end of the floor.

Still, his defense isn't awful, and assuming Garnett returns to Boston next year, White will be able to somewhat hide his deficiencies in that area and, with K.G.'s help, likely improve.

So, how does White fit on the Celtics?

Well, for one thing, the C's could really use a physical player. It sounds strange given how physicality has become synonymous with Boston over the years, but this past season, Garnett was really the only physical player the Celtics had.

Adding White into the mix will give the C's a big body to help deter opposing wings (obviously meaning LeBron James) from getting into the lane.

White also gives Boston a good rebounder, something that it sorely missed this year, as the Celtics were one of the worst rebounding teams in the league.

White's versatility would also be huge for the Celtics.

First of all, he can play either forward position, meaning he could end up being a matchup nightmare in the NBA. If he plays power forward, he can pull his defender out to the perimeter and dazzle him with his incredible ball-handling.

If he plays the three, he can use his good post game to his advantage.

Yes, there are concerns as to whether White can defend some of the quicker and more athletic small forwards in the league, but given how good Boston's team defense is, again, you can kind of hide that.

Also, Garnett turned Paul Pierce and Ray Allen into good defenders, so why can't he do it with White?

White is so versatile that he can actually run some point for the C's when Rondo is off the floor. How great is that? You'll be drafting a player who can essentially play three different positions.

I realize that a lot of this is based on Garnett returning next season, but I really think we are going to see K.G. in green in 2012-13.

I also really hope we see White donning the same jersey.

All of this said, don't get your hopes up, because there is a very good possibility that White will be off the board by the time the Celtics pick. If he isn't, though, I will be screaming at my television screen for Boston to take the Iowa State product. I think he can be an immediate difference-maker for this team.