NBA Draft 2011 Team Needs: Boston Celtics' First-Round Options
With the NBA Draft rapidly approaching, it's time to take a look at exactly what each NBA squad needs, with a look at which players they may go after. Free agency isn't in the equation, because much like the NFL's current state, the NBA is headed for a potential lockout, which would nullify discussion of free agency.
We'll get it rolling in the Eastern Conference with the Boston Celtics, who have the 25th-overall pick in the draft.
2011 Projected starting five:
PG: Rajon Rondo
SG: Ray Allen
SF: Paul Pierce
PF: Kevin Garnett
C: Jermaine O'Neal
Everyone knows the Boston Celtics need some serious help inside if they want to make a serious run at the NBA Finals next season, while a general talent and youth upgrade is badly needed for a quickly aging core.
Unless the front office decides that it's time to break up the "Big Three" of Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, and Ray Allen, however, landing a big man has to be the top priority. The only problem is, they'll have to wait until the 25th selection in the first round to make their pick.
There is good news, though, as they'll have a few solid big men with some nice potential to take a look at.
Read on for a list of players the Celtics could go after in this year's draft.
Option 1: Trey Thompkins, PF, Georgia
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images
Thompkins is a big man with very nice offensive skills, but he may not be as tough as the Celtics are used to.
He might not have the versatility to start at center, but he has advanced low-post skills and could definitely give Boston an offensive presence on the blocks.
Because Kevin Garnett is obviously not getting any younger and Glen Davis is going to be a free agent, even if the Celtics aren't high on Thompkins' inability to effectively play center, they could simply look at him as their future at the power forward position.
Option 2: Jeremy Tyler, F/C, USA
Tyler isn't nearly as polished on either side of the ball as the aforementioned Thompkins, but he has really interesting potential to go with ideal size, strength, and athleticism.
His time overseas adds to his intrigue as he'll understand the rigors of pro life and be used to tough competition.
Unlike Thompson, he actually possesses the versatility to play center, as well, and probably is the more appealing long-term prospect.
Option 3: Nikola Vucevic
Gregory Shamus/Getty Images
Nikola Vuvecic is a very interesting player that has seen his draft stock skyrocket over the past few weeks. He's a seven-footer with very nice offensive skills around the basket and can hold his own against stronger competition on the offensive end.
He's not the most fluid or athletic big man, however, and right now he does not have the strength or maturity Boston would be seeking.
The Wild Card: Kyle Singler, G/F, Duke
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images
Grabbing Kyle Singler goes against common sense here, but there's a decent chance the Celtics will concede defeat in regards to landing an impact big man in this draft and instead focus on impending free agency to find their solution at power forward or center.
Rather than reach, they could grab the cerebral, team-first Singler, who would bring elite shooting, versatility, and a winning mentality to a club that preaches all of the above.
Made in the mold of Boston's own Larry Bird, Singler could come off the bench early in his career as a reliable energy guy and offensive spark while being groomed behind Paul Pierce to become a future starter.
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