Romeo Langford's 2019 NBA Draft Scouting Report: Analysis of Celtics Pick

Jonathan Wasserman@@NBADraftWassNBA Lead WriterJune 21, 2019

Indiana guard Romeo Langford plays against Michigan in the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in Ann Arbor, Mich., Sunday, Jan. 6, 2019. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)
Paul Sancya/Associated Press

The Boston Celtics have selected Romeo Langford with the No. 14 pick of the 2019 NBA draft.

While Indiana failed to reach the NCAA tournament last season, its top freshman quietly averaged 16.5 points per game in a body that screams "NBA." It wasn't the smoothest ride, but the ups outweighed the downs for Langford, whose key weaknesses may be correctable.


Quick hitters

Size: 6'6"

Weight: 215 lbs

Wingspan: 6'11"

Reach: 8'7"

Pro comparison: Alec Burks


Offensive strengths

Langford is a scorer, equipped with different moves for shot creation from each level. He's at his best when working with ball screens (90th percentile), getting downhill and attacking the rim or pulling up. He made 16-of-31 mid-range jump shots beyond 17 feet. But he was even more effective when using his length, instincts and coordination to finish around the basket, where he shot a terrific 63.6 percent. 


Offensive weaknesses

The debate on Langford starts with his jump shot, after he converted just 27.2 percent of his threes with the Hoosiers. He shot 4-of-26 on contested catch-and-shoot chances in the half court. It's also possible a thumb injury impacted his effectiveness. His other scoring skills are sharp, but he does lack explosiveness, a reason he finished in the 29th percentile at generating offense in transition. Langford also isn't much of a playmaker (14.2 assist percentage) for teammates.


Defensive outlook

Langford has excellent defensive tools that create promising potential and versatility. He should be able to match up with ball-handlers and wings. However, he loses focus off the ball, and his 0.9 steals and 1.0 blocks per 40 minutes are underwhelming for a player with his size, wingspan and fluidity. 


Rookie-year projection

Despite exceptional talent and skill, Langford couldn't always convert them into impact production, so it's unreasonable to expect an All-Rookie performance. However, he could benefit from more spacing and NBA coaching. He'll bring scoring off the bench, but inconsistency has to be expected, particularly while he irons out his jump shot and extends its range.


Projected role: Starting 2-guard 

Langford's ceiling reaches that of a quality NBA starter. Getting there will require him to fix his shooting and become a more dynamic scorer. Given his accuracy in the mid-range, plus the thumb injury that may have hindered his release, there is some optimism regarding his ability to improve. Being a limited playmaker hurts, however, and it adds pressure on his scoring. But Langford is strong enough fundamentally and physically. At worst, he's a source bench offense. At best, he'll average over 15.0 points per game in the starting lineup.


Stats courtesy of Synergy SportsSports Reference.