Markelle Fultz would be rare freshman pick for Celtics

Markelle Fultz would be rare freshman pick for Celtics

A. Sherrod Blakely ran a very interesting piece today on the NBA’s tendency to prioritize the young age of a player at the top of the draft, perhaps even to a fault. 

As Blakely writes, each of the first five picks this year are expected to be spent on college freshmen. This is in part to a mindset throughout the league that prioritizes youth over experience, which Blakely quotes a scout as saying is the “best and worst of our game right now.” 


Yet the Celtics, who are viewed as something of a more forward-thinking organization, don’t necessarily do what everyone else does. They hired Brad Stevens before he was expected to be an NBA coach and they got a meeting with Kevin Durant despite not having the supporting cast of other teams. 

So how much stock do the Celtics put in a player being as young as possible? Judging by their work since 2006 (the first year that high schoolers had to play at least one year of college before being drafted), not an absolute ton. 

The Celtics have made come away with 12 college players selected in the first round, meaning they either drafted a player or traded for a player in that year’s class during the draft. 

For example, Rajon Rondo was the 21st pick of the 2006 draft, but he was chosen by the Suns and then flipped to Boston. Similarly, the Celtics technically drafted players like Randy Foye (2006) and Jeff Green (2007) but moved them immediately in previously agreed-upon trades. 

So, of the 12 first-round college players the C’s have netted, here’s a breakdown of their status: 

Freshman: 3
Sophomore: 5
Junior: 2
Senior: 2

What stands out there is that the Celtics have drafted only three freshmen since high school players became ineligible. Using the past three drafts as a sample size, here’s how each year has been represented among college first-round picks: 

Freshman: 32 (46 percent)
Sophomore: 15 (22 percent)
Junior: 8 (12 percent)
Senior: 14 (20 percent) 

In other words, you can expect nearly half the college players selected in the first round of a modern draft to be freshmen, yet the Celtics have kept an open mind. In fact, 75 percent of the college players they’ve netted have not been freshmen, with them more likely to have spent a pick on a junior or senior (four) than on a freshman (three). 

Part of this has to do with where the selections have been made. The prospects at the absolute top of the draft are typically freshmen and the Celtics have only held a top-three pick in that span. When they did, they took a freshman in Jaylen Brown. 

However, they have had a top-seven pick four times since 2006. Other than the Brown selection, they traded the picks for veterans in both 2006 and 2007; they took a sophomore in 2014 (Marcus Smart).

These figures will change when the Celtics presumably take Markelle Fultz No. 1 overall next month. Yet by their draft history, that won't be a decision based on age. 

'Big Baby' busted with 126 grams of pot, $92K in cash

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'Big Baby' busted with 126 grams of pot, $92K in cash

Former Celtics forward Glen "Big Baby" Davis was arrested last month in a hotel room in Aberdeen, Maryland, with more than 126 grams of marijuana and more than $92,000 in cash.

Davis, 32, who played on the Celtics 2008 championship team was last in the NBA with the Los Angeles Clippers in 2015, was arrested Feb. 7 after the hotel owner at the Aberdeen Hampton Inn smelled marijuana coming from Davis' room, WMAR-TV in Baltimore reported.

“They recovered 126 grams of marijuana,” Aberdeen Police Lt. William Reiber told WMAR. “In addition to that, there was a briefcase that contained 92,164 dollars of U.S. currency along with a ledger that contained language which is consistent with someone involved in the sale and distribution of narcotics.”

Davis is charged with seven counts of drug possession and distribution.

Police said the strains of marijuana were from a Los Angeles wholesaler that court records show Davis told police he was in business with.

He told officers he was visiting family in Maryland. Davis' attorney told WMAR the former Celtic (2007-11) adamantly maintains his innocence and looks forward to his day in court next month to clear his name. 


Horford helps Celtics get back on track

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Horford helps Celtics get back on track

Aggressive Al Horford was on the floor Friday night for the Boston Celtics, a good sign for a Celtics team that has been battered by injuries. 

As the oldest member of the team, the 31-year-old’s leadership has to become more example-driven as well as existing in the spoken word.

CELTICS TALK PODCAST  - Smart's importance to C's, dissecting the East

Horford was on point for most of Friday’s 92-83 win over Orlando, a game that was far more lopsided in Boston’s favor than the final score might indicate.

The 6-foot-10 forward/center had a near double-double with 15 points and nine rebounds. 

What was more telling was that Horford took a team-high 18 shots from the field, as clear a sign as you will find that Horford’s mindset on Friday was to attack Orlando’s defense early and often. 

And while it’s true that the Magic are one of the worst teams in the NBA, that doesn’t diminish the way Horford executed the plays called by head coach Brad Stevens as Horford played the role of primary scorer more often than usual, instead of being a major facilitator.

Having missed Boston’s previous two games, Horford was admittedly concerned if the lay-off might affect his conditioning. 

“Wind-wise I felt good,” Horford told reporters after Friday night’s win. “A little rusty on offense. But defensively I felt great. I felt our team came out with energy; just a good win.” 

A win that became a lot easier to get with Aggressive Al on the floor. 

 Here are the Stars, Studs and Duds in Boston’s 92-83 win over Orlando.



Terry Rozier: He continues to provide the Celtics with really solid guard play, with all-star guard Kyrie Irving (left knee soreness) missing. Rozier had a game high-tying 17 points along with seven rebounds and five assists. 

Greg Monroe: The third quarter was when Monroe really began to take over the game. He finished with 17 points, 10 of which came in the third. 

Shelvin Mack: Not a lot to cheer about for Mack and the Magic who once again struggled in so many phases of the game. But Mack still managed to score 16 points. 



Al Horford: Having missed the two previous games, Horford was back in full force on Friday. He had 15 points on 6-for-18 shooting to go with nine rebounds

Boston rebounding: The Celtics control of the glass began from the outset and never really eased up. For the game, Boston grabbed 55 rebounds compared to just 40 by Orlando. 



Fourth-quarter Celtics: The only real blemish on an otherwise impressive performance by Boston, was the team’s overall play in the fourth quarter. Boston was outscored 31-17 and turned the ball over 10 times in the quarter.