Celtics

On second thought, the 2017 NBA RE-draft

On second thought, the 2017 NBA RE-draft

BOSTON – The 2017 NBA draft was one of the youngest ever with the most college freshmen ever selected in the first round. We’ve had a chance to see most of this year’s bumper crop of rookies play, with many showing skills beyond their youth.
 
Still, there are some who haven’t exactly set the league on fire as expected, which has a few league GMs wishing they could do a draft-day do-over.

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Here’s a bit of revisionist history at work today as NBC Sports Boston looks at the top 10 prospects that would be available if teams had the benefit of foresight.
 
Jayson Tatum: His length and scoring ability were a given. But what has really set him apart from his fellow rookies and among the Celtics players, is his defense and overall feel for the game.
 
Kyle Kuzma: Drafted 27th overall by the Los Angeles Lakers, his ability to shoot from the perimeter, attack close-outs and rebound, makes Kuzma the biggest surprise this year among the rookies.
 
Lonzo Ball: The potential remains extremely high for Ball who comes to the NBA with the kind of court vision we’ve seldom seen from such a young prospect. But he has to become a better shooter if he’s going to ever reach the superstardom level so many envision for the No. 2 pick by the Lakers in last June’s NBA draft.
 
Donovan Mitchell: He showed flashes of being a player who might prove to be more impactful than a 13th overall pick. So far, he has not disappointed with strong play for the Jazz.
 
Markelle Fultz: The jury is still out on just how impactful Fultz will be. It's a process that has been slowed by a shoulder injury. I’m still of the mindset that this kid, when all is said and done, will be really good in this league.

De’Aaron Fox: His end-to-end speed has set him apart from just about every rookie and for that matter, most veterans. He gives the Kings legitimate hope that their playmaker of the future has arrived.
 
Lauri Markkanen: An efficient scorer, there’s a lot to like about this big man’s game except for one thing...he plays for a really bad Chicago team. And because of that, it’s hard to tell if he’s putting up numbers because he’s a good player or because he’s on a really bad team. The truth most likely lies somewhere in the middle.
 
Malik Monk: Selected by Charlotte 11th overall, Monk has provided a nice scoring option off the bench for the Hornets to help ease the scoring burden on the team when Kemba Walker needs a break.
 
Dennis Smith Jr.: Similar to Markkanen, Smith has put up big numbers on a team that has struggled all season. But the explosiveness and knack for simply getting points are evident regardless of how much the team he plays for may struggle this season.
 
John Collins:
There’s a huge void of talent in the frontcourt for the Atlanta Hawks and Collins has the potential to fill it sooner rather than later. He’s a double-digit scorer and grabs 7.6 rebounds per game to show that he’s a much better player than the 19th overall pick.
 

Report: Celtics sign veteran forward Jarelle Eddie

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Report: Celtics sign veteran forward Jarelle Eddie

The name Jarelle Eddie may not be familiar to you, but he's spent some time with the Celtics.

Four days, to be precise, just prior to the start of the 2014-15 season. He was signed on Oct. 23, right after being waived by the Atlanta Hawks out of training camp, and then released on Oct. 27.

But now he's back . . . 

Eddie, a 6-foot-7, 220-pound small forward, went undrafted after playing four seasons at Virginia Tech. He's bounced from team to team over the last four years, and actually got into 26 games with the Wizards in 2015-16.

Here's a look at some of his most recent work, with the G League's Windy City Bulls:

Celtics need to find No. 2 scorer behind Irving

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Celtics need to find No. 2 scorer behind Irving

BOSTON -- Everyone knows Kyrie Irving’s value to the Celtics is extremely high.
 
But it really hits home on those nights when he’s not in the lineup, as was the case in Boston’s 89-80 loss to Philadelphia on Thursday.
 
Irving didn't play due to a sore left shoulder.He's carried the load offensively for most of this season for a team that has the best record in the Eastern Conference, so it's not surprising the Celts scored the fewest number of points they've scored in any game this year.
 
But it highlights the need for the Celtics to develop a number 2 scorer who can, when needed, step into the more prominent role as the team’s go-to guy.
 
Boston has good players, but none have elevated their play to that of being the next-best scoring option to Irving.
 
Al Horford is a four-time All-Star (with a fifth on the way  this year), but he has never been a player you can turn to for consistent, big-time scoring. That’s because his game is deeply rooted in getting others involved and playing high-level defense.
 
Jaylen Brown has the right mindset most nights, but his all-around game offensively is still evolving. And while he is the team’s number two scorer at 14.2 points per game, that average falls well short of what the No. 2 scorer on most teams isdoing offensively. In fact, Atlanta, Indiana and Sacramento are the only teams in the NBA whose No. 2 scorer has a lower average than Brown.
 
Then there’s Jayson Tatum, a player who has shown all the early stages of superstar-itis. But as talented as he is, the 19-year-old Tatum is similar to Brown from the standpoint of not being ready to emerge as the team’s second-best scorer.
 
“That’s why Gordon (Hayward) was such a good signing for them,” an NBA scout texted NBC Sports Boston. “He gave them a legitimate, high-level second scorer who on some nights would be your best scorer or your best player.”
 
Hayward suffered a dislocated left ankle injury in Boston’s season-opener, and is expected to miss the remainder of this season.
 
Irving’s injury is nowhere close to being that serious. In fact, there’s a very good chance that he will be back in the lineup Sunday when the Celtics host the Orlando Magic.
 
But that doesn’t make up for the team’s lack of a second scoring option.
 
Here are five takeaways from Boston’s 89-80 loss to Philadelphia.
 
 

REBOUNDING

Work on the glass is always going to be a challenge of sorts for the Boston Celtics, making that early run of strong board games a faint memory. Because what we saw against the Sixers was more along the lines of what we’re accustomed to seeing out of the Celtics when it comes to rebounding. The Sixers decisively won the battle on the glass 41-31, serving as a reminder that the narrative surrounding this team when it comes to rebounding hasn’t changed a bit.

TURNOVERS

Brad Stevens described his team’s offense against Philadelphia as being “sloppy” and, truth of the matter, he was being kind. They were hot mess on so many levels against the Sixers. Credit Philly for having a game plan defensively that worked really, for all but the final few minutes of play. No facet of play better illustrated this than the 19 turnovers committed by Boston, which led to 15 points. It’s not the points scored by the Sixers that were the big problem. It’s the fact that those turnovers meant fewer opportunities to score which is the last thing a team without Kyrie Irving needed.

JAYSON TATUM

Against New Orleans, he didn’t take enough shots. And last night against Philadelphia, he didn’t make the ones he usually does. I wouldn’t call what Tatum is going through now hitting the rookie wall. Because he has played so much already, teams have plenty of film and have definitely adjusted the way they have defended him. Now it’s on him to find other ways to impact the game offensively that may not necessarily be his first or second go-to move. He had some nice off-the-dribble moves against the Sixers, finishing with 11 points on 4-for-11 shooting. Tatum needs to continue ratcheting up his aggression at both ends of the floor, which we saw some of that against the Sixers. Now he just needs to keep it going.

SHANE LARKIN

It was just one game, so it would be foolish to get too excited about Shane Larkin’s play against Philadelphia. But there was a lot to like about how he came off the bench and provided some energy and a spark to a team that seemed to be going through the motions. He had eight points on 3-for-6 shooting but more important, he was really aggressive with his drives and decision-making, which is the kind of performance Boston needs others beside Larkin to bring to the floor when their number is called.

JOEL EMBIID

For all that went Philly’s way on Thursday, you still have to give a great deal of credit to Joel Embiid for his play at both ends of the floor. Boston could not stop him on the block or from 15 or so feet out, as he lit the Celtics up for 26 points on 10-for-19 shooting along with 16 rebounds and six assists. It was the second straight game Boston had been dominated by an opposing big man, raising more concerns among Celtics Nation that Boston needs to address its frontcourt by adding another big between now and the playoffs.

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