Grading the Celtics' draft grades
Grading the Celtics' draft grades
It’s hard to figure out where draft grades fall on the power-rankings-to-mock-draft scale of sports things that don’t need to exist yet are ineffably captivating, but they’re on the list.
Draft grades are empty calories. We absolutely don’t need them, but we guzzle them down without fail in the hours and days that follow each draft. Regardless of what grades our teams receive, we don’t think at all differently about how we originally felt about the picks. For some reason, we still read.
Sometimes you’ll see the writer praise every aspect of a team’s draft, then give them like a B-. Then there are the grades that congratulate a team for getting their 45th-ranked prospect at No. 60. It's still the NBA draft and the likelihood of a mid-second round pick being a star is minuscule.
At any rate, I was bored and read all the draft grades, so here are grades for the Celtics’ draft grades.
Andrew Sharp, SI.com
"I'm a little tired of trying to decode Danny Ainge's master plan for all these assets. When they traded the No. 1 pick, I think a lot of people around the league assumed that it was a prelude to a bigger move. But they didn't get Jimmy Butler on Thursday night, they didn't get Kristaps Porzingis on Thursday afternoon, Paul George rumors came and went, and ... Maybe they just really like Tatum? I'm not a huge fan of his game, but others are. And if anyone can find a way to take what he does well—iso scoring—and make it work at an elite level, it's probably Brad Stevens. Semi Ojeleye is a prospect I really liked, but with Ante Zizic and Guerschon "Dancing Bear" Yabusele coming over, I wonder whether they even have minutes for him.The Celtics are probably not as brilliant as the true Ainge believers think, and they're probably not as dumb and gun shy as some critics make them sound. That's my only coherent Celtics thought after (another) 96-hour window of endless Celtics rumors. We'll see what happens in free agency."
Grade for that grade: B
Fair criticisms. It seemed something big was coming, but it never did. With that said, what would George or Butler have cost? If it was the third pick, it wasn’t worth it.
Andrew Lynch, Fox Sports
“The Celtics got the player they wanted at No. 3, and we expect Tatum to develop into a solid offensive player in Boston. However, we're docking Danny Ainge a letter grade or two here for the Wolves' acquisition of Jimmy Butler. According to reports, the Celtics were unwilling to include the No. 3 pick in a trade for Butler.”
Grade for that grade: Expelled
Lynch is very good, but even the best fall down sometimes. Docking them for not trading the third overall pick for Jimmy Butler? Not acknowledging why moving a key piece for someone who wouldn’t put them over the top and could hinder their ability to spend as much as they’d like to in free agency is a good idea? Expelled.
Jordan Greer, Sporting News
“Tatum will walk into the league with a polished offensive game, and Brad Stevens will only help him improve. Ojeleye was a top-20 player on our Big Board, so he's a good steal at 37. Allen and Bird will have to wait in the back of the line of guards.
“The chase for Gordon Hayward now truly begins.”
Grade for that grade: B-
Greer seems really high on everything the Celtics did. Kind of feel like he needs to go with a higher grade or explain what earns them the B.
Adi Joseph, USA Today
"When the Celtics made their trade with the 76ers, many expected this pick to be used on Josh Jackson. He undoubtedly was the most coveted by other teams on the trade market, and he fit the Celtics' style of play and preference in drafting. But that's part of what makes Tatum, the draft's most natural scorer, such a good fit: He's different. He's not at all like Jaylen Brown or Jae Crowder, and he gives the Celtics some of the scoring ability they lacked when Isaiah Thomas was off the court. He's also incredibly polished, though that could be interpreted as a lack of upside."
Grade for that grade: A+
Just a perfectly executed grading. He explains why he loves the pick for the team, concedes they could come to regret passing on another tempting option, and arrives at a B+. This is the good stuff.
Maurice Moton, Bleacher Report
"The Celtics went with the better all-around scorer as opposed to the better overall player at No. 3. Jayson Tatum brings good character to the locker room and adds a consistent offensive threat in the frontcourt. Semi Ojeleye will add muscle and collect rebounds with the second unit off the bench."
Grade for that grade: C-
Can’t accuse a team of not going with the best player available with a top-five pick and then give them an A. Come on, America.
Jordan Schultz, Yahoo! Sports
"Jayson Tatum is the most polished offensive player in the draft – a legitimate three-level scorer who can further develop an already impressive post-up game as his body progresses. Fittingly, I’ve been told that Boston believes he can fit the Paul Pierce 2.0 mold. Tatum is significantly better than last year’s No. 3 pick – Jaylen Brown – though his defense remains a slight concern. In the second round, Danny Ainge hit on SMU’s Semi Ojeleye, a powerfully built, highly athletic pick-up truck. It doesn’t hurt, either, that Ojeleye knocked down over 42 percent of his 3-pointers as a junior. There is suddenly some duplicity on this roster, but the Celtics also got a lot better."
Grade for that grade: A
When you see the “A+” grade, you know that you’d better see nothing but the grader saying they got the best player and that he can be a legend. Schultz more or less says that. He’s clearly a huge Tatum fan and isn’t afraid to shout it from the mountains.