For the first time since 2009, the Boston Celtics do not have a first-round pick in the NBA Draft.
The Celtics dealt their 2021 first-round pick to the Oklahoma City Thunder as part of the Kemba Walker trade last month. It was a necessary move to get rid of Walker's contract and gain more roster/financial flexibility moving forward.
The lack of a first-round selection doesn't mean the Celtics won't acquire a quality player from this draft, though. The 2021 draft class is a deep one, and there will be NBA-caliber players selected throughout the second round, where Boston will pick at No. 45 overall.
One position the Celtics would be wise to target in Round 2 is point guard. They are a bit thin at point guard following the Walker trade, with Marcus Smart and 2020 first-round pick Payton Pritchard atop the depth chart at that position.
Who might the Celtics pursue in the second round Thursday night? Here's a roundup of expert predictions for the Celtics' pick from recent 2021 NBA mock drafts.
Kevin O'Connor, The Ringer: David Johnson, G, Louisville
Jonathan Givony, ESPN: Austin Reaves, PG/SG, Oklahoma
Sam Vecenie, The Athletic: Jason Preston, G, Ohio
Jeremy Woo, Sports Illustrated: Austin Reaves, PG/SG, Oklahoma
Cody Taylor, Rookie Wire (USA TODAY): Kessler Edwards, SF/PF, Pepperdine
Kyle Boone, CBS Sports: Daishen Nix, PG, USA
Jonathan Wasserman, Bleacher Report: Jeremiah Robinson-Earl, PF, Villanova
NBADraft.net: Isaiah Livers, SF/PF, Michigan
Tankathon: Herbert Jones, SF, Alabama