Five defenders Celtics could target at No. 27
BOSTON – When it comes to adding talent, there’s really no such thing as having too many good defenders.
So with the Boston Celtics owners of the 27th overall pick, you can bet they will be on the prowl for players whose strength on the floor lies in how well they can defend.
Having a knack for defending at a high level is certainly an eye-catcher when talking about the Celtics.
Fortunately for them, there will be a number of players pegged to be drafted sometime in the 20s or early second round who might be worth taking a flier on with the 27th pick.
Here’s a look at some of the better defensive players who may be around when Boston is on the clock with the 27th overall pick.
TROY BROWN, G, Oregon
Standing 6-7 with a wingspan of nearly 7-feet, Brown has the potential to defend three different positions which allows him to not be a liability when he’s forced to switch out on a different opponent. He has good lateral quickness which allows him to stick with smaller defenders. And because of his length, he can contest bigger opponents looking to shoot over him. He’s one of those players whose draft ceiling is somewhere in the teens, but will most likely wind up being picked somewhere in the 20s.
OMARI SPELLMAN, PF-C, Villanova
His unexpected emergence catapulted him from being a potential lottery (top-14) pick in 2019, into a likely first-rounder a year earlier. He is an undersized big who does a great job at protecting the rim for his size. And if you have a drive-and-kick playmaker, he can make teams pay with his mid-range shooting, too. He’s projected to go anywhere from the mid-teens to early second round so for the Celtics, he’s a guy that’s well within their draft range.
MITCHELL ROBINSON, PF-C, USA
You love his upside as a rim-protector aided by an already NBA-ready frame. But he is a basketball newbie in every sense of the word, having not played in college after having just picked up the game a few years prior to that. Whatever team drafts him, goes in knowing he’s likely to spend a good chunk of his first NBA season in the Gatorade League. Lots of questions, for sure. But the talent is undeniable.
KEITA BATES-DIOP, F, Ohio State
Bates-Diop has some physical attributes that may allow him to be an effective player in large part because of his defensive versatility. Despite being just 6-6, Bates-Diop is a tremendous rebounder in part because of his under-rated strength, as well as a 7-3 ½ wingspan. With him already being 22 years old, the upside to his game isn’t nearly as great as it is with some other prospects. But his toughness and versatility could only add value to a Celtics roster that’s looking to add some quality depth from this year’s draft.
DE'ANTHONY MELTON, G, USC
A bit undersized for a shooting guard at just 6-4, Melton has a peskiness about him defensively that you absolutely love to see. What he lacks in size he more than compensates for with great instincts when it comes to playing the passing lanes along with utilizing his 6-8 wingspan. His offensive game has lots of room for growth, but if the Celtics were looking to add another defensive instigator to the mix, Melton is certainly a player who should be on their short list.