Celtics

Celtics

BOSTON -- The starting point isn't quite what it has been the past couple of years, but the intent on draft night -- find an impact player -- remains the focus for the Boston Celtics.
 
They come into tonight's draft with the 27th overall pick, a steep fall from having the No. 3 overall pick in each of the last two drafts. 
 
Boston used those selections on Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum, respectively. 

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Both had strong rookie seasons, with Brown being named to the NBA's All-Rookie second team in 2016-17 while Tatum came one vote shy of being a unanimous selection to the league's All-Rookie first team this past season. 
 
Finding another Brown or Tatum so late in the first round tonight isn't likely to happen, which is in part why the Celtics are one of the more prominently mentioned clubs that is looking at possibly moving up in the draft. 
 
Boston has what you might call a balanced portfolio of options that can be packaged together to entice teams to make a deal. 
 
In addition to Sacramento's first-round pick next season (likely to be in the top five), the Celtics also have a number of talented players still on their rookie deals who could potentially be included in a deal to move up the draft board. 
 
But all indications up to this point is that Boston will stand pat at No. 27, a draft slot that has produced some talented players in recent years. 
 
Last season, Los Angeles Lakers forward Kyle Kuzma was taken with the 27th overall pick. He was among the NBA's top scorers among rookies which was one of the keys to him landing a spot on the NBA's All-Rookie First Team. 
 
Other notable standouts taken with the 27th overall pick include Larry Nance Jr. (2015), Bogdan Bogdanovic (2014) and all-star Rudy Gobert (2013).

 

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All of those players live in the frontcourt, which in past years has been fertile ground for teams picking near the end of the first round. 
 
But this is a different kind of draft, one that's top-heavy on bigs. Which means the talent pool around where the Celtics will be picking, is littered with perimeter players in all shapes, sizes and skill sets. 
 
And while the Celts would love to add a player who can step in and contribute right away, they know that's a tall order considering where they are picking relative to a roster that's already one with lots of youth playing in prominent roles. 

"We do have a lot of guys under contract for next year and a lot of our young guys have seen significant minutes," Boston's Austin Ainge, director of player personnel, told NBC Sports Boston. "That experience matters. I don't think that we're going to not use our pick because of that. We're going to try and get a good player that's a good fit, whether it's using that pick or trading it depending on the opportunities given us."

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