To put it lightly, the Boston Celtics franchise has had a rough start to the summer. In short, the Celtics' two best players are likely to leave.
But Thursday's draft could be a turning point for the Celtics' offseason. Danny Ainge was absolute nails.
Ainge got exactly what he wanted; more cap space and two first-rounders rather than three, all while recouping a second-round pick in the same draft and a first-round pick in 2020 or 2021. Brilliance.
So, what about the actual players they selected?
14. Boston Celtics (via SAC) - Romeo Langford, G/W, Indiana (19)
14 might be seen as a "reach" for Langford, but he wouldn't have been there at 20, and you can't fault a team for going after a player that's near the top of their board. Langford was projected to be a top-10 pick in this year’s draft but struggled throughout his year at Indiana. He has legitimate upside as a scorer in the NBA, he’s a great attacker and off-ball cutter that can finish at the basket through contact and can also create his own shot in the mid-range with a plethora of back-to-the-basket moves.
He shot an awful percentage (27.2%) on 3.9 attempts per game. He’s definitely going to have to improve his range. He’s not a great passer, but he doesn’t need to be if he can make the easy plays and score from all three levels.
"Potential" is a key-word for Langford.
22. Boston Celtics - Grant Williams Jr., F, Tennessee (20)
I LOVE this pick for Boston with all of my heart. Grant Williams is one of the smartest players in the draft and he has the toughness and work ethic that the Celtics always look for in prospects. He's a bit short for the forward spot at 6'6" but he has 6'11" arms and has great defensive timing. Not to mention, he's a bulldozer in the paint.
Williams is the perfect role-player on offense. He can run the offense from the elbows, blocks, or free-throw line, and his post-moves are solid. He has this one-legged fadeaway that looks Paul Millsap-esque, and he excels at getting to the free-throw line. He shot 82% from the line last season at Tennessee.
Clearly, Ainge and co. put an emphasis on free-throw generation in the draft after being one of the worst teams in the NBA at it in 2018-2019. Celtics fans will probably think he stinks for his first two years a la Marcus Smart, but they'll come around. Nobody said they're the smartest group.
33. Boston Celtics - Carsen Edwards, PG, Purdue (21)
Not only is Carsen Edwards a hot-shooting guard that will fit great off the Celtics' bench, but if the rumors are true, and I believe every rumor I hear, Ainge stole Philadelphia's guy AGAIN with this pick. I should also point out that I think Edwards is a pretty good player. He's short, but extremely strong. His shooting is, by far, his best skill.
51. Boston Celtics - Tremont Waters, PG, LSU (21)
I'll be the first to admit that I don't know much about Tremont Waters. What I do know, though, is that he's a New Haven, Connecticut native that plays stout guard defense. After two years at LSU, Waters is not a very potent offensive player, but he can command the offense and take care of the ball reasonably well.
If the guy is busting his tail on defense, you can't be mad with what you get. Waters will probably be a Red Claws player for most of the year, but I see why the Celtics were interested in taking a flier on him.