• Cameron Jesson

The Celtics Post: Studs and Duds of the 2020 NBA Draft

Double dipping on the posts today since it is one of my favorite days of the year, the 2020 NBA draft! Here on the Celtics Post I’m going to do my pre-draft blog differently than most others that you will read. I’m not going to write up some long pros and cons of each prospect. I’ll give some quick overviews of players and then I am going to make some narrow and risky predictions of who I think the best and worst prospects are at different draft positions that the Celtics have/potentially could have. This way we can look back on it and you guys can either make fun of me for being an idiot or heap praise upon me for being a basketball genius. No saying “I like a guy but blahblahblah” as a way to hedge my bets. Danny eventually has to pick a guy and own that pick so I’ll put myself in his shoes and do the same. Without further ado, let’s get rockin’!



Mid Lottery (Picks 6-10 range): Stud - Killian Hayes/Dud – Obi Toppin


Credit: "Swish" on Youtube, check out his page!


The French lefty didn’t play college ball in the US but has played professionally overseas. He has good size, a good shooting stroke, and good vision both as an offensive playmaker as well as on team defense. Those are 3 of the most important factors in being successful in the NBA. He’s not a jump off the screen athlete like Edwards and Wiseman that we traditionally associate with high potential picks. Explosive open court speed and jump out the gym bunnies are nice and produce good highlights but they definitely can lead to prospects being overrated or underrated depending on if they possess those traits or not. Shooting ability, stop and go quickness, and feel for the game are more important predictors of success in the NBA in my opinion.

Kevin O’Connor over at the Ringer has had Hayes as his #1 prospect since he first posted about the 2020 draft. While I agree with him, it seems that most NBA scouts don’t as mock drafts have him hovering around the 5-12 range. I think he is an absolute steal at that range and if the Celtics are able to package picks together to move up they could potentially snag him. He slots in as an immediate contributor off the bench for us as well as someone who can grow alongside the Jays.

Not going to focus as much on the Duds but I’ve seen Toppin mocked going as high as #2 to the Warriors and consistently in the early to mid-lottery. I have one question for those people, who is this man going to guard in the NBA? He’s extremely slow footed so he struggles to stay in front of quicker players even if they’re not as athletic. He’s too small to be trusted to guard centers full time even with the current small ball trend in the NBA. He could provide some offensive value but I don’t see him being an elite shooter or facilitator to outweigh his horrendous defense. He reminds me of a poor man’s John Collins and Kuzma, neither would be worth spending a lottery pick on.


Celtics Stay at #14: Stud - Jalen Smith/Dud - Cole Anthony


Credit: "Swish" on Youtube, check out his page!


Jalen Smith is a long, skinny shot blocking Center out of Maryland. He has good touch and decent shooting potential. He is a bit awkward with his movements and still filling out his frame but would be great value for us at #14. I’d much rather address the center position by drafting him with this pick than trade one of our best players for Myles Turner.

Cole Anthony reminds me of Austin Rivers. A hyped up high school prospect with a lightning quick first step that was inefficient in college and doesn’t excel at any one skill. I know this might seem like lazy analysis but this is a trend that I see a lot. Players that are athletic in high school and dominate get hyped up, underperform in college, and then someone takes a flyer on them hoping they'll return to the high school days. Danny kind of did that with Romeo last year (jury is still out on that one) but here’s hoping he doesn’t do it again.


Well there you have it 4 predictions you guys can hold me to a year or two from now when we know what trajectory these guys are going in their careers. Let me know what you guys think of this kind of format and let me know what players you feel confident about and others you think will be busts.

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A Jake Zimmer and Will Tondo creation.

Based in Providence, Rhode Island

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