Celtics targeting a legit center in NBA draft

Credit: USA Today

Credit: USA Today

It’s been no doubt to anyone in the Boston Celtics organization that they could use a true center on their starting five. Currently, the Celtics run any number of combinations at the five spot including Olynyk, Sullinger and Humphries.

Back before the trade deadline, coach Brad Stevens was asked if a seven-footer was on his Christmas wish list and he responded by saying he hadn’t thought much of it, but on Saturday following their third straight loss, Stevens admitted it is a concern.

“I’d be really curious to know, or to see from a defensive standpoint systematically, plugging one guy in there, Stevens said when asked about getting a big man. “What that might do to our numbers, being where we are in a lot of different areas.”

Where they are is 16th in the league in total rebounds per game and, in the case of these last three games, they’ve been out-rebounded 123-107.

Doc Rivers was very involved in the drafting process and though I doubt Stevens is as involved as Doc was, Ainge has shown he values his head coaches input when drafting. With this in mind, it’s not difficult to connect the dots that the Celtics will likely draft a center with one of their two first round selections.

According to TitleTownTalk’s own Joe Chancler, if the season ended today the Celtics would get the 18th overall pick from the Nets based on their current record. With that pick, could involve a dark horse selection at power forward.

If a top three pick is won in the lottery, the Celtics would seemingly be interested in Joel Embiid. Embiid is seven feet tall and has averaged just over eight rebounds per game to go along with 11.2 points per game.

He displayed great footwork with his back to the basket, but can also drift back and hit that same midrange shot Celtics fans are used to seeing Kevin Garnett make. According to most NBA Draft professionals, Embiid is one of two franchise changing players in this draft.

There was a question as to whether or not Embiid would enter the NBA draft, but according to Bleacher Report, Embiid will in fact enter.

The Celtics currently stand with a record of 23-49, which gives them a 29.1% chance of getting a top-three pick and an 8.8% chance of getting the number one pick according to Tankathon.com. Size is the biggest need on the Celtics currently and who couldn’t be happy with the Celtics grabbing a legit seven-footer and a power forward in the first round on the 2014 NBA Draft.

 

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