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The Sports Edge (06/29/2016)

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The Sports Edge  (06/29/2016) (Associated Press photo)
Draft disappointments
The NBA Draft was supposed to be a lot of things, both for the league at large and for the Boston Celtics.

It's supposed to be a spectacle on par with what the NFL Draft has become, both in terms of ratings and in terms of the ad revenue the league can earn from it. I would imagine that what drives people's interest in watching both events has to do with the unpredictability involved, the speculation of who is going where and - perhaps most importantly - who is getting traded. Unfortunately, this incarnation was a flat-out dud.

From the Philadelphia 76ers announcing their intention to select Ben Simmons first overallearly in the week (which in turn prompted the Lakers to announce they would take Brandon Ingram with the second selection and effectively ended the suspense) to the questionable and muchlarger than usual draft-and-stash cache to the nearly identical 'beauty is in the eye of the beholder' picks that followed the top two, it was a whole lot ofnothing.

Perhaps the most troubling part of the night for me was watching how the Celtics handled things while choosing third overall and sporting a hungry man's portion of picks throughout the rest of the draft.

Drafting the two foreign guys with theidea that they'll stay overseas and allow the Celtics the necessary room to sign two max free agent deals makes sense. After all, luring Kevin Durant to Boston might not be as easy as having Isaiah Thomas tweet about how sweet his new shoes are. He may come into his meeting with the Celtics (which in andof itself is a godsend and proves that the way theplayers in the league feel about coming to Boston is changing)saying he would like to bring somebody with him. With the second max deal, the C's could offer any of the otheravailable free agents the chance to come to the Eastern Conference and join KD in taking on LeBron.

That's all OK. For real.

What I'm talking about is drafting Kendrick Brown again.No, no I kid, of course. It's Jaylen Brown from Cal, an admittedly-intriguing prospect, but at the point in the rebuild where the Celtics currently sit, it's a puzzling and concerning move.

Puzzling because the two things the Celtics needed at the end of last season were someone to protect the rim and rebound the basketball and someone who can score. Brown is an amazing athlete, but heis obviously not ashot-blocking big. Nor is he someonewho is goingto come into the league ready to fill it up like a Buddy Hield or Kris Dunn might.Also, if Brown is two or three years away from really being ready to make an impact as some insiders believe, then I'm surprised a player like Dragan Bender didn't get more consideration, since he fits both needs while also obviously needing that time to develop.

It concerns me because of all the different times I've seen Jae Crowder's name come up in various rumors that link the Celtics to a top guy elsewhere. I'm curious if they see Jaylen Brown as a sort of Crowder/Jimmy Butler hybrid player, once he's developed his jump shot. Can't acquire one, might have to trade the otherwhy don't we just draft a new one and start over? Sure, but I like the gutty play thatCrowder brings to the table and would hate to see him go.

The only thing we can do is wait and see how Jaylen Brown develops to know just how much of a fleecing Danny pulled on the Brooklyn Nets in the Paul Pierce/KG deal. Pundits have been acting like he pulled a fast one, but if Brown turns into Gerald Green 2.0? At that point, who really won the trade?

Regardless, it's a good thing the Nets are so bad - theCeltics willprobably have a crack at the top of the draft again next year.


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