ESPN basketball insider Jeff Goodman joined Rob Bradford and Mike Giardi Sunday morning to discuss the NBA draft and who he thinks the Celtics will take with the third overall pick in this week’s draft. To hear the full interview, go to the WEEI audio on demand page.
With the NBA draft only a few days away, there remains some uncertainty with who the Celtics will select with the No.3 pick, assuming LSU forward Ben Simmons and Duke big man Brandon Ingram are the first two players selected.
“I talked to Danny [Ainge] a week or so ago, and it was interesting because he said one of the fun things for him was to sit back and watch all the people on the Celtics organization talk about who they like [with the third pick],” Goodman said. “He just kind of sat back and listened and didn’t weigh in. He probably has by now, when they started some serious conversations about who they wanted, but he would just listen and each guy would kind of go for a different player. There really are five or six guys they’re going to look at.”
When asked who he thought the Celtics would take, Goodman gave the same answer he gave on the show a month ago: 22-year-old Oklahoma guard Buddy Hield. The shooting guard led the nation in scoring last season with 25 points per game and won the Wooden Award after leading the Sooners to an appearance in the Final Four.
“I hope that’s who they take, because I do think he can help them the most and certainly help them the most immediately,” Goodman said. “The one thing that you question with Buddy is he’s older, so some people use that against him. To me, it’s like ‘alright, but he’s proven it.’ He’s gotten better, he’s athletic, he can shoot it, he’s a high character kid. … I would say, gun to my head, I’ll go Buddy, because nobody else has them picking Buddy, and I know Danny well enough to know he spins everybody. So when I see that, I think to myself, alright, I’ll go Buddy or [Providence point guard] Kris Dunn.”
Following are more highlights from the conversation. For more Celtics news, visit the team page at weei.com/celtics.
On Washington forward Marquese Chriss: “He wasn’t on anybody’s Top-100 back in November. … I wasn’t even expecting him to leave this year, he wasn’t expecting to leave this year, never mind potentially going No. 4 to Phoenix. He’s 6-foot-10, he’s athletic, he’s skilled, doesn’t rebound at a high clip. [It] kind of surprises me that Phoenix, from what I’m hearing, is likely to take him, because he’s a guy that’s probably not going to help you today, kind of like [International big man Dragan] Bender. He may not help you a ton today, but at the end of it, in three, four or five years, we may look at this guy and say oh my god, he’s the best one to come out of this draft because of his upside.”
On California small forward Jaylen Brown: “Just my gut says [Ainge is] not going to take a guy that’s not a skilled guy right now. … Physically, he’s got a great body, already 6-foot-7, 225. He’s a man, you could put him in there today. The equivalent I’ll give you with him is Stanley Johnson, the Pistons rookie who kind of looked like a man-child. But Stanley Johnson has proven that he can make shots, Jaylen Brown hasn’t. That would scare me if I were the Celtics, to bring on another really non-shooter at this point. He may develop into a decent shooter.”