Boston Celtics: Would Austin Rivers have been a good fit?
As most are probably aware, the Boston Celtics drafted Jared Sullinger and Fab Melo in the first round of last June’s NBA Draft. It looks like a solid draft, even though I still think to this day taking Perry Jones with the 23rd pick would have been a better value pick for the team than Melo. Sullinger should carve out a nice role this season and for the future as a solid rebounder and interior scorer. The team has to hope that Melo can at least provide some nice energy this season, as his offensive skills need vast improvement in order to make an NBA rotation.
The real intrigue for the Celtics came on draft day when rumors began to circulate of the team moving up into the back of the lottery to try and acquire Austin Rivers, the son of Head Coach Doc Rivers. Rivers is an explosive guard who would have been a playmaker for this team. There still remain questions about his athleticism and how well he will shoot in the pros, but it must make many wonder how he would have fit in with the team with his father being the man in charge.
I think it was a good move holding firm and not packaging both of their first round picks to get him. I think Rivers can be a good guard in this league, but right now my gut tells me a solid 6th man role for the younger Rivers, similar to Jamal Crawford. He can certainly score in bunches and does have the flair for the dramatics, knocking down the game winner at UNC last season when Duke was trailing by double digits late in the game. How would he have meshed under his father? Could they handle a whole season together? I think there would have been more negatives than positives. Rivers ended up being drafted by the New Orleans Hornets and it is a good fit for him as his father and current Hornets Head Coach Monty Williams are very close friends.
The Celtics have to be confident that at least Sullinger will turn out well for the organization. He has been highly regarded for the past two seasons and will provide the team with a great rebounding presence. Melo is the wild card, if he can turn into at least a serviceable defensive big man, than the Celtics have a nice little draft on their hands.
Rob Lunder covers the Boston Celtics for Rant Sports. For all Celtics news, check out the Celtics homepage on Rant Sports. Follow him on twitter at @rlunder18