2014 NBA Draft: 5 Players the Boston Celtics Should Target

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2014 NBA Draft: 5 Players Boston Celtics Should Target

2014 NBA Draft: 5 Players the Boston Celtics Should Target
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The Boston Celtics' plan has been clear from the beginning. Boston is tanking in order to obtain a high-lottery draft pick in the deep 2014 NBA Draft. After a six-year competitive era, the Celtics are ready to rebuild with Rajon Rondo at the helm. Who they pick in this year's draft could determine the future of the team.

The Celtics could potentially find their franchise player within this draft. Plenty of future stars abound in this draft. The top 20 or so will be able to contribute to a team right away. It is critical that the Celtics obtain the right player.

The Celtics have two first-round picks this season. They are currently projected to be No. 4 and No. 17 thanks to the Brooklyn Nets. This is a terrific opportunity to speed up the rebuilding process. The Celtics need to pick the best prospect available with their selections, but they do have some obvious needs that need to be addressed.

The Boston Celtics don't have much size on their roster. They have no true centers and all their big men are power forwards. The Celtics could use some length at some point in the draft. Also, the Celtics could use a scorer on the wing. Jeff Green isn't their guy and Avery Bradley is set to be a free agent at season's end. Also, who the Celtics select will play a major part in whether or not the Celtics want to keep Rondo or not.

If the Celtics decide to go with a point guard, which is a deep position in the draft, they could trade Rondo and receive some solid assets in return. So let's take a look at which prospects will fit in with Boston and make it better for the future.

Note: Since the Celtics are projected to get the No. 4 pick, the top three prospects will be excluded from the considerations. These prospects include Jabari Parker, Joel Embiid and Andrew Wiggins.

Related Articles:

NBA Mock Draft: Picks 1-10

NBA Mock Draft: Picks 11-20

Michael LeDuc is a Boston Celtics writer for Rant Sports. Follow him on Twitter @mike_leduc, and add him on Google.

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5. C Willie Cauley-Stein

Stein
Dak Dillon-USA TODAY Sports

The Celtics will need some big man depth next year, especially considering Bass has been in a swirl of trade rumors. Boston simply lacks size. It could use a true, defensive center like Willie Cauley-Stein. The 7-footer could emerge into that defensive anchor, plus he'd complement Sullinger pretty well. The Brooklyn Nets' pick should be between 15 and 20 and that is where Boston can find Willie.

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4. PF Montrezl Harrell

Harrell
Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Harrell is a strong and powerful athlete who plays above the rim. He also has a nice mid-range shot. Rondo works well with shooting big men. Boston lacks athleticism, so Harrell is a perfect candidate. He's only 6-foot-8, but makes up for his size with tremendous leaping ability and strength. However, his post game is limited. The Celtics could draft him between 15 and 20.

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3. SG James Young

Young
Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports

The Celtics' first pick in the draft should be somewhere in the top 10. Since Avery Bradley is set to be a free agent, drafting a shooting guard wouldn't be such a bad idea. James Young's style of play would fit well next to Rondo. He hits the three, slashes to the basket and has a great mid-range, pull-up jumper. No doubt Rondo would bring the best out of Young.

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2. PG Dante Exum

Exum
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Exum has a terrific upside which makes him a tough prospect to pass on. He's tall and lengthy at 6-foot-6, creates mismatches and is an excellent play maker. He would certainly be the successor of Rajon Rondo. Exum can score in a variety of ways and would fit well this Celtics squad.

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1. G Marcus Smart

Smart
Brendan Maloney-USA TODAY Sports

Teams might pass on Marcus Smart because of his recent altercations. He would be great value for the Celtics and fit perfectly with Brad Stevens' system. He's a leader, a competitor and he has a drive to win--everything you need to be a Celtic. The selection of Smart would either indicate Rondo being traded or the departure of Avery Bradley. If Rondo stays put, Smart would do just fine as the two-guard. He's a top five talent for sure.

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