The NBA Draft Combine has passed, and the Boston Celtics are going to be major players with two top-20 picks, including one in the lottery. This is going to be a profile mostly on the Celtics’ second pick in the draft, No. 17, just outside of the lottery.
In this draft, you can still get a solid player who can start or possibly be a rotation player for years to come after the lottery. An interesting prospect is UCLA star point-forward Kyle Anderson.
Anderson is an intriguing prospect because he’s 6-foot-9, but handles the ball and played point guard for UCLA this year. He is in some sorts like Magic Johnson, a big guy who handles the ball, prefers to assist and can also get his own shot.
His stats on the season were rather impressive, averaging 14.6 points, 8.8 rebounds and 6.5 assists per game. He was pretty close to being a walking triple-double. While putting up big numbers like that, he also shot 48 percent from the field and 48 percent from three-point land — although he didn’t shoot many threes.
Bringing in Anderson would be great to spell Rajon Rondo, so he can either play off the ball and be an effective cutter, or Brad Stevens would be able to put a more prominent shooter out there depending on how the roster looks next season.
Anderson is an average defender, which is a reason he would be available at this point. He’s not a super athlete — you can tell that just by watching him play. He’s also very frail, and can be easily bullied on the block by opposing forwards and bigger guards.
He plays at an effective pace, and is one who dictates how fast or slow the game is going to be played. With added strength, Anderson should be able to handle his own and become an above-average defender.
His versatility would be a coach’s dream because of the matchup nightmare he presents. You can play really big lineups with him, and you can also go small with him in the lineup.
A good NBA comparison for Anderson is someone like Lamar Odom. Remember, Odom won the Sixth Man of the Year award back in 2011 with the Los Angeles Lakers. He was really good before being traded, and we all know what happened then. If Kyle Anderson gets stronger, and works on his shooting consistency, he can be really good. He already has many of the other tools it takes to be successful.