The NBA Draft Combine has come and gone, and the Boston Celtics are primed to be major players in the draft 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, at No. 17, just outside of the lottery.
In this draft, the team can still get a solid player who can start or possibly be a rotation player for years to come. One prospect to think about is the super athletic freshman point guard from UCLA, Zach Lavine. Lavine follows in the footsteps of some other prominent athletic points guards from UCLA, Russell Westbrook, Darren Collison and Jrue Holiday. Those are some pretty tough names to follow up.
Lavine is a legit 6-foot-5 without shoes. His athleticism is very exciting to watch and can help turn him into a lockdown defender. He’s quick enough to stay in front of whoever he’s guarding, and long enough to play the passing lanes and create steals. With him, you’re banking on his long-term potential. He shot a solid 44 percent from the field and 38 percent from 3-point land. But he also played only 25 minutes per game and was a backup.
He has to work on his shooting touch a little bit as he shot under 70 percent from the line, and he’ll also need to get his assist numbers up to remain at point guard or he’ll be moved over to the shooting guard spot.
A good NBA comparison for Lavine is a young Russell Westbrook — emphasis on young. He’s not the superstar yet, but has the potential to get there. Lavine is super athletic and can run with anyone. He’ll have some work to do in order to get to the level of Westbrook, but there’s no doubt he can get there.