Kevin McHale, Jayson Tatum cited as Boston Celtics ‘traded NBA draft picks that turned into gold’

The Boston duo were one of 13 examples cited of draft picks that had been traded for a big payoff later on in a new HoopsHype article.

It is always a gamble to trade a draft pick projected to be a valuable lottery pick with little or no protections on it, and in many cases, such a move can come back to bite the team that did it pretty badly.

Among the 30 teams of today’s NBA, analyst Frank Urbina of HoopsHype fame assembled a list of 13 examples of such a trade taking place with the Celtics occupying two of those slots. The deals in question led to Boston picking up Hall of Fame big man Kevin McHale and All-NBA small forward Jayson Tatum (drafted by McHale’s teammate and former team president Danny Ainge, no less).

Let’s see what Urbina had to say about the two diamonds in the rough.

Celtics Lab 140: Does the NBA have enough talent to expand, and how might it affect the Boston Celtics if they did?

On the latest episode of the Celtics Lab podcast, we put our heads together to see if the NBA is ready to expand and how it might affect Boston with a mock three-team expansion draft.

In the dog days of summer, amidst the worst of the NBA content desert, a whisper of expansion has caught the attention of the league’s most faithful fans. Since pushed back on by those in the know as this topic seems to see every time rumors of adding new teams to the league tends to go, it has still captured our collective imaginations of what such a scenario might look like.

And as NBA commissioner Adam Silver has said in the past, the league will expand at some point, so some daydreaming about a league with 32 (or more!) teams is not entirely a pointless exercise, as any such expansion will have an impact not only on what teams the Boston Celtics play, but also our favorite team itself.

But is the NBA ready to add more teams? Would the talent be stretched too thin? What players might the Celtics protect from being taken by these new teams in an expansion draft, and which players left unprotected might get grabbed?

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On the latest episode of the CLNS Media “Celtics Lab” podcast, hosts Justin Quinn, Alex Goldberg, and Cameron Tabatabaie put their heads together to answer these questions with a mock three-team expansion draft.

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Check out the clip embedded above to hear our methodology and results on this episode of the Lab, as well as the latest news trickling in this late in the offseason.

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See where Kel’el Ware falls in Sports Illustrated’s 2023 NBA big board

The latest 2023 way-too-early big board came from Sports Illustrated’s Jeremy Woo, and has Oregon Ducks center Kel’el Ware at No. 17 overall

The 2022 NBA draft is only two months into the rearview mirror, but with college and international hoops starting shortly the NBA draft pundits are already crafting their mock drafts for 2023.

Jeremy Woo of Sports Illustrated released his first big board, acknowledging what he has is more of a watch list at this point in the process.

Oregon Ducks incoming freshman center Kel’el Ware came in at No. 17 overall on Woo’s list, the third seven-footer behind Victor Wembanyama and Dereck Lively.

Ware has done a lot for his profile over the past six months between the All-American circuit and FIBA competition, intriguing scouts with his size and length, rim-protecting capacity and developing jumper. While his motor can still be a bit sporadic, he seems to have turned a bit of a corner in that department as he gets further accustomed to impacting games with his physicality. It’s fair to wonder how strong his production is going to be at Oregon, but Ware offers so much of what teams look for in a shot-blocking big that he’ll warrant some patience as he makes the jump in level. I’ve heard some positive comparisons to Jarrett Allen at the same stage, which would be a high-end outcome for him, but Ware has a pathway into the first round if he continues on his current trajectory.

Ware is next in a long line of high-level recruits to join Dana Altman’s program in Eugene, with fans hoping to see production match the hype – something that didn’t come together with N’Faly Dante, Bol Bol, and (to date) Nate Bittle.

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Regrading 2017 NBA draft lottery prospects: The Boston Celtics’ Jayson Tatum at No. 3

Not only did Boston strike gold with Tatum — they traded back in the draft to do it.

It can be a little hard to believe in retrospect that the 2017 NBA draft did not have star Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum going first overall, but he did not. Aand that is not even the most peculiar aspect of the top of that draft class. On top of not going first, the St. Louis native was actually picked by the Celtics after team president Danny Ainge traded back in the draft from No. 1 to No. 3 to grab Tatum after it became clear the Philadelphia 76ers were focused on Markelle Fultz instead.

How did that gamble pay off for Ainge and company? Most of you reading this can probably guess by virtue of your interest alone, but to put everything in a more neutral perspective, the folks over at the Hoops reference channel have assembled a draft regrade of the 2017 class, with Tatum of course near the top.

Watch the clip embedded below to hear how they grade the pick for Boston and see if you agree with their assessment.

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Regrading 2020 NBA draft lottery prospects: The Boston Celtics’ Aaron Nesmith at No. 14

The Vanderbilt product may yet develop into an important part of the Pacers’ rotation but was something of a letdown for Boston fans, and that may not be a result entirely of his own making

For any player trying to find his way in the NBA early in his career, opportunity in the form of consistent playing time is critical. And playing time was anything but consistent for forward Aaron Nesmith in his time with the Boston Celtics before he was dealt to the Indiana Pacers.

The one-time Vanderbilt standout may yet develop into an important part of the Pacers’ rotation, but he was something of a letdown for Boston fans. That may not be a result entirely of his own making. In any fair assessment of Nesmith’s selection by Boston at No. 14 in the 2020 NBA draft, these things should be taken into consideration.

Watch the draft regrade of Nesmith’s class put together by the folks at the Hoops Reference YouTube channel, and decide for yourself if you think the grade they give him was deserved.

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Regrading 2019 NBA draft lottery prospects: The Boston Celtics’ Romeo Langford at No. 14

How should we grade the pick with hindsight on our side?

He may no longer be a Boston Celtic — he as dealt to the San Antonio Spurs in the trade that brought back Derrick White — former Celtics draft pick Romeo Langford will always be seen in terms of how he’s done as a draft prospect through the lens of Boston’s front office.

While he has been a helpful player despite missing a significant portion of his career because of numerous injuries, as a late lottery pick he has fallen short of being the player many had hoped he could become — at least this far into his relatively young career as a 2019 class member.

How would one grade the pick given who else might have been available for the Celtics to select?

The folks over at the Hoops Reference YouTube channel did their best to answer that question in a recent clip grading the 2019 prospects in 2022; take a look at the clip embedded above to hear what they had to say about Langford.

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Kel’el Ware projected top-10 pick in 2023 NBA mock draft

Oregon Ducks freshman center Kel’el Ware is projected to be a top-10 pick in the 2023 NBA draft according to experts.

The future is looking very bright for Dana Altman and the Oregon Ducks men’s basketball program, especially after they secured a commitment from 2023 prospect KJ Evans on Tuesday.

Evans won’t make an impact on the team this upcoming season, but another high profile recruit – center Kel’el Ware – is going to be must watch basketball this year at Matthew Knight Arena.

While it’s too early to accurately know how the 2023 NBA draft is going to shake out, the industry mock drafts that have begun cropping up all have Ware going very high next year – including Bleacher Report’s Jonathan Wasserman, who has him going No. 8 overall.

“Ware earned fans during the All-Star circuit, and he continued to strengthen his scouting profile this month at the U18 Americas Championship,” Wasserman wrote. “In just 19.5 minutes, he averaged 15.7 points, 6.8 boards and 1.8 blocks, and scouts still think there is a three-ball in his game waiting to emerge at some point.”

If Ware were to go inside the top-10 of next year’s draft, he would be the first Duck to do so since Luke Jackson, who was selected No. 10 overall back in 2004.

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Did the Boston Celtics find a diamond in the rough with JD Davison?

Did the Boston Celtics find themselves a steal in the form of JD Davison?

Did the Boston Celtics find a diamond in the rough in Alabama combo guard JD Davison? Picked up by the Celtics with the 53rd pick of the 2022 NBA draft, expectations were low coming into Las Vegas Summer League action.

The second-round pick ran the point and led summer league action in assists with 8.2 per game. the third most ever recorded by a Boston player to go along with 13 points per game on 43% shooting. Davison didn’t look like a rookie or the 53rd overall pick out there with his burst, but will his play translate to NBA regular season?

Can Davison crack the rotation? The host of the CLNS Media “Celtics Beat” podcast Evan Valenti debates this with Celtics blogger Dan Greenberg in the following clip.

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B/R analyst rates Boston Celtics camp invitee Trevion Williams 5th-best undrafted 2022 prospect

Is the big man’s unorthodox passing game a good fit for the Celtics?

There is a palpable buzz building around the NBA potential of undrafted big man Trevion Williams, who is likely hours away from making his Las Vegas Summer League debut with the Boston Celtics‘ Sin City squad. The Purdue product’s passing and court vision is already earning him praise from fellow Summer Celtics and Boston assistant coach Ben Sullivan, the team’s head coach for the annual Nevada exhibition series.

And that is not so surprising to established scholars of the NBA prospect game like Bleacher Report’s Ben Wasserman, who rates Williams as the No. 5 undrafted prospect from the 2022 draft — it seems Boston may very well have stumbled onto some found gold in the Purdue product.

“Scouts have had trouble picturing a fit with Trevion Williams, a 265-pound big who doesn’t shoot or offer much defensive value,” wrote Wasserman, acknowledging how he managed to slip out of the second round and into Boston’s camp rotation.

How to Watch: Jabari Smith’s first Summer League appearance

The No. 1 and No. 3 overall picks square off tonight.

Things will be interesting right from the jump with former Auburn phenom [autotag]Jabari Smith[/autotag]’s first Summer League action.

Smith was selected third overall by the Houston Rockets in what some called a bit of a surprise, as he was the odds-on favorite to be selected No. 1 by the Magic for most of the offseason until former Duke player Paolo Banchero was selected first-overall instead. When former Gonzaga standout Chet Holmgren was selected second to the Oklahoma City Thunder, Smith was picked by the Rockets and will certainly be playing to prove to the Magic and Thunder that they made a grievous error in not selecting him first.

He’ll get a great chance to prove that tonight, as the Rockets will be kicking off their Summer League action against the Magic — who selected Banchero over him. Smith is sure to try and best the former Duke player in their first showings, and here is how you can watch him take to the court later tonight: