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One week after the Boston Celtics saw Banner No. 18 slip away, Danny Ainge and co. geared for the 2010 NBA Draft on Thursday. Unlike in years past, the Celtics were in fair position, holding the 19th pick in the first round. It was the highest draft position the Green held since the 2007 draft, when the team traded the rights to Georgetown forward Jeff Green, who was selected fifth overall, to the then-Seattle Supersonics in a deal to get Ray Allen.
With needs across the board, the Celtics had the “luxury” of selecting the best player available in the eyes of the front office. Ainge did just that.
The Celtics drafted undersized SG Avery Bradley from the University of Texas, making Bradley the first UT player ever drafted by the Celtics in the first round. Bradley’s set to join a back-court with the likes of Rajon Rondo, Tony Allen, and potentially Ray Allen.
The Tacoma, Wash., native left Texas after one season, where he averaged 12 points per game. Bradley has shown the ability not only to score but to defend. Possessing a long wingspan, Bradley has all the tools to defend premier two-guards in the NBA. However, the knock on Bradley is that he’s one-dimensional.
Bradley struggles creating offense off the dribble and rarely does he attack the rim. In fact, Bradley averaged a mere two free throws a game, in which he only managed to connect on 54 percent of his attempts.
With their second round pick, the Celtics added Irishman Luke Harangody. The 6-7, 240-pound power forward can score and score a lot. For Notre Dame, Harangody averaged a double double during the 2007 and 2008 seasons. In 2009, Harangody didn’t disappoint, scoring 22 points a contest along with nine rebounds.
Like other second round big men the Celtics have drafted under Ainge, Harangody finds himself in the “undersized” category. Harangody compares favorably to former Celtic Leon Powe and even Glen Davis to an extent. All three of which play hard, have great work ethics, but are vertically challenged.
The Celtics have had much success with their late round selections, so look for the team to expect Harangody to contribute. If Harangody can show the coaching staff that he can defend an NBA four, he’ll find the court. That’s something that won’t be an easy task for Harangody, as he does have a difficult time guarding bigger forwards.
Remember it wasn’t all that long ago when Harangody was the talk of college basketball for what he was doing at Notre Dame — similar to that of what Davis did for LSU in 2006.
The Celtics certainly didn’t make “great” selections, but for the position they were in the Celtics grabbed two solid basketball players. Boston will now turn their focus to free agency where both Ray Allen and possibly Paul Pierce (opt-out option) are set to become free agents.
Many believe the window for the Celtics is closing fast, if it hasn’t already closed. Kevin Garnett isn’t the same player he was even two years ago, Ray Allen literally can’t find the basket, and outside of Rondo and Pierce, the rest of the Celtics team is mediocre at best. Throw on top of that the uncertain future of coach Doc Rivers and the Celtics could be in for a shaky 2010-2011 campaign.Note: Bradley won’t play in the Celtics Summer League because of an ankle injury he sustained at Texas.