Someone Talk Me Out Of The Celtics Drafting Luka Garza Because I'm Currently Very Intrigued

Maddie Meyer. Getty Images.

Since Brad Stevens had to attach #16 to Kemba Walker just to get off his contract, our focus has shifted to what they might do at #45. It wouldn't surprise me if they attached that pick in a trade for a player that fits into one of their TPEs, but for the sake of this blog let's pretend they actually keep it. What should they do? 

At this point of the draft, everything is a crapshoot. Every player taken in the middle of the second round is going to have some sort of flaw or be a complete unknown. Otherwise, they wouldn't be mid 2nd round picks. We've definitely seen guys work out that were taking around 45, players like Jokic, Trevor Ariza, Paul Millsap, Marc Gasol, Goran Dragic, Danny Green, Patty Mills etc so it's not unheard of, but I also wouldn't say it's all that common either. More often than not, mid 2nd round picks flame out. 

Which brings me to Luka Garza. This guy.

2020-21 Stats: 24.1 points / 8.7 rebounds / 1.7 assists / 55/44% shooting splits with 1.4 3PM

From what I can gather, he's projected to be a mid-ish 2nd round pick. Despite dominating college basketball, the knack on him is the fact that he is nowhere close to being an NBA caliber athlete. That lack of mobility is going to be a disaster on the defensive end at the next level, especially in P&R defense. I'll say it again. If he didn't have a flaw, he wouldn't be a 2nd round pick. I'm just thinking in terms of his skillet, how the roster currently looks, and the fact that at this point in the draft shouldn't you be looking for prospects that are low risk but could have a high reward?

NBA comps I'm seeing call him an Enes Kanter Lite or a poor man's Vucevic. We all lived through the Enes Kanter experience which had its ups and downs, but remember what we're talking about here. This isn't the primary backup center. He's a project, and end of the bench depth piece. Shouldn't his skillset be worth the risk? Maybe you could get him to be slightly terrible defensively as opposed to a complete disaster.

I understand the approach of maybe trying to find the best athlete you can and then teach him skills once they're in the building, that was the Danny Ainge special. I'm just not so sure it worked when talking about these 2nd round picks. Guys like Jabari Bird, Semi, Javonte Green (undrafted) were all great athletes that didn't really have an NBA skill. That NBA skill never really developed. Why shouldn't Brad flip the script and maybe go the other way? Take the guy with a proven skillset who might not be the best athlete? You can improve that shit. You're taking a flier on a guy picking at 45, that's why I can't shake the idea of taking the leap of faith on Garza. 

I'm not sure how anyone could look at their current big man rotation and think the Celts are all set and should avoid taking low risk moves on that position. My guess is if they do trade Thompson it won't be for another big, which means they're entering the season with


Rob Williams

Al Horford

Moses Brown

Luke Kornet (maybe, UFA)

Tacko Fall

You can't tell me that group couldn't use some additional depth moving forward. Take Garza and give him one of the Two Way deals so you don't take up an guaranteed roster spot. Seems like a win/win for everyone involved no? If that player could be a big physical center who can also stretch the floor, isn't that exactly what you use a project pick for? 

Honestly, I'm open to anything at 45. It could be a guard, wing, or big. Doesn't matter to me. If you keep the pick, I just ask that Brad take someone with a proven skillset as opposed to a completely raw but athletic player. We have that already. 

So am I crazy? Are you in or out on Garza at 45 if they have the option to take him. I sort of like it the more I think about it.