NBA sixth man of the year
Join Date: Jun 2006
Re: My Crazy Mock 2016
3. Boston (From Brooklyn)
WHAT I THINK WILL HAPPEN: Those first two are a formality. Now it gets interesting. For disclosure … I’m a Celtic fan. The Celtics could go in any direction from here. And Ainge is among the least predictable front office guys in the business. They’ve been connected in mocks to almost every player available from 3 to 10 in this spot. Heild, Murray, Bender, Dunn, etc. I think they’ll swing for the fences. I think there’s a thought that they take the most ready guy, seeing as they’re a playoff team, but Ainge has always preached the Best Player Available model, so I don’t see it. The most ready is probably Heild, who fits a need for shooting. There is a middle road they could take. Murray is potentially a top tier shooter himself, four years younger, and a better ball handler. But that backcourt rotation is crowded as it is. I think they shake things up by going Bender. They’ve been chasing defensive rim protection for a while now. And we know they covet spacing bigs. Bender theoretically brings both. He’s probably got the most upside of anyone left here. He’s a tough scout because of the limited playing time, but like I said, this is a management group that isn’t afraid to take a swing.
WHAT I WOULD DO: Personally, if I were running things, I would also take a long swing, but with another upside guy who’s flying up boards. Marquese Chriss. He’s also got huge upside. Probably a truer big than Bender, his athleticism is off the charts, and he can shoot. And like Bender, there’s real sample size issues. I know Chriss comes with some focus concerns, but that’s why you pay a high level coach, and work so hard to create a culture of winning, so you can take gambles on guys like this.
In both scenarios, a trade is totally possible. I can’t predict that. But personally I wouldn’t give up this pick for much short of Cousins. Unless you can bundle the trade in a way that gets you a stab at a free agent too.
WHAT I THINK WILL HAPPEN: Phx’s need at PF is sort of a ubiquitous draft note. Whatever is left of Bender, Chriss, or maybe Ellensen (who I saw at The Big East this year and wasn’t particularly impressed), will almost certainly go here. In this version of my prediction Bender is gone. I think they’ll take Chriss over Ellensen, but it’s probably way closer than it would be for me. Dunn and Murray are probably the best players on the board, but they’re too backed up at those spots, and too thin up front, to go that way.
WHAT I WOULD DO: In this version, Bender is still here, and he’s probably the best fit for Phx, even moreso than Chriss. I like the Best Player logic more than most, but even I couldn’t argue against Bender, who may be the Best Player anyway.
WHAT I THINK WILL HAPPEN: Dunn and Murray are probably the best players on the board at this point. I’m a huge Dunn fan. He’s a CT kid, and I’ve been watching him since High School. If management hadn’t changed to Thibs, I’d probably predict Murray. He’s the safer play in my opinion. The shooting works well with KAT and off Wiggins drives, and on the weakside of pick and rolls. And he can play both off the ball with Rubio, and on the ball enough to make an interesting mess paired with Levine. But Thibs … he’ll fall in love with Dunn. He’s all over the floor defensively. Pushes offensively almost to the point of it being a problem. And I can see Thibs not liking Rubio’s approach and eventually moving him. He’s old management anyway.
WHAT I WOULD DO: For the reasons I said, I’d go Murray. I think he’s a more universal fit. And that’s not easy for me to say, because I love Dunn. But I like Rubio still more than most. Hield is also an option here, but I put Murray and Hield in the same category, with Murray just being a notch above due to age, pedigree, and ball handling.