Boston: Boston Celtics Make Noise During 2019 NBA Draft

Celtics Coach Brad Stevens addresses the media at The Auerbach Center in Boston during last night's NBA Draft (Photo Credit: Brendan Connelly)

Celtics Coach Brad Stevens addresses the media at The Auerbach Center in Boston during last night’s NBA Draft (Photo Credit: Brendan Connelly)

The NBA Draft is generally considered the unofficial start to the offseason, and with many moves expected to take place over the next handful of weeks, the Boston Celtics appear to have already gotten a head start.

As Thursday night progressed, the team made a few selections as expected, yet surprised many with their choices, most notably in the first round. Entering last night’s event, the Celtics owned the 14th, 20th, 22nd and 51st overall picks. 

Some felt that the Celtics had a need for size, while others called for the team to potentially draft a point guard. Instead, they would select Romeo Langford out of Indiana at No. 14. In one season at the university, Langford proved to be effective offensively, however, he would also suffer a thumb injury, which hindered his performance. The 19-year-old has since had surgery, and Celtics coach Brad Stevens hopes that he can eventually contribute, although he is not certain as to whether the player will take part in the NBA’s Summer League next month. 

“I think Romeo’s a really versatile, good player,” Stevens told the media. “He’s been a good player for a long time. He’s a guy that as far as Indiana high school basketball, is probably as followed as anybody in the last fifteen years. Obviously had an incredible high school career. Had a really good start to his college career, tore some ligaments in his thumb, played through it most of the year. And (he) can do a lot of things on the basketball court. He’s been well-coached, in both high school and college, and a guy that we think has a lot of things that translate to the NBA.”

 

Things really began to shift once the team was set to make its second pick. Rather than selecting for themselves, Boston would reportedly flip the next draft choice (Matisse Thybulle) at No. 20 to the Philadelphia 76ers for the 24th and 33rd overall picks in a proposed deal, setting the stage for a night of drama.

The Celtics would then use their selection at No. 22 to take Tennessee product, Grant Williams. In three seasons with the Volunteers, Williams showed great promise, his best year coming in his latest, when the small forward was named SEC Player of the Year for a second straight campaign.  

Just moments later, the Celtics chose to forego the option to select at the 24th slot, dealing it instead along with center Aron Baynes to Phoenix in yet another reported proposed trade, this time in exchange for a 2020 first-round pick.

The Celtics would use the No. 33 pick acquired in the deal with Philadelphia to take Purdue product, Carsen Edwards. In his final collegiate season, Edwards scored over 24 points per game on a consistent basis, while guiding the Boilermakers on an incredible journey to the Elite Eight during this past year’s NCAA Tournament.

Boston would then close the night by selecting a point guard out of LSU, Tremont Waters, who they took with the 51st overall pick.

When asked later in the evening about the moves, including the trade involving Baynes, Celtics General Manager and President of Basketball Operations Danny Ainge would not comment specifically, as the deals do not become official for a few weeks. However, he would expound on how he was feeling about the team at the conclusion of the draft. The NBA Free Agency period will commence June 30 at 6 p.m.

“I’m excited about our team moving forward,” said Ainge. “I like where we’re headed. I like the core young group of guys, and I think it’s going to be really fun. I think we’re going to be really competitive too, again. And I don’t know exactly what the team is going to look like when it’s all done, but free agency starts in ten days or so, and we’ll have more answers then.”

About Brendan Connelly

Brendan Connelly, a lifetime native of Scituate, comes to WATD via the University of Massachusetts, where he graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Communications. During his time in Amherst, Brendan worked extensively with the University’s Radio Station WMUA 91.1 FM, in their sports department as a Broadcaster and Reporter. He also wrote for the Northampton-based periodical, the Daily Hampshire Gazette, in their Sports Department. Following his graduation in May 2014, Brendan applied at WATD, and was then hired a few weeks later as a Sales Executive. Shortly thereafter, he would gradually work his way into the Sports Department, becoming a weekly host on the Sports Exchange with Bill Wilhelm. One year later, Brendan officially took over the Morning Sports with Rob & Lisa, giving updates on Local High School Sports News Tuesdays through Fridays. Brendan still consistently sells advertising space as well for WATD, and helps Bill Wilhelm’s team at sporting events as a commentator. During his career with WATD, Brendan has had the opportunity to interview the likes of Tom Brady, Rob Gronkowski, Kyrie Irving, Isaiah Thomas, Zdeno Chara, and many more. Outside the station, Brendan also works as a Sports Writer for the Boston Herald, who hired his services one month following WATD. Brendan has also interned as a broadcaster for the Brockton Rox, which he completed during the summer of 2012.