Celtics grab Fab Melo, left, Jared Sullinger, above, and Kris Joseph, right, in the 2012 draft.
With the NBA draft concluding late Thursday night, the Celtics were caught at a crossroads. With the well-documented aging roster, it was going to come down to whether would begin the rebuilding process now, or trade draft picks and get them back in future years. The Celtics decided to go with with the former, using all three of their draft picks to address serious needs for this team not only for this upcoming season, but for years to come. Their picks were as follows:
21st overall: Jared Sullinger 6’9 forward. Ohio State. Sophomore.
22nd overall: Fab Melo. 7’0 Center. Syracuse. Sophomore
51st overall: Kris Joseph. 6’7 forward. Syracuse. Senior.
As can be seen, the Celtics addressed their lack of big men they have suffered from the past couple seasons. Being a Providence College fan, I have been able to witness both Fab Melo and Kris Joseph when they came to face off against PC and i must say, both of these players have the potential to help the Celtics this upcoming season. Fab Melo has the size and defensive ability (not to mention rebounding and blocks.. something we could have used this season). The knock on him is his current lack of an offensive game, which should be able to develop given time, and of course his infamous “academic problems” that caused him to miss the NCAA tournament in March. If the Celtics can get him to improve his work ethic and discipline, they just picked up one of the best defenders in the draft.
His teammate Kris Joseph is much more of an offensive player than Fab and can provide scoring off the bench and much needed depth behind Paul Pierce. He is 23 and can immediately jump into being a contributor, and if all goes well, could be groomed as Pierce’s replacement in a year or two.
The first pick the Celtics chose, is the real steal of the draft in Jared Sullinger. He is a top 10 talent and there is no doubt about his ability as was evident in his two years at Ohio State. The knock on him is he is not one to play above the rim, which hurts him in the rebounding category, and he has tended to disappear against bigger players in college. There is also the back issue that had him medically red-flagged which is what caused his draft stock to plummet these past 2 weeks. From what I saw this past season from him, it didn’t seem to be a factor. The fact that this issue just popped up a few weeks ago is strange, but the Celtics need to hope that Sullinger’s back is going to be able to hold up for a long successful basketball career. If it does, this pick can pay dividends for years and can be a cornerstone for the new guard of the Celtics.
Let’s see what happens now with KG, Ray Allen, Brandon Bass, and all the NBA free agents as teams can begin contract talks starting on Sunday July 1st. (No actual contracts can be signed however until a week later.) Are these young pieces enough to convince KG and Ray to come back for another year? Only time will tell. Let’s go Celtics.
- John Calabro
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