Friday, June 27, 2008

"With the 30th Pick in the 2008 NBA Draft, the Celtics take...A Risk"

In the hopes of getting value late in the NBA Draft, GM Danny Ainge and the World Champions took a bit of a leap with their 1st round pick. At No. 30, the Celtics selected 6' 5" Guard J.R. Giddens from New Mexico. Giddens is a great athlete who is a good defender with big 'hops' and a nice mid-range jumper. Unfortunately, he also comes with baggage. Along with Kedrick Perkins and Leon Powe, Giddens was a High School All-American in 2003 but transfered from Kansas when he got stabbed in a knife fight at at local club (something he'll have in common with Paul Pierce). At New Mexico he started off on the wrong foot too, before getting his act together for his Senior year.

Save those "Walker" Celtics jerseys because in the 2nd round the Celts traded cash to the Wizzards for Kansas State 6' 6" Forward Bill Walker. Walker is also a great athlete and an active scorer around the rim. He plays much bigger than his size but he is coming off a couple of knee injuries that could handicap him in the NBA.

At the end of the 2nd round Boston claimed 7' 1" Semih Erden from Turkey. The Celts finally got their Center, but unfortunately he is a project that will probably be stuck in Turkey for a couple of years and thus won't benefit from the tutelage of KG.

On talent alone Giddens and Walker could have been lottery picks but injuries and off-court issues make these picks a bit of a gamble. Fortunately, the Celts have a veteran team and a winning atmosphere, so if these guys can't flourish here then they will never be able to do it anywhere in the NBA. Also, if the Celtics lose James Posey and Tony Allen to free agency then Giddens and Walker could provide needed depth for the team. Ainge may not have 1st round magic but he is definitely a 2nd round genius, so we'll have to see how this draft pans out.

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