I have seen a lot of NBA mock drafts having the Boston Celtics draft Julius Randle as their first pick in the 2014 draft. I have nothing against Julius Randle and think he will be a productive NBA player once he polishes his game, but I also think that he would be a horrific fit on the Boston Celtics.
Randle is a 6’9” power forward that has been a double-double machine for Kentucky this season. He has a solid basketball IQ and good athleticism that should allow him to compete in the NBA. Sounds great right? Wrong! On this rebuilding Celtic team It makes no sense to draft Randle for three major reasons.
Firstly Julius Randle has not yet been completely honed as a player. Randle is more of an energy player for Kentucky right now, and although he does have solid fundamentals on the offensive low block he can seem lost at times on defense. For a player with good leaping ability one would expect Randle to block more shots than the 0.8 per games he averaged this season, on offense he averaged 2.5 turnovers per game and shows poor touch from mid-range.
No prospect is complete coming out of the draft, even the greats, as the transition to the NBA is a big change for any player. Most of Randle’s weaknesses can presumably be fixed at the NBA level, but the fact that Randle is more of a project than immediate impact leads into my second point.
Julius Randle has short arms, this may not occur to most fans but when compared to other NBA big men Randle does not have much of a reach. The most obvious impact of his shorter arms can be seen on the defensive glass. When rebounding Randle won’t always be able to out jump his competition and will lose to lankier opposition at the NBA level. The potential for Randle to become a shot blocker and elite rebounder in the NBA will be questioned because of his poor length. And with what hopefully is a top 5 pick the Celtics want as much potential as possible.
However the length of Randle’s arms will be overlooked by many scouts because of the smooth and athletic play style that he has exhibited at Kentucky and I would agree that his shorter arms are not a particularly big deal for most teams, but they are for the Celtics.
The biggest reason their will be trouble if the Celtics draft Julius Randle is because of who is already on the roster. Currently the Celtics are putting a great deal of faith in Jared Sullinger who is just far too similar of a player to Randle. Both of these players are 6’9”, both of these players don’t block shots, and both of these players are hampered physically making them less dominant on the defensive boards (Sullinger’s vertical and Randle’s length).
If the Celtics were to draft Randle they would essentially have to never play the two on the floor at the same time. With bosth player on the floor at the same time the team would be undersized and out rebounded if they were playing PF and C and not athletic enough with Randle playing SF and Sullinger playing PF.
The drafting of Randle would essentially create a log jam at the “energy” power forward spot on the Celtics roster especially if the team brings back Brandon Bass. The Celtic’s should look for a player who fits the roster better and has a higher ceiling with the team instead of selecting Randle in this years draft.
Who do you think the Celtics should draft? Leave a comment below