The Boston Celtics‘ present and future look very bright — but not because of the newest additions to their roster.
That seems to be the consensus among NBA executives and scouts who spoke to Keith Smith of SB Nation’s Celtics Blog.
The Celtics netted four players in the 2019 NBA Draft — Romeo Langford, Grant Williams, Carsen Edwards and Tremont Waters — and signed big men Tacko Fall and Vincent Poirier to round out their rookie class.
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Here’s what one Eastern Conference scout told Smith about that group. (Spoiler: It’s not very nice.)
I think they stink. Well, that’s a little harsh. I mean they’re fine, but there isn’t anyone special in the whole bunch. Williams is a backup role player for his whole career. That’s fine, but whatever. The Indiana kid (Langford) can’t shoot. How can you be a shooting guard if you can’t shoot? Carsen Edwards will be a G-League All-Star for years.
The best of the bunch is Tremont Waters. He can play. I think he’s eventually a pretty good backup point guard. So, great. A bunch of backups. You need backups, but none of these guys are special.
Like we said: Not very nice.
Ironically, the scout views Boston’s last pick (Waters at No. 51 overall) as its top rookie, and with good reason: The LSU product earned G League Player of the Month honors for November and has been one of the Maine Red Claws’ best players.
This scout isn’t alone in their strong opinion, either: One East front office executive told Smith the Celtics’ rookies are «all whatever,» while a Western Conference executive labeled the Edwards pick a «waste and a miss.»
At least an East executive let president of basketball operations Danny Ainge down a little more gently.
«We all have misses,» the exec told Smith. «I think this group has some misses.»
The numbers don’t do Boston’s rookies any favors: Grant Williams was the Celtics’ leading first-year scorer when the NBA went on hiatus at just 3.5 points per game. Langford, the team’s top pick at No. 14 overall, is averaging just 2.7 points per game over 27 contests.
Of course, the C’s haven’t needed their rookies this season on a deep, talented roster led by two recent home run draft picks in Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown. There’s also plenty of time for the 2019 class to prove their doubters wrong.
At the moment, though, this season’s rookie crop is leaning more toward strikeout than home run.
Celtics’ rookie class gets ruthless assessment from NBA scouts, execs originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston