The Boston Celtics had only one pick Thursday night in the 2018 NBA Draft.
They made the most of it, according to the experts.
The Celtics selected Texas A&M big man Robert Williams with the 27th overall pick, which some analysts considered a steal late in the first round. Williams comes with red flags, namely questions about his work ethic and past off-court issues, but there’s no denying the 20-year-old’s upside, particularly on the defensive end.
NESN.com’s Logan Mullen handed out grades to each of the 30 NBA teams after the draft and gave the Celtics a B+. That obviously is a solid mark, and he’s not alone in being impressed by Boston’s draft-night handling, as others also praised Danny Ainge and Co. for what they did (and didn’t do).
Here are some Celtics draft grades we’ve compiled from various sources, along with each analyst’s explanation of why they like Boston taking Williams at No. 27:
Reid Forgrave, CBS Sports: A+
The Celtics get the defensive-minded, elite-rebounding big man they needed. He’s a great athlete who can defend in a lot of styles. Could he be the American Clint Capela? The “steal of the draft” label could be his.
Sean Deveney, Sporting News: A
The Celtics attempted to trade up into the top five in hopes of landing a young big man to develop, and instead, young developable big man Robert Williams fell to Boston at No. 27. This is a guy who was projected to go from pick Nos. 11-15.
It’s the kind of lucky draft-day break the Celtics would get when Red Auerbach was running the team, which might explain why, when Danny Ainge emerged from the team’s war room, he was two inches shorter, lost three inches off his hairline and sounded like Peter Falk when he spoke.