Atlantic Notes: Celtics, Raptors, Embiid, Kuzmic

The ESPN analytics department has used its NBA draft projection model to evaluate this year’s class, and found that the average draft grade for the top 50 college prospects this year is the highest it has been since the model began tracking in 2001. As Chris Forsberg of writes, that high average grade for the top 50 NCAA prospects suggests that this is a deep class, which is good news for a team like the Celtics — Boston holds eight of the 60 picks in the 2016 draft. The C’s surely won’t keep all those picks, but if there are still plenty of prospects drawing interest in the second round, it should increase the trade value of those selections.

Armed with those eight picks, the Celtics figure to strongly consider draft-and-stash prospects, a scenario that Mike Petraglia of examines. As Petraglia details, Austin Ainge is open to the idea of drafting a prospect who will continue to play overseas rather than coming to the NBA immediately.

“[Draft-and-stash talks] will be finalized kind of after you draft a kid, sit down and determine a plan of action, but those discussions go on all the time, year-round, contract situations, age, different levels of maturity and in the players’ game, all those come into play,” said the Celtics director of player personnel. “It’s a partnership with the player, his representatives and the team to try to make the best decisions for him.”

Here’s more from out of the Atlantic:

  • The Raptors, who hold a pair of first-round picks, have been busy working out prospects. According to the team (Twitter links), Julian Jacobs (USC), Rasheed Sulaimon (Maryland), Malcolm Brogdon (Virginia), Justin Edwards (Kansas State), Brice Johnson (UNC), and Jalen Reynolds (Xavier) worked out for Toronto on Monday, with David Walker (Northeastern), Michael Gbinije (Syracuse), Alex Poythress (Kentucky), Troy Williams (Indiana), Daniel Ochefu (Villanova), and A.J. Hammons (Purdue) working out for the club today.
  • Joel Embiid won’t be playing for the 76ers‘ summer league team this year, but Bob Ford of the Philadelphia Inquirer was impressed with how the oft-injured big man looked during a workout on Monday.
  • Ognjen Kuzmic, a former Warriors second-round pick who played 37 games with the club from 2013 to 2015, has agreed to play for the Knicks at the Orlando Summer League, his agent tells international basketball journalist David Pick (Twitter link).
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8 thoughts on “Atlantic Notes: Celtics, Raptors, Embiid, Kuzmic

  1. Ravens_Last_Place

    Embiid will be a top 3 (at least) big man in the league this year. He’s the real deal.

    (Now cue the “if he stays healthy” crap. Don’t forget, he was expected to go #1 over Wiggins and Parker.)

    • Sixersfan4

      He’s not going to be thrown in the starting lineup day 1. Your forgetting that he hasn’t played a competitive game of basketball in 2 years. He’s going to have a minute restriction

      • Ravens_Last_Place

        Yes he will be. If he is 100% healthy at the start, as he should be, why the heck wouldn’t he start? He is WAY better than the other options. When healthy, he would eat up Noal or Okafor. There is no comparison. Embiid is truly an elite talent. The others, they have potential but they are not on Embiid’s level. Keeping him out of the starting lineup would be a complete joke.

    • At this point I can’t tell if you are trolling or just a delusional Pennsylvania fan. Saying Embiid is going to be top 3 this year is like saying Greg Oden is going to be the best center in the league next season (considering he was drafted ahead of Durant, who is arguably top 3 in the league…that, of course, is based on your theory of how good players should be based on where they were drafted.

      • Ravens_Last_Place

        No. Embiid is that good. The guy has mega superstar potential. His ceiling is higher than any center’s in the NBA. It’s true. Just wait, he will dominate.

        • The guy hasn’t even played an NBA game yet!! At this point you and I have NBA careers that are on par with his. He won’t even be top 3 this year, if he did play, unless he averaged 20-15. If you’re going big men (as in PFs and Cs), you’re implying he’s going to be better than most of this group: Bosh, Anthony Davis, DeMarcus Cousins, Aldridge, Towns, Draymond Green, Blake Griffin, DeAndre Jordan, Andre Drummond, Marc Gasol and Pau Gasol. I’m also absolutely sure that in terms of centers, his ceiling is not higher than Towns, Cousins, and Davis (if you want to consider him a center). I’m also sure there are another 5-10 big men who would absolutely embarass Embiid on the court if he doesn’t end up injuring himself again. Yeah the guy has potential but he hasn’t done anything to show it.

  2. Bbone34

    Anyone trusting the ESPN “analysis” of the draft is crazy. Since 2012 their highest rated prospect in that grading system was Marcus Smart and #3 was Dion Waiters.

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