By: Elvis Jocol Lara
Boston – Los Celtics have selected Marcus Smart of Oklahoma State and James Young of Kentucky in the 2014 NBA Draft. There were many rumors going into tonight’s draft surrounding the Boston Celtics but the night proved to be somewhat uneventful.
The Celtics had been rumored to be very active in trade talks that had them moving up, down and all across the NBA Draft, but at the end of the night, the “fireworks” that fans had been expecting never came.
The hopes of fans at the TD Garden were dashed when it was announced that the Philadelphia 76ers selected Joel Embiid with the 3rd pick in the draft. Embiid recently received surgery on a broken foot which dropped him from being the consensus number 1 spot in the draft and had many believing he could fall all the way to number 6 to the Celtics; but alas it was not to be.
The player the Celtics actually selected, Marcus Smart, has been compared to Russell Westbrook of the Oklahoma City Thunder due to his size at the guard position and his ability to penetrate. Smart, however has yet to develop a consistent jump shot which many predict could limit his abilities at the NBA level. Most analysts consider the development of his shot to be key to his success with the Celtics.
The drafting of Smart has many questioning whether he can coexist with Celtics stalwart Rajon Rondo in the team’s backcourt. By selecting Smart and Young, the Celtics have apparently committed to a youth movement which may make Rondo available in potential trades. Celtics management and coaching staff maintain that the two can play together in the backcourt but the next couple of months will prove to be very interesting in regards to what the Celtics decide to do with their mercurial star.
While Smart had been on the Celtics radar since the draft lottery made it clear they would not be selecting in the top 3 in the draft, James Young is somewhat of an unknown for Celtics fans. Although he did workout for the team, it was never clear who the Celtics were leaning towards in making the 17th pick.
At only 18 years old, young comes with quality experience in his brief college career, having helped lead Kentucky to the national Championship game. A 6ft. 6in. guard/forward, young proved to be a scoring threat as the second leading scorer on his team as well as being tenth in the SEC in three point shooting percentage. In his comments to the media, coach Brad Stevens acknowledged the Celtics selected young based on his perimeter scoring ability and that the team, in fact, did not believe he would be available at the 17th pick; the team had him in the top 11 players in the draft.
El Boricua de Roxbury, Shabazz Napier, who led the UConn Huskies to a National Championship this year, was selected by the Charlotte Hornets and immediately traded to heated Boston rival, the Miami Heat. Napier had expressed interest in playing for his hometown and childhood favorite team Celtics, but the guys in green passed on the opportunity to draft the hometown hero.
The NBA symbolically drafted former Baylor Center, Arlington Grace in moving gesture between team picks. Grace had his basketball career ended last weekend with the diagnosis that he suffers from Marfan Syndrome, a genetic disorder.
As is customary, the Boston Celtics held a Draft Party for Season Ticket Holders and members of the media at the TD Garden. El Mundo Boston was present to provide all of the behind the scenes action to our fans. See our coverage on El Mund Boston’s Facebook page or check back here soon for all of the videos and images.