I’ve already weighed in on Avery Bradley (in a word, why?) so now it’s time for some expert opinions.
Bill Simmons – “By the way, you know this draft sucks because I’m now irrationally excited that the Celtics (picking 19th) might get either Eric Bledsoe (my favorite remaining prospect) or Avery Bradley (ESPNU’s No. 1 college recruit just 12 months ago) as Rondo insurance. I thought we’d have dreck left in this spot. This almost makes up for blowing a double-digit lead in the second half of Game 7 of the 2010 Finals against the NBA team I hate the most. Oh, wait, it doesn’t at all. Not even a little. [...] Come on Celtics … Avery Bradley … Avery Bradley … Avery Bradley. YES! Good value. And by the way, if you’re betting on a No. 1 overall high school prospect whose stock dropped a little after one college year, you want it to be for a reason like, ‘Yeah, he played at Texas for Rick Barnes, OF COURSE his stock dropped!’”
Fox Sports – “Loser: Boston Celtics — Danny Ainge has a terrific track record with drafting, so it’s difficult to question the Celtics boss. However, now he’s added another small guard who can’t shoot the ball. However, unlike Rajon Rondo, Avery Bradley can’t run a team, either. He’s a terrific defender, which should get him on the floor, but it’ll be difficult to pair the 6-foot-1 Bradley with the 6-2 Rondo.”
NBADraft.net – “There’s a lot to like about Bradley teaming with Rajon Rondo in the future. Defensively, you couldn’t come up with a much better backcourt. It was important for Bradley to land on a team that didn’t need him to play point full-time but would also give him the opportunity to learn the position. Harangody is a value along the same lines as Glen Davis and Leon Powe of previous drafts – a highly productive college player who should be better than Brian Scalabrine, for what that’s worth. Neither was a “great” pick, but both were solid and earn a solid grade.
Sports Illustrated – Bradley is a speedy backcourt tweener who has the potential to develop into a point guard. He didn’t have a great year at Texas after a celebrated high school career, but this is an upside pick for the Celtics.
Chris Mannix – Danny Ainge has had a bit of a man-crush on Avery Bradley for weeks, hoping the explosive combo guard would get to the Celtics at No. 19. While most believed Ainge was targeting a big man to fill in for the injured Kendrick Perkins or the just-retired Rasheed Wallace, Ainge was always after the best player available. Bradley was it. Bradley can back up Rajon Rondo and his slashing ability gives Boston a much-needed punch on what will likely be a revamped bench. Luke Harangody was an overachiever in college, but if he turns out to be a good practice player, Boston will keep him around.
Greg Payne, CelticsBlog – “I’m also curious about what the Celtics’ plans for Bradley’s future are. Clearly he’s not your point guard of the future, because Rondo and his $55 million contract already hold that title. So, is he your backup point guard of the future? Or, are we waiting to see how well his offensive game translates to the NBA, with the possibility existing that he could be our shooting guard of the future? But then, say that last scenario does unfold, the Celtics could be looking at a backcourt that’s fairly undersized. Do the Celtics hope Bradley develops and then use him as a trade chip down the road? Clearly all of these questions will not be answered for some time, but I couldn’t help thinking about them last night. Finally – and this is no fault of Bradley’s – the Celtics, for the most part, failed to address their lack of front court depth in the draft last night. Luke Harangody stands at 6-8, but it remains to be seen how he’ll fair going up against the larger, stronger bodies of the NBA, and he could channel his game towards the perimeter. If he does do that, then he won’t be much help at all to the Celtics along the frontline, with the lone possible exception being he’ll draw opposing big men out of the paint.”
Kurt Helin, NBC – “Avery Bradley could be the regular backup point guard that the Celtics need. It was nice somebody drafted Luke Harangody, though I’m not sure why. Grade: A-”
Draft Express – “Seeing Bradley run so many pick-and-rolls and play in an environment with much more spacing than he saw at Texas, it’s not hard to see many reasons why he has the potential to be a better NBA player than he was in college, especially if he can go to a system that emphasizes those two concepts. Bradley’s 6’7 wingspan also bodes well for his chances of defending shooting guards at the next level, at least reserves, many of which are 6’5 and under. While there are questions about his position, Bradley certainly brings quite a few NBA skills to the table, and could be capable of contributing immediately in the right situation, though situation should be critical to his early chances at success.”
Chris Forsberg, ESPN Boston – “The Celtics couldn’t have asked for the draft to play out much better and, with their choice of players among the second tier of shooting guards, the Green selected the best available player in Bradley. It’s a safe selection. If Bradley pans out as many believe he will, he’ll be the explosive scorer the team covets off the bench. Even if he takes time to develop, Bradley can play the point guard spot and provide a much-needed backup behind Rajon Rondo. What’s more, he’s a lockdown defender who will immediately ingratiate himself in Boston’s defense-first system. Bradley projected as a lottery pick, but an ankle injury might have scared some teams off. The Celtics, who worked him out prior to the draft, scooped him up when he stayed on the board until No. 19. Keep in mind that Bradley was ranked as the top high school prospect in the country in the class of 2009. He’s still very young at 19, but he was regarded as the best perimeter defender in college basketball last season. He’s going to make an immediate impact on that end of the court and anything he provides early on in the offensive end will be a nice bonus.”