With just two days left until the 2013 NBA Draft and the Doc Rivers madness over we can finally focus on who Boston is likely to take.
During the draft, it’s often debated whether a team should draft based on positional need or best available player. It’s a question that has plagued teams for decades and, usually, not doing the latter can cause a team to miss out on some great players. At this juncture of the draft, however, I think you can afford to draft on need. Boston biggest needs are at backup point guard and center. German guard Dennis Schroeder and Louisville center Gorgui Dieng seem to fit both needs.
Dennis Schroeder: Standing at 6 foot-2 with an impressive 6 foot-7 wingspan, Schroeder has drawn love from scouts for his elite level speed. To go along with that speed he’s displayed that he possesses an adequate passing skill as well.
Draft Express had this to say about his strengths as an NBA Prospect:
“His biggest strengths as a NBA prospect revolve around his quick first step and excellent ball-handling skills, as well as his ability to play at different speeds and utilize shifty hesitation moves to keep defenders off balance.”
For the Celtics Schroeder could be an excellent fit for a team with a scarcity of reliable ball handlers outside of Rajon Rondo. Realistically a guy like Schroeder won’t be counted on for more than 15 minutes a game, if that, and at this point in the draft there most likely won’t be many impact guards left.
The main issue with Schroeder is his lack of a perimeter jumper off the dribble. Though if Rondo is any indication that you can carve out a nice career without a reliable jumper Schroeder might be worth the risk.
Gorguie Dieng: It seems like an eternity since Boston had any depth at the Ccnter position. Dieng could instantly fill that need and could be a steal at #16.
Last year at Louisville, he wasn’t overly efficient offensively: he scored 0.93 points per possession and had a meager 56 TS%, not great numbers for a center. In what I saw during the NCAA tournament this year, it seems like he could be an adequate pick-and-roll finisher at the NBA level. He’s raw offensively, but with a guy like him you’re obviously drafting him more for his defensive ability.
During his time at Louisville Dieng made a name for himself on the defensive end with his excellent length, speed and timing for a center.
Here’s Draft Express describing his shot blocking ability:
“While he doesn’t rank as well nationally as he did as a sophomore when he blocked 3.8 shots per-40 pace adjusted, he’s a very capable weakside shot-blocker with excellent timing who has learned to patrol the paint without fouling or goaltending as much as he did in the past.”
Dieng’s rebounding compares pretty fairly to a current Celtic who was lauded for his rebounding ability coming out of college. Dieng’s 12.1 rebounds per 40 are identical to Jared Sullinger’s numbers in his last year at Ohio State. Obviously Dieng is taller with a longer wingspan but, rebounding is something that seems to always translate from the college level to the pros.
Dieng has the potential to be a destructive force on the defensive end of the court. He was named Big East Defensive Player of the Year in his last season and has huge potential to anchor a team defense in the low post and as a rim protector. As a low-risk, high-reward prospect, Dieng could be a perfect fit for Boston.
In what some may call a “weak” draft for stars, it’s still a draft filled with potential and guys who can contribute as role players. Schroeder and Dieng would not only fill positional needs at cheap rookie scale deals, but they could also be heavy contributors for a team in limbo right now.