The Celtics are in a tough position this offseason. Are they rebuilding or are they still contenders? Did the Rondo injury ruin their season or was it all the injuries adding up? Were chemistry problems the final dagger? There are too many questions to answer, but one thing that can’t be questioned is where the Celtics will be selecting in this year’s draft. Holding the number 16 pick gives them the highest draft position they’ve had since 2007, and the pressure is on to add a player that can not only contribute right away, but also has potential to become a great player. The bottom line is, the Celtics have trouble scoring and they’re old, and they need to address those issues as soon as possible.
They might as well begin the process on draft night.
Dario Saric fits the Celtics needs; he can step in and play next season and he has a high ceiling for growth. Saric, a 6″10″ forward from Croatia, just turned 19 in April, which means not only is he still growing as a player, he’s still growing as a man. Saric is currently listed at 223 pounds, but he’s not skinny. If anything, he’s wiry strong, which for a basketball player is a good thing. Bulk doesn’t help in basketball, but flexibility does. Saric is expected to play mainly the small forward position in the NBA, and with his ability to handle the ball, pass, and shoot, he is a rare find for a player his size.
Defensively, Saric will need to improve. He has issues playing man-to-man, but his length does help him mask some of those issues. His wingspan matches his 6’10” height and he has very active hands. Although he isn’t the most explosive player, he does plays smart and fundamental basketball which allows him to overcome his deficiencies. Saric has also proven to be an effective rebounder, which is another area of need for Boston. Kevin Garnett is under contract, but at the age of 37, who knows? Saric would be the best rebounder on the Celtics from day one if Garnett happens to retire or get traded.
When you add up the Celtics needs and look at the 2013 NBA Draft class, it is clear that Dario Saric and the Boston Celtics would be a match made in heaven. Now Danny Ainge needs to go out and make it happen.
Christopher Simoneau is from Hudson, Massachusetts. Chris has been a fan of the Celtics since 1980 and has written about them since 2011, being featured on BeantownBanter.com and the Yahoo Contributor Network. Chris has coached basketball since 1994.
Follow Chris @ https://twitter.com/chris_simoneau