2021 NBA Draft: History of 16th pick includes loads of ex-Celtics

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History of 16th pick in NBA Draft includes a ton of ex-Celtics originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

Stop us if you've heard this before: The Boston Celtics are picking 16th in the NBA Draft.

The NBA locked in its order for the 2021 NBA Draft on Tuesday, and the Celtics own the 16th selection after finishing seventh in the Eastern Conference at 36-36.

Turns out that's a popular pick around these parts: The C's have selected 16th a whopping 10 times in their franchise history, more than any other NBA team. No. 16 also is the most common selection in Boston draft history.

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What's more, a handful of 16th picks by other teams have found their way to the Celtics over the years. (Jiri Welsch, Tony Delk and Dana Barros might ring a bell for C's fans.)  

To get a sense of what's in store at No. 16, we laid out all 10 of Boston's picks at that spot, as well as a handful of other notable 16th picks over the years. (A quick historical note: The NBA featured 10 teams or fewer until 1967, so the drafts during the 1950s and 1960s were much smaller.)

NBC Sports Boston Illustration

History of the Celtics' No. 16 pick

This spot hasn't been too kind to the C's. With the exception of Terry Rozier, all four of Boston's 16th picks since 2000 have been busts. Even Rozier's selection was panned at the time, and it wasn't until the 2017-18 season after Kyrie Irving's injury that the Louisville product saw significant playing time.

Former Boston College star Troy Bell and Lucas Nogueira both didn't play a game for the Celtics, while Guerschon Yabusele lasted two seasons in Boston before going to play overseas.

The C's did find some success with other teams' 16th selections: The Boston native Barros joined the Celtics in his sixth NBA season and played a total of six years in his hometown, while Welsch and Delk spent a combined three seasons with the green in the early 2000s.

History of the NBA's No. 16 pick

It's not a star-studded list, but there have been some gems at No. 16 -- most notably the Hall of Famer John Stockton. Ron Artest (aka Metta World Peace) was an elite defender and Hedo Turkoglu was a solid NBA contributor over 15 seasons, while Nikola Vucevic is a two-time NBA All-Star.

The most recent 16th pick is showing signs of promise, too: Pistons big man Isaiah Stewart ranks among our top 10 rookies of the 2020 class after a strong campaign in Detroit.

Needless to say, the Celtics will be looking for more Isaiah Stewarts and fewer Troy Bells when this year's draft rolls around on July 29.