2021 NBA Draft: Josh Christopher among Celtics wing fits

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·5 min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
This content is not available due to your privacy preferences.
Update your settings here to see it.

Josh Christopher among seven best wing fits for C's in NBA Draft originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

We know what you're thinking: Do the Boston Celtics really need another wing?

The Celtics' two young franchise cornerstones, Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown, top the wing depth chart. Evan Fournier will be right behind them if Boston re-signs him in free agency, and Romeo Langford and Aaron Nesmith will provide further depth if they remain healthy/on the team.

Langford and Nesmith are far from safe bets, however: The former has played in just 50 games through two NBA seasons, and both young players could be packaged in a potential trade for a third star.

Forsberg: 10 trade targets for Celtics using Hayward TPE

The C's also have a need for the type of player who fits the "wing" mold: a long, versatile talent who can facilitate and defend multiple positions.

So, while Boston doesn't pick until the second round (No. 45 overall) in the 2021 NBA Draft after trading its No. 16 pick to the Oklahoma City Thunder, it's still worth exploring which wings in this year's draft class would fit what the Celtics are looking for.

Even if some of these prospects probably won't fall to Brad Stevens and Co. in the second round, their skill sets can give us an idea of the type of player the C's need to improve their roster.

Here are the seven best wing fits for the Celtics in this year's NBA Draft:

Franz Wagner, Michigan

Age: 19

Height, weight: 6-foot-9, 220 pounds

2020-21 stats: 12.5 ppg, 6.5 rpg, 3.0 apg, 47.7% FG, 34.3% 3PT

Why he fits: Here's your Gordon Hayward replacement. While he's a shade below Hayward as a playmaker, Wagner is a solid rebounder, can score at all three levels and can defend multiple positions.

Wagner likely won't make it out of the first round, but the Celtics could use a player with his skill set to serve as wing depth when Tatum and/or Brown are off the floor.

Projected pick: Late lottery

Corey Kispert, Gonzaga

Age: 22

Height, weight: 6-foot-7, 220 pounds

2020-21 stats: 18.6 ppg, 5.0 rpg, 1.8 apg, 52.9% FG, 44.0% 3PT

Why he fits: Every team could use more outside shooting -- especially the Celtics, who ranked a pedestrian 15th in the NBA last season in 3-point percentage (37.4%).

Kispert is the best marksman in the draft, burying 44% of his threes last season on 6.5 attempts per game. He won't last past the first round, he'd definitely fill a need for Boston.

Projected pick: Late lottery

Ziaire Williams, Stanford

Age: 19

Measurables: 6-foot-8, 185 pounds

2020-21 stats: 10.7 ppg, 4.6 rpg, 2.2 apg, 37.4% FG, 29.1% 3PT

Why he fits: Built like Brandon Ingram with a 6-foot-11 wingspan, Williams has the length to be a disruptive defender and a strong finisher at the rim. His offensive game (especially his outside shot) could use some polish, but he's young with plenty of enticing talent.

Williams projects as a first-rounder and could have been a nice fit for the Celtics at No. 16 had they kept the pick. 

Projected pick: Late first round

Josh Christopher, Arizona State

Age: 19

Height, weight: 6-foot-5, 215 pounds

2020-21 stats: 14.3 ppg, 4.7 rpg, 1.4 apg, 43.2% FG, 30.5% 3PT (15 games)

Why he fits: Christopher is more of a traditional shooting guard than a wing, but he plays bigger than his height and was a strong rebounder for the Sun Devils. More importantly, the kid can score: He averaged nearly 30 points per game in high school and displayed a solid offensive package in a small sample size at ASU.

More Celtics: Tatum opens up about offseason changes

The Celtics ranked 28th in the NBA in bench scoring last season, so Christopher could pair well with Payton Pritchard to give the second unit a little more offensive pop. He's a high risk/high reward play and easily could slip to the second round.

Projected pick: Late first round/early second round

Joe Wieskamp, Iowa

Age: 21

Height, weight: 6-foot-6, 212 pounds

2020-21 stats: 14.8 ppg, 6.6 rpg, 1.7 apg, 49.1% FG, 46.2% 3PT

Why he fits: You read those stats right: Wieskamp made nearly 50% of his threes last season on 5.1 attempts per game. He's also long and very athletic: His 42-inch vertical was fourth-best at the NBA Combine.

Wieskamp's age will ensure he doesn't land in the first round, but he'd be a solid pick for Boston as a spark-plug shooter off the bench.

Projected pick: Second round

Trey Murphy III, Virginia

Age: 21

Height, weight: 6-foot-9, 205 pounds

2020-21 stats: 11.3 ppg, 3.4 rpg, 1.2 apg, 50.3% FG, 43.3% 3PT

Why he fits: Another shooter with size here. Murphy made an impressive transition from Conference USA's Rice University to the ACC last season, and while he could use a bit more bulk, he could serve as a wing or a stretch four off the bench who can space the floor for the second unit.

Projected pick: Second round

Austin Reaves, Oklahoma

Age: 23

Height, weight: 6-foot-5, 205 pounds

2020-21 stats: 18.3 ppg, 5.5 rpg, 4.6 apg, 44.3% FG, 30.5% 3PT

Why he fits: A transfer from Wichita State, Reaves turned 23 in May and isn't exactly a high-upside play. But he shot well at the NBA Combine, per Forbes' Chris Grenham, and is a solid playmaker with defensive chops. He should be available in the second round and could be a nice NBA-ready depth piece for Ime Udoka's club.

Projected pick: Second round