Boston takes two forwards and a big man in new Athletic NBA mock draft

Is it too early for you to be thinking about the 2024 NBA draft with the 2024 NBA Playoffs still nearly two months away? For the best draft experts in the business, it is never too early to get started, and that is exactly what The Athletic’s Sam Vecenie has done in his most recent 2024 mock draft.

In the coming draft, the Boston Celtics will have a first round pick and two late second round picks to work with, which could net them a useful player or two with some luck for the deep rotation and future development. But they will have to nail the picks given all will be close to the end of their respective rounds, and in the Brad Stevens era, they seem to be doing well in that.

Let’s take a look at who Vecenie thinks the Celtics ought to target in the big event this summer.

No. 48 (via Dallas Mavericks) - Adama Bal - Santa Clara

Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports
Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

A 20-year-old, 6-foot-7 forward who transferred from Arizona to Santa Clara for a bigger role, Bal can hit the 3 at a reasonable rate with a career 36.0% record from beyond the arc.

Still quite raw as a player on both ends, the Parisian’s measurables and athleticism make him a worthy upside gamble here.

No. 41. (via Chicago Bulls) - Alex Karaban - UConn

Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports
Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

At 6-foot-8, Karaban can play either forward position while shooting the lights out with strong defense in a very Sam Hauser-like role.

Shooting 39.1% from deep this season while averaging nearly a block and a steal per game with the Huskies this season, Karaban fits the modern Celtics role player role well.

No. 30 - Zach Edey - Purdue

Marc Lebryk-USA TODAY Sports
Marc Lebryk-USA TODAY Sports

“Edey continues to be nothing short of the best player in college basketball yet again,” writes Vecenie. “He’s averaging 23 points, 12 rebounds and over two blocks per game.”

“He establishes position anywhere and everywhere on the court because of how big and strong he is, and he has touch around the rim … He has a case as the best screener in all of college basketball, consistently crushing guards trying to get through and rolling to the rim either into post-ups or easy buckets.”

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Story originally appeared on Celtics Wire