How important is the Celtics' 14th pick in 2020 NBA Draft?

Justin Leger
·2 min read

Mannix: Celtics' 14th pick needs to be a slam-dunk originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

The Boston Celtics have three first-round picks in next week's 2020 NBA Draft, with their first selection coming at No. 14 overall.

There's been plenty of speculation about a potential deal in which the Celtics would package their picks (nos. 14, 26, and 30) to acquire New Orleans Pelicans guard Jrue Holiday. But what if they decide to hold on to that 14th pick?

Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated believes if Boston does choose to go that route, it's imperative it drafts a player who can step in and play right away.

Forsberg: Five players C's could target on draft night

"I don't think it's hyperbolic to suggest that this is one of the more important picks in recent Celtics history," Mannix said. "If they decide they have to stay at No. 14, they need to get a guy that can play. And every single year there are guys that can play. Where would Miami be without Tyler Herro, who was drafted one pick before the Celtics' pick last year? Giannis [Antetokounmpo] was drafted in the middle of the first round.

"The Celtics have found some guys in the second half of drafts, but they've got more misses than they do hits. I mean, you look down the list of these picks in the teens, Guerschon Yabusele was drafted in the teens. Kelly Olynyk was a pretty good player, but James Young was drafted in the teens. The jury's still out on Romeo Langford, whether he can actually play. This is a pick they have to hit on if they decide to stay here."

Celtics president Danny Ainge recently admitted it "wouldn't be ideal" to add four rookies via the draft, so it's fair to expect some sort of deal to be made on draft night. Whether it'll involve that 14th pick remains a mystery.

The 2020 NBA Draft is set to begin Wednesday at 7 p.m. ET.