Going into draft night, it was unclear whether or not Jabari Bird would get drafted. Thankfully for the Cal senior, he heard his name called, going #56 overall to the Boston Celtics, where he will be reunited with former Cal teammate Jaylen Brown.
During his senior year, Bird averaged 14.3 points and 4.7 rebounds per game on 43.9% shooting from the field, 36.3% shooting from three-point range, and 76.4% shooting from the foul line. The main thing that Bird hoped to impress teams with during his workouts was his ability to shoot from beyond the arc and defend both small forwards and shooting guards. He’ll look to bring those strengths to the Boston organization.
Jabari Bird has had a long and arduous road to the NBA. Injuries hampered his career at Cal, preventing him from living up to the expectations that many people, including himself set for him. Amid all the ups and downs, Bird maintained a positive attitude and never gave up on his NBA dreams. He always saw himself as an NBA talent and didn’t use his injuries as an excuse. The fact that he got drafted at all is a testament to his work ethic and talent.
Going forward, Bird will have to battle in summer league and training camp to make the Boston roster with time in the NBA Gatorade League expected. The good news for him is that his shooting and defensive potential translates very well to the NBA. If he can stay healthy and keep himself on the court, I like his chances to find a permanent home in the Boston Celtics organization.