Rating Boston’s rookies: how a top analyst sees the Celtics’ new players

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Justin Quinn
·2 min read
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The Boston Celtics have a pair of solid rookies on their roster from the 2020 NBA draft class, even if it took a bit for one of them to get up to the speed of the league’s play.

And The Athletic’s John Hollinger rates rookie guard Payton Pritchard and sharpshooting wing Aaron Nesmith into his subjective tiers about where we think they belong, if perhaps a hair lower given where we would with our increased exposure and admittedly Celtics-centric bias. The Athletic analyst is surprisingly bullish as we are on what many tended to portray as an underwhelming draft class — and while there may be fewer top-tier talents, there’s plenty of hidden gems awaiting polish.

And hopefully two of them on Boston’s roster — so where did they land in Hollinger’s estimation?

Payton Pritchard - Tier 4 - "Carving out a role"

Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

"Pritchard is showing this season that his shooting display as a senior at Oregon was no fluke," shares Hollinger. "Also, for a guy who was supposed to be a defensive liability, he seems to be faring OK." "I don’t get why his usage rate is so low (just 15.7 percent) because he can shoot from deep off the dribble, and his forays to the rim have generally gone decently."

Aaron Nesmith - Tier 7 - "We might have a problem here"

AP Photo/Eric Gay

We might, but that phrasing seems a wee bit overblown. "Nesmith’s ability to stretch defenses with his shooting on the move was supposed to be the defining skill, but it’s been in short supply thus far," observes Hollinger, which is true -- but without a shot at playing, it's pretty hard to work on. "Nesmith’s last three games offered some slight glimmers of hope, particularly at the defensive end, where he’s trying to become more of a pest, but after 191 NBA minutes, he’s still searching for his first career steal." This post originally appeared on Celtics Wire. Follow us on Facebook! [lawrence-related id=46856,46854,46849,46833] [listicle id=46840]

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OddsMoney LinePoint SpreadTotal Points
Washington
+180+6.5O 230.5
Boston
-223-6.5U 230.5