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We wrap up the supporting cast of our 5-on-5-on-5 teams.
You can read Part I of our CelticsBlog Fantasy Draft here where we picked our first two players from Boston’s current roster. Here are picks 3-5 to round out the teams.
Will Bjarnar: I’m zagging from my previously articulated philosophy now, because though I know I’m going to want a big man at some point, I’m hoping that with their current lineups, Bill and Adam are bound to avoid picking the guy I have in mind. (And as everyone knows, laying out your strategy for your competition to openly see and thus thwart is a brilliant idea.) I’ll take Josh Richardson here. He completes my lineup’s Big Three, if you will, and I’ve found myself drooling over the floor spacing this trio will have to its benefit. Richardson has a quick first step, attacking and shooting ability, and at times, is a walking heat check. His seasons in Philadelphia and Dallas were discouraging, especially after his breakout campaigns in Miami, but I have a feeling that, when tasked with less primary creating responsibility, he can be a solid member of the Celtics supporting cast. On my team, though, he’s the third man. He’ll be waiting in the corner for his bevy of triples any time, thank you very much.
Bill Sy: BREAKING: With Edwards and Dunn on the move, I will be stuck with Jabari Parker with the last pick, aren’t I?
Adam Taylor: I need a point guard, and the best two on the roster are already off the board. With that being said, I’m going to take a swing on the Celtics very own Rap God. With logo range from deep, impressive handles, step-backs and changes of pace, AND the ability to facilitate off the dribble. It has to be Payton Pritchard for me.
With PP, Brown, and Horford I feel like I’ve got a core that can score across all three-levels, and distribute the rock at a respectable rate. Defense isn’t looking to bad either, given that Pritchard hustles his butt off on every possession.
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Bill Sy: With my point guard and center set, I need wingz. We’re not going to score a bunch of points, but you’re not going to get much against us either. With my third and fourth picks, I’ll take Romeo Langford and Aaron Nesmith. There’s a bunch of unknown here, but late in the draft, I’m looking for promise and potential. For much of last season, Nesmith acted as Smart’s stunt double, diving for balls, blocking shots with reckless abandon, and trying to get his hand on everything. On offense, the widely considered best shooter in the draft found his form late in the year, shooting 38.3% from behind the arc after the All-Star break. He’ll space the floor with Smart and Timelord running pick-and-roll in the middle of the court and shrink it with his defensive intensity on the other end.
Langford is a bit more of a mystery, but again, one of Boston’s best perimeter defenders and a utility player on offense. Heading into Year 3 with a solid summer under his belt and a growing confidence in his game, I’m expecting big things from him and in our theoretical 5-on-5 pick up game, I’d rely on him to slow everything down for my squad. With Smart, Williams, and Nesmith flying around the court, the languid Langford would be my pace-setting ball handler late in a pick up game when it’s 7-7 and we’re trying to hold serve.
Adam Taylor: Oh. Wow, taking both Romeo and Nesmith was a wise move. Crafty, but wise. Makes me wish there were trades in this draft process. With my next pick in the draft I’m going to have to swing on upside. Perhaps in a roster such as mine, where the perimeter is constantly pressured by the core-3, he will be able to carve out a role for himself. He’s also one of the only players on the roster (outside of Tatum and Brown) who can reliable get his own shot off.
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I select Jabari Parker * gulp * with most of the high-level talent off the board, and my team clearly in need of some wing help, Parker is the most intriguing for me. Devastated by multiple injuries early in his career, Parker has been unable to reach the heights many hope he would when entering the league. However, I think there’s a potential role player under the surface, and what better way to polish a diamond in the rough, than consistent gameplay.
Bill Sy: Oh, wow. I did not expect that.
I would like to offer a deal for what I think Langford will be for what you think Jabari will be. Haha.
Adam Taylor: I like the idea of a versatile five-out offense, and with Horford on the roster, both he and Parker can interchange between the four and five to give the rotation some form of unpredictability
Haha, you have no idea how close I came to drafting Romeo as my starting point guard.
Bill Sy: Oh, my bad, guys. I didn’t know we were supposed to draft drunk.
Will Bjarnar: HAHA. I swear I sent the memo.
Adam Taylor: Wow.
Will Bjarnar: I’m gonna go big to round this roster out, and I have to say, I’m feeling pretty, pretty good about these final two selections — especially the holes they’ll fill almost too perfectly on this roster. Give me Enes Kanter, and with my last pick, give me the newly-acquired Juancho Hernangomez. I’ve always loved Kanter; he may be clunky, have extremely limited mobility and the occasional offensive acumen of a bell pepper, but he’s the star of one of my fondest memories as a Celtics fan. My dad and I went to their game against the Pelicans in Jan. 2020, when Kanter dropped 22 and snatched a monstrous 19 boards. He was one of seven Celtics with a plus-minus in double figures. I still think there’s some of that player left, and if nothing else, he’ll be a welcome presence under the rim on this fantasy squad; he can rumble with Rob or Al, and he can clean up the few misses this team might have (unlikely that we miss anything).
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Hernangomez is really just filler, but he’s filler of the highest quality. With the Timberwolves last season, he averaged a career-high 7.2 points in 17.3 minutes per game, as well as 3.9 rebounds (second-best of his career). He was a consistent contributor for a young, raw squad — he’s 25, and Minnesota was the league’s youngest team last season — coming off the bench for all but six of the 52 games he played in. I don’t love that he has a nagging shoulder injury, but since we’re living in a fantasy world, I’ll pretend it doesn’t exist, and that he can both rebound whatever Kanter fails to clean up and help further space the floor with his shooting ability.
So, that’s that for team Tacko Bell (RIP). Schröder, J-Rich, Tatum, Juancho, and Kan Play Kanter. Did someone say 82-0?
Bill Sy: Adam, I’ll trade you a mid-season Tuesday night game recap for the rights to draft Grant Williams.
Will Bjarnar: Hahahahahaha.
Adam Taylor: Luckily, my time zone means I seldom do buzzer recaps 🙂
The ONLY perk of being in England. However, I’m happy to swap you Romeo for Grant?
Bill Sy: Tempting, but I’ll stick with Langford. So, Grant’s your final pick?
Adam Taylor: Not too happy with how the last two picks have shaken out for me, but I will take Grant Williams.
I will rotate both Williams and Parker at the three to try and add some size, and hopefully one of them gives me enough on offense to counteract their inability to guard on the perimeter. Grant had a rough second year in the league, but was a promising piece during his rookie season, and I can’t help but get PJ Tucker vibes from him.
There will be a lot of inside-out post play with this unit, but I’m confident that having two interchangeable role players at the 3 and 4 will work alongside Horford, Brown and Pritchard.
Bill Sy: So, here’s my curveball. Bruno Fernando should be my final pick. He’s the 15th contracted player on the roster and should be my fifth starter, but I’ll take Boston’s only two-way player right now, Sam Hauser. Through three seasons at Marquette and a senior year at Virginia, Hauser shot 44% from behind the arc at a pretty high volume. He’s not a high end defender like the rest of the roster, but his shooting coupled with Nesmith’s should open the floor on the offensive end.