Buddy Hield shoots the lights out at a workout for the Celtics
Will his hot shooting be enough to convince Danny Ainge?
One great workout from a draft prospect can shoot them further up the draft boards than anybody anticipated.
For a top prospect like Oklahoma's Buddy Hield, it can cement his status as a lottery pick and as an offensive weapon.
With Ben Simmons and Brandon Ingram expected to go in the first two selections, the third player taken during next week's NBA Draft remains up in the air. The Celtics hold that pick, and while they'll explore trade options, they'll also look to see if there is a young player too good to pass up.
With the shooting display that Hield put on for the Celtics during a pre-draft workout, maybe he can convince Danny Ainge and Brad Stevens they need a shooter like him. According to Jeff Goodman of ESPN, Hield knocked down 85 of 100 3-point attempts for the Celtics during his workout.
Jamal Murray hit 79 of 100 3's in Boston last week. Buddy Hield, per source, hit 85 of 100 in front of Celtics brass today in California.
-- Jeff Goodman (@GoodmanESPN) June 13, 2016
What works against Hield in this draft is his age. He will turn 23 early in his rookie season, and that means there might not be as much upside with him as there could be with young prospects. Hield was a solid outside shooter during his sophomore and junior years at Oklahoma, but his 3-point accuracy was superior in his senior year. He knocked down 45.7 percent of his 8.7 3-pointers per game while averaging 25 points.
For a team like the Celtics, that 3-point shooting could be invaluable. The Celtics want to play a fast-paced style that creates havoc on defense and overwhelms the opponents by turning those stops into big scoring runs. Boston finished 11th in 3-point attempts last season and 13th in 3-point rate, but were the third-worst 3-point shooting team in the NBA for accuracy. They wanted to be a modern style of offense but didn't have the weapons to accomplish it.
Hield would certainly help in that department, assuming he can be an above-average 3-point shooter at the next level. The problem, though, is the Celtics already have a lot of young guards. Their starting backcourt of Isaiah Thomas and Avery Bradley require a lot of minutes because of what Bradley can do on defense and what Thomas can do on offense. The Celtics have drafted three guards in the past two years, taking Marcus Smart with the sixth pick in 2014, Terry Rozier at 16, and R.J. Hunter at 28 in 2015.
Hield could end up being far better than Rozier and Hunter, but it's a hard decision to make when you've just used two draft picks in the past year on what's becoming a very crowded backcourt. Of course, Ainge could move any combination of those players in a trade to bring in a better overall player, but that doesn't mean he'll move mountains to bring Hield aboard when there are other intriguing prospects like Dragan Bender, Jamal Murray, Jaylen Brown and much more at No. 3.
It would be surprising if the Celtics ended up reaching on Hield at 3 -- with it being a reach simply because of their current roster construction. But all it takes is one workout to tip the scales.
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