With the third pick in the 2016 NBA Draft, the Boston Celtics selected Jaylen Brown, a small forward from California. It was a decision that, in many ways, surprised Celtics fans.
“I think Danny always has – and always will – do whatever the misdirection is,” Celtics voice Sean Grande said on CBS Sports Radio’s Ferrall on the Bench. “Fans, throughout the course of the last couple of days, have either been led to believe or have talked themselves into Kris Dunn. And I think that was the safest bet to me. I had really fallen in love with Kris Dunn the player, just watching him (play at) Providence in the Northeast last year and seeing him more.”
Dunn, a do-everything guard for the Friars, went fifth overall to Minnesota.
“Jaylen Brown probably fits the roster better,” Grande said. “That major deal maybe isn’t going to happen, so you take (Brown). I love this 3 through 8. Simmons and Ingram are great, but 3 through 8 – this is a really solid daft. These are going to be immediate impact players and some of them are going to be rock stars. But I think Jaylen Brown is a better fit to what the Celtics roster is now. Kris Dunn, to me, was probably a safer bet.”
The Celtics were obviously hoping to get a top-two pick so they could draft Ben Simmons or Brandin Ingram, but the lottery balls didn’t bounce their way.
“It was really tough,” Grande said. “When you ended up at 3 this year, that was not the place to be – because 3 through 8, it was going to be hard to miss.”
The Philadelphia 76ers reportedly wanted Dunn and tried to trade Nerlens Noel for the third pick.
“At the end of the day, it wasn’t enough,” Grande said. “If you are buying from the Sixers, you have to think that if the Sixers are a little antsy to move one or two of those bigs now, what’s it going to be like when they have three or four of them healthy at the same time and Brett Brown is trying to create an offense with four 7-footers. That’s obviously not going to work. You got to think Philadelphia is going to be a little more desperate to move one or two of those assets as time goes by.”
In addition to Brown, the Celtics drafted Guerschon Yabusele, a power toward from France, Ante Zizic, a center from Coatia, Demetrius Jackson, a point guard from Notre Dame, Ben Bentil, a power forward from Providence, and Abdel Nader, a power forward from Iowa State.