Maryland's Jalen Smith

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Why the Celtics might draft: Jalen Smith

Nick Friar
April 03, 2020 - 8:49 am
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Among the many things impacted by the NBA’s ongoing hiatus is the 2020 draft. And there are layers to this issue, one being draft order.

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Based on where the standings were when play first came to a halt, the Celtics would have three 2020 first-round picks: 17 (via Memphis), 26 and 30. Here’s a look at one of the players they could select in the first round:

JALEN SMITH, MARYLAND

STATS: 15.5 PPG | 10.5 RPG | 2.4 BPG | 36.8 3-PT%

Smith’s numbers make it clear he has a presence in the paint. Also helps he’s 6-foot-10.

While shooting 36.8% from deep isn’t an outrageously high rate, that average looks a lot better when considering the total package. Furthermore, the 20-year-old saw a 10% increase in his 3-point percentage from freshman to sophomore year — while only taking 0.6 more shots from behind the arc per game in 2019-20 (2.8).

Smith needs to pack on some weight (225 pounds). Especially since he isn’t particularly fluid.

Even though he’s projected to go later in the first round, everything Smith brings to the floor is exactly what the Celtics need out of any big they add moving forward. And, if nothing else, Boston needs to pick up a big this draft.

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