NBA Draft’s Potential Celtics: Kentucky PF Julius Randle
|06.04.14 at 9:00 am ET|
As part of WEEI.com’s coverage of the 2014 NBA draft, here is one in a series of profiles of players who could be available to the Celtics when they make their two selections in the first round.
Position: Power forward
Weight: 250 pounds
Key 2013-14 stats: 15 points, 10.4 rebounds, 24.5 PER
Scouting report: Randle is arguably the toughest player in this year’s draft because of his hard-nosed style on offense and his tenacity attacking the offensive and defensive boards.
He averaged 4.5 offensive rebounds per 40 minutes by constantly boxing out and overpowering his opponents, but also by hustling and racing to the spot of 50/50 balls. The 19-year-old constantly battles and will likely see this skill translate to the pros.
The Kentucky product also is an advanced ball-handler for his age, though he tends to only use his left hand. He’s a bull with the ball and utilizes spins and crossovers, which is unusual for a 250-pounder. In college, this allowed him to get to the rim at a high rate, though he’ll need to add a jumper to find that kind of success at the next level.
However, Randle is one of the poorest defenders in the draft. He constantly misses rotations off-ball and is unable to protect the rim because of his average wingspan and low basketball IQ. If Randle doesn’t develop offensively, it’s unlikely he’ll ever bring enough on the defensive end to carve out significant playing time.
Randle typically struggled in games with NBA-sized bigs, so his transition to the pros will take a little longer than most expect, but he probably does enough as a scorer and rebounder to find his niche.
How he fits: If the Celtics are looking to unload Jared Sullinger or Kelly Olynyk, then Randle could potentially be an upgrade at the big man position. However, the number of mock drafts sending him to Boston is a bit curious considering the team’s current logjam at the position.
CelticsBlog: The Randle Problem: Analyzing Julius Randle’s weaknesses on defense
Dean on Draft: Visibility bias and Julius Randle’s defense
Video: Here is a video explaining Randle’s lapses on defense.