Boston Celtics grab a guard with great potential

The 2024 NBA Draft is upon us and it's filled with mixed reviews. While many don't like the selection of prospects, especially when a team is in a position to look for a franchise cornerstone at the top, the group is littered with future NBA contributors.

Draft expert Derek Parker recently released an NBA mock draft in which he took the entire first round by storm and ended up with the Eastern Conference champion Boston Celtics.

Parker has surprisingly selected guard Isaiah Collier from USC, the Eastern Conference champion, with the number 30 pick. Although the draft expert admits that he personally rates Collier higher than the last pick of the first day, there is a recipe that will ensure that he slips at the end of the month.

This could be the ideal landing spot for the 19-year-old, whose game still needs some polishing. The Celtics were in this spot just a year ago, when the storied franchise selected Jordan Walsh out of Arkansas in the second round and used him almost like a homegrown draft pick and reserve.

Walsh only played in nine NBA games while under contract with the Maine Celtics in the G League, leading them to the Finals where they lost narrowly to OKC Blue. The Arkansas product made great strides as a player – development is the luxury the Celtics can afford to give these young players a team with depth and a championship-caliber core.

Collier was successful as the Trojans' point scorer in the pick-and-roll and achieved a hit rate of 61 percent at the basket.

However, the 6'2″ guard with a 6'5″ wingspan was also a weapon off the ball when given a catch-and-shoot opportunity, posting a 37% hit rate in such scenarios.

This season, Collier averaged 16.3 points, 2.9 rebounds, 4.3 assists and 2.3 stocks per game while making 49 percent of his shots from the field, 33 percent from beyond the three-point line and 67 percent from the free throw line.

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