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Stock watch: Will Celtics snag a Jayhawk with one of their 8 picks?

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In just more than two weeks, Kansas basketball players Cheick Diallo, Wayne Selden Jr., Perry Ellis and Brannen Greene will all have much better ideas about what comes next in their respective basketball careers.

On June 23, the night of the 2016 NBA Draft, each will find out which organization thinks he can contribute at the next level — or, in the cases of Ellis and Greene, whether a team wants to use a pick on him at all.

Based on the number of Jayhawks on the board and the vast range of where they’re projected to be taken, it seems as if there is a good chance at least one of them could end up with Boston.

The Celtics have the No. 3 overall pick in the draft, and certainly won’t take anyone from KU at that slot. But the franchise also owns the 16th and 23rd picks in the first round, as well as the following second-round picks: 31st, 35th, 45th, 51st and 58th.

Boston might end up trading away some — or, who knows, maybe all — of those picks. But if the storied franchise hangs on to those choices, one would have to assume the names and games of various Kansas players will come up in the Celtics’ draft war room throughout the night, with as many as seven opportunities to select one of them.

In DraftExpress.com’s latest predictions, Diallo comes off the board at No. 23, to Boston.

Selden, meanwhile, is projected to go 47th — right in the range of the Celtics’ mid-to-late second-round picks.

While Ellis isn’t listed at all, it is easy to envision some team snagging him in the final 10 picks or so, and Boston owns the third-to-last choice in the draft.

In fact, Ellis worked out for the team on Monday.

At this point, it seems unlikely Greene will hear his name called on draft night. But the Celtics are in the market for 3-point shooting after finishing 28th in the league in long-distance accuracy (33.5%) in 2015-16 while attempting 26.1 3-pointers a game (11th most). So a summer league deal for Greene wouldn’t appear to be out of the question.

If Diallo, Selden or Ellis ends up in green, It wouldn’t be the first time Boston looked to KU for some help in the draft. Paul Pierce, of course, became a franchise great after the Celtics took him 10th overall in 1998.

Boston Celtics forward Paul Pierce, center, dunks as Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James, left, and center Anderson Varejao of Brazil, right, watch during the second half of Game 4 in a second-round NBA basketball playoff series, Sunday, May 9, 2010, in Boston. The Celtics won 97-87, tying the series at 2-2. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

Boston Celtics forward Paul Pierce, center, dunks as Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James, left, and center Anderson Varejao of Brazil, right, watch during the second half of Game 4 in a second-round NBA basketball playoff series, Sunday, May 9, 2010, in Boston. The Celtics won 97-87, tying the series at 2-2. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

Nearly two decades earlier, Boston selected Jo Jo White at No. 9, in 1969.

But not every KU-Boston connection has been Hall of Fame worthy. When boston.com put together a gallery of “Biggest draft busts in Celtics history” a pair of former Kansas players made the list.

In 1976, Boston selected Norm Cook 16th overall. As described in the boston.com feature, Cook “accumulated just 138 minutes on the floor as a rookie before the Celtics declined to pick up his second-year option.”

In 2008, the Celtics used the 30th overall pick on a wing out of New Mexico who began his career at KU: J.R. Giddens. “Despite the low expectations that come with being the last pick of the first round (30th overall), Giddens still disappointed to the tune of just 28 points in 27 games spanning one full season and part of the next.”

Boston hasn’t selected a player who suited up exclusively for Kansas since Pierce.

Courtesy of basketball-reference.com, here is a list of every KU player drafted by the Celtics:

  • Gil Reich, Round 11 (pick not listed) — 1953

  • Maury King, Round 6, Pick 48 — 1957

  • Jo Jo White, Round 1, Pick 9 — 1969

  • Dave Robisch, Round 3, Pick 44 — 1971

  • Roger Morningstar, Round 8, Pick 144 — 1975

  • Norm Cook, Round 1, Pick 16 — 1976

  • Tony Guy, Round 2, Pick 46 — 1982

  • Paul Pierce, Round 1, Pick 10 — 1998

Will 2016 be the year the Celtics add another Jayhawk? We’ll find out soon.

Comments

Suzi Marshall 5 years, 11 months ago

You can bet real money Selden and his agent are lobbying for the Celtics to draft him with that 45th pick. If that happens...and he makes the team, we'll be able to see what a Marcus Smart/Wayne Selden would look like, which we should have had at Kansas.

DraftExpress ranks Ellis and Niang as the 68th and 70th best prospects. If both are available when the Celtics 59th pick arrives, they will likely be far more inclined to pick the local Methuen Niang. That would be something if both Selden and Niang were drafted and made the Celtics roster.

Brett McCabe 5 years, 11 months ago

Good point on Niang. Perry would look great in a Boston uni. If anyone can see the value that Perry offers, it's Brad Stevens.

Suzi Marshall 5 years, 11 months ago

True but the same could be said about Stevens seeing the value of a Niang.

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