By Ty Anderson, 985TheSportsHub.com
Unable to trade for a star veteran as reportedly desired, or trade up in the first round of the 2019 NBA Draft for that matter, the Celtics instead stuck with the No. 14 overall pick and selected Indiana’s Romeo Langford on Thursday night.
Langford averaged 16.7 points, 5.4 rebounds, and 2.3 assists in 31 games for the Hoosiers last season, shooting 45.2 percent from the field. Langford’s numbers were especially troubling from deep, with makes on just 33 of his 120 three-point attempts last season, giving him a 27.5 percent mark from deep, the worst among all Big 10 shooters with at least 100 tries from behind the arc. But Langford’s numbers were likely impacted negatively by the thumb injury Langford battled all year.
But the 19-year-old underwent surgery to repair the issue at the end of the year, and though he had his hard cast removed just two weeks ago, Langford noted that he expects to be ready to play in the 2019 Summer League.
A two-guard with size, which already gives him an advantage over the majority of NBA guards, Langford also has the aggressiveness and quickness to win matchups against slower bigs. But Langford is a definite project, with those aforementioned struggles from deep being something of obvious concern given the league’s emphasis on three’s, while his decision-making with the ball has been brought up as something of concern in multiple pre-draft scouting reports.
If you’re looking for reasons to feel good about this pick, take comfort in knowing it comes with the blessing of a local legend in Indiana’s basketball scene, courtesy of this nugget shared by Wicked Local’s Tim Whelan Jr. shortly after the pick.
We selected Langford as Indiana Gatorade POY in '18, and legendary Bloomington South HC J.R. Holmes told me, “In my 48 years as a head coach in Indiana, and I’ve coached against Larry Bird, Shawn Kemp, Greg Oden, Mike Conley, Damon Bailey, but Romeo’s up there as one of the best” https://t.co/5f1xkg9VXX— Tim Whelan Jr. (@thattimwhelan) June 21, 2019
The Celtics will also draft at No. 20 and No. 22 in the first round.