2022 NBA Mock Draft: Celtics take shooting guard in new ESPN projections

The Boston Celtics do not have a first-round pick in the 2022 NBA Draft, but they do have a second-round pick.

The chances of a second-round pick developing into a useful NBA player are slim, but there are several recent examples of players who were drafted in this area and made a difference.

Herbert Jones (No. 35 overall, Pelicans) and Ayo Dosunmu (No. 38, Bulls) both played well on the bench as rookies last season. In the 2019 draft, a number of players were drafted in the second round and saw significant minutes, including Eric Paschall, Isaiah Roby, Talen Horton-Tucker, and Nic Claxton.

The point is, there are second-round players who can help fill the end of the bench and deliver valuable points, defense, or rebounds.

The Celtics own the No. 53 overall pick in Thursday’s draft. ESPN draft expert Jonathan Givony predicts the Celtics will take on Gabriele Procida from Fortitudo Bologna in Italy. He’s a 20-year-old shooting guard who played 18.5 minutes a game last season and averaged seven points and three rebounds. He also shot 38.3 percent from 3-point range over 26 games.

In the second round, teams often look for international prospects. You don’t have to jump straight into the NBA and you can take your time to develop. The Celtics already have several young players in their roster and there really isn’t much playing time available for another rookie. So it wouldn’t be surprising to see Boston using this second-rounder for draft-and-stash prospects.

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