Do we really think Danny Ainge is going to keep both picks? That he’s going to sign two rookies to first round guaranteed deals? I fully expect him to make the pick, but my gut tells me he’s going to pull the trigger on a trade, either during the draft or shortly thereafter. How else is he going to entice Kevin Garnett to return?
Could that trade-chip of a player end up being Andrew Nicholson? Nicholson is one of the main reasons why St. Bonaventure was so much fun to watch this year. Point blank, Nicholson put the ball in the basket when he was on the court. At 6’9, Nicholson is expected to rebound, which he did at a clip of 8.4 rebounds per game. But he can also shoot the ball. His field goal percentage this season was 57.1%, and even with his large frame, Nicholson had a 43.4% success rate from three-point range. If he put up those same numbers at a Big East school, we’d probably be talking about him as a lottery pick. Nicholson led the Atlantic 10 Conference in scoring and put up 20 points in a valiant effort against Florida State University in the 2012 NCAA Tournament. His team came up just short of winning, but Nicholson made a name for himself and for the Bonnies.
I think 22 may be a little too soon for Nicholson, but his stock has been on the rise and many experts think he’ll actually be gone by the time the Celtics make their first round picks. I’m confident that Nicholson will be there. And if Ainge takes him at 22, don’t expect Nicholson to wear a Celtics cap for very long. As they like to say, the NBA is a business, and Nicholson would likely be a means to an end for Danny Ainge.