Thursday, December 7 2023

On this day in Boston Celtics history, the team would select four players of note in the 2017 NBA draft, held at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York City, New York. While the Celtics had held the top overall pick in the draft, team president Danny Ainge would use it to trade back for the third overall pick, correctly gambling he could still get his targeted prospect, Jayson Tatum.

Tatum, a 6-foot-8 small forward out of Duke, was drafted third overall after Ainge completed the deal with the Philadelphia 76ers, who used the top overall pick on point guard Markelle Fultz out of Washington, the Los Angeles Lakers using the second overall pick on point guard Lonzo Ball.

Vindicating Ainge, Tatum has gone on to become one of the top ten players in the league, racking up accolades at a historic rate.

Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY SportsBrian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

The Celtics also took 6-foot-6 forward Semi Ojeleye out of Southern Methodist University with the 37th overall pick.

Ojeleye averaged 3.5 points and 2.1 rebounds per game over his four seasons with the team.

With the 53rd pick, Boston took guard 6-foot-1 Kadeem Allen of Arizona.

Allen didn’t stick with the Celtics, later latching on with the New York Knicks as a two way player. He averaged 1.1 points per game with Boston.

Jabari Bird (26): Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY SportsJabari Bird (26): Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Jabari Bird (26): Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

The Celtics also drafted 6-foot-6 shooting guard Jabari Bird out of Cal-Berkeley with the 56th overall pick.


He would play one season for Boston as a two way player, averaging 3 points and 1.5 rebounds per game.

It is also the date of the 1987 NBA draft (held in New York City’s Felt Forum), in which the Celtics took two players of note.

The first was 6-foot-7 shooting guard Reggie Lewis, taken 22nd overall out of Northeastern. Lewis would play for 6 seasons with Boston before an untimely death in the summer of 1993 due to congenital heart issues, recording 17.6 points, 4.3 rebounds, and 2.6 assists per game in that stretch.

The Celtics also drafted big man Brad Lohaus, taken 45th overall from Iowa.

Lohaus would play two seasons with Boston, putting up 4.8 points and 2.4 rebounds per game before being dealt with now-team president Danny Ainge to the Sacramento Kings for Joe Kleine and Ed Pinckney.

It is also the anniversary of forward Brandon Hunter being taken by the Charlotte Hornets in the 2004 NBA Expansion Draft, held to populate the creation of the Hornets’ roster.


Hunter had been drafted by Boston with the 56th overall pick of the 2003 NBA Draft out of Ohio State, and averaged 3.5 points and 3.3 rebounds per game with the Celtics.

It was on this date in 1949 that the Celtics sold the contract of wing Gene Stump to the (then) Minneapolis (now, Los Angeles) Lakers.

An alum of DePaul who joined Boston in the second season of the team’s existence, the Chicagoan played 99 games for the Celtics over two seasons, logging 6.3 points per game over that stretch.

One year later, Boston bought the contract of guard Kenny Sailors from the (now defunct team of the same name as the modern franchise) Denver Nuggets.


Sailors played just 10 games for the Celtics before he was dealt with Brady Walker to the (also defunct) Baltimore Bullets for Dick Mehen. The Wyoming product averaged just 1.8 points per game with Boston.

It is the birthday of Hall of Fame point guard “Pistol” Pete Maravich, the LSU star who rose to fame with the Atlanta Hawks and (then) New Orleans Jazz (now, Utah), ending his career with the Celtics in the first season of Larry Bird’s career in the 1979-80 season.

Born in 1947 in Aliquippa, Pennsylvania, Maravich — seen as a forerunner of today’s modern long-range game even before the advent of the 3-point shot — was a shell of himself by the time he landed with Boston due to injuries, but still put up 11.5 points, 1.5 boards, and 1.1 assists per game.


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Story originally appeared on Celtics Wire

Source: Yahoo Sports


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