Celtics Attentive To New England-Linked NBA Draft Prospects

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The Boston Celtics enter Wednesday night’s 2024 NBA Draft with the final pick in the first round, leaving the organization to consider various avenues for making the most of their position.

Could that include looking into a few prospects with local ties to the New England area? Perhaps, but either way, the team is aware.

During a pre-draft press conference at Auerbach Center, team president of basketball operations Brad Stevens was asked specifically about two prospects: Devin Carter and Tyler Kolek. And although Stevens didn’t want to chime in about specific names, it’s clear that the Celtics — at the very least — are aware of those rooted within the community.

“Those guys are both really good players,” Stevens said Tuesday, per NBC Sports Boston. “It’s cool anytime you have players representing the region, the area, and there will be more from this New England area that people are talking about. Obviously, with UConn’s guys, that’s always a fun thing for the region and it’s a great moment for any kid tomorrow night that gets drafted.”

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Stevens, a head coach at heart with 13 years of experience at the collegiate level, has been spotted attending NCAA battles in the local area. In March, Stevens watched Boston College and Pitt go head-to-head, nearly 10 miles away from TD Garden.

Carter, 22, likely won’t slip outside of the top 10 selections which would rule out any possibility of the Celtics being in the running. The 6-foot-2 Providence product averaged 19.1 points with 8.4 rebounds and 3.5 assists, finishing the season as one of the most elite two-way guards in this year’s draft class. Carter also drained 37.7% of his 3-pointers this past season.

Meanwhile, Kolek could slide toward the end of the first round. The 23-year-old guard out of Marquette, who’s also a Rhode Island native, best utilizes his attributes as a facilitator above all else. Kolek averaged 15.3 points while shooting 38.8% from 3-point range and logging 7.7 assists last season.

Regardless of where Carter or Kolek land on draft night, Stevens envisions a bright future ahead for them both.

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“That’ll either be the moment or the start of better things,” Stevens added. “They have to all focus on, ‘The work starts now. The journey upward starts now.’ You don’t want that to be the highlight. I think that (Carter and Kolek) and many of the other potential draft picks have that mindset.”

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