How does Jordan Mickey fit on the Boston Celtics?


The Boston Celtics landed Jordan Mickey with the 33rd overall pick in Thursday night’s NBA Draft, sending the LSU forward to what appears to be a great situation for him to succeed. 

Jordan Mickey helped bring the excitement back to the LSU basketball program, where he played a big role in ending the Tigers’ six-year NCAA tournament drought. The Boston Celtics will hope that the athletic big man can bring some of that same buzz to the organization.

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Boston may have spent their first round picks elsewhere, but do not let that deceive you. Mickey has the potential to make a major impact for a franchise that could desperately use his shot-blocking prowess.

He displayed tremendous talent and a team-first attitude during his two seasons with the Tigers, but will that translate to NBA success and continuity with his new team?

Joshua Bateman, editor of Hardwood Houdini, joins us to provide a Celtics perspective on the selection.

What was your initial reaction when the Celtics drafted Jordan Mickey?

My initial reaction was relief, because they finally drafted someone that can help with their interior defense. The Celtics surprised me with how many guards they selected so I was certainly happy when they brought in Mickey’s rim protection. His great athleticism is also a great change of pace from the current Celtics power forwards. His offensive potential could make him an option for the starting unit because, even though he is undersized at 6-foot-8, Mickey’s athleticism makes him a great rim protector.

There were reports that Mickey had received a first-round promise prior to the NBA Draft, which obviously did not occur. Do you feel like he was a steal with the 33rd overall pick?

I really loved getting Mickey with the 33rd overall. I think he can be an impactful player, and getting him in the second round is great. I would have had no problem if the Celtics had selected Mickey with the 28th pick, so to get him at No. 33 feels like a bit of a steal to me. I don’t feel he dropped that much further than what was expected, but he is still a fantastic value pick that addresses the team’s most pressing need.

What kind of role should we expect him to play during his rookie season? Will he see significant playing time?

I believe Mickey will get playing time because Brad Stevens loves to use all the players on his roster and the best part of Mickey’s game is the area where the Celtics need the most help. Mickey will not be a day one starter but he offers a great change of a pace option for Stevens, who may want a more defense-minded lineup on the floor. Mickey has the potential to sneak into the starting lineup, but I doubt that happens in his rookie season. Mickey will need to develop his offensive game and he will need to adjust to the bigger and more athletic players he will be defending in the NBA.

Is he a good fit for head coach Brad Stevens’ style of play?

I think he fits well with Stevens because we already know he has no problem with playing undersized power forwards, and with Mickey, he won’t have to sacrifice on the defensive end to go small. Mickey will need a bit more improvement on his shot before he becomes a great fit in Stevens’ offense, but he has the potential to elevate that aspect of his game to an adequate level.

How do you expect Mickey to fit into Boston’s plans for beyond the 2015 season?

I think Mickey will remain a part of the Celtics’ long term plans. The Celtics have no one else on the roster that can provide what Mickey brings to the table. He has the potential to be the most athletic and the best rim protector on the team. The Celtics know that they need to improve their interior defense, and if Mickey is capable of blocking shots like he did in college, then the Celtics will have no choice other than to keep him around.

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