The Celtics Shouldn't Pass on Jamal Murray with the 3rd Pick
The Boston Celtics hold eight total draft picks (3, 16, 23, 31, 35, 45, 51, and 58) in the 2016 NBA Draft. Rumors through the grapevine are that the Celtics are actively trying to trade the 3rd pick of the draft. Assuming the Celtics keep the pick, Jamal Murray should be their selection. A few reasons for drafting Jamal Murray are his high ceiling, prolific shooting ability, underrated defense, and his ability to play the combo-guard position.
Although Jamal Murray's ceiling might not be as high as Ben Simmons' or Brandon Ingram's, he still one of the best potential talents in the draft. He is only 19-years-old and has already performed on some of the biggest stages. He was under a microscope at Kentucky and everything he did was heavily criticized. He also proved his incredible leadership ability for Canada in the Pan American Games.
One of Murray's best qualities is his prolific three-point shooting and scoring ability. He shot over 40.8% from the three-point line while taking nearly 8 per game. There were multiple occasions where Jamal provided clutch plays (specifically threes) down the stretch of big games. He also averaged exactly 20 points per game.
Although many people will tell you that Jamal Murray's defense is a weakness of his (which it is to some degree), they don't take into consideration how surprisingly athletic he is when it comes to blocking shots and applying pressure around the perimeter. He only had 11 blocks at his time at Kentucky, but about half of them came when it matter most. He was able to come up with 35 total steals on the season, which equates to just over one per game. His defense needs to become more consistent, but the energy on the defensive end is within him.
Lastly, his ability to play the combo-guard position is what puts him above the rest. At 6'5", 207lbs, Jamal Murray's size is perfectly transferable to the NBA level. He has everything you could possible want in a guard. There is no one collectively better in the 2016 NBA Draft when it comes to scoring, three-point shooting, dribbling, and passing than Jamal Murray. You are truly getting a complete package and an overall skill set with Jamal. Some might criticize his number of assists while playing at Kentucky, but what people need to understand is that Tyler Ulis was the floor general and Murray was playing the role of shooting guard for the entire season. Murray never got the chance to truly 'take point' of a game while Ulis was on the floor. If you watch highlights of Jamal, you will see his passing ability in true form.
So, there you have it. Jamal Murray is without a doubt one of the best prospects in the 2016 NBA Draft. His credentials are very unique and it really showcases why Murray will translate into a great professional player. If the Celtics don't trade their pick, it is highly advised (by me) that Jamal Murray is taken with the third overall pick of the draft.