Though the lottery didn’t quite bounce the Celtics’ way, plenty of pre-draft work remains to be done for Boston general manager Danny Ainge and his team. As part of the draft preparation this week, Boston hosted a myriad of potential draft picks, including two local players.
The Celtics possess not only the third overall pick, but also two other first-round selections. And in round two, Boston has five picks in total. While it’s unlikely that Ainge will use all eight draft selections, he will most likely use at least a few of the picks. This makes the team’s pre-draft workouts very important.
Boston hosted 12 rookies in total this week, all vying for a place in the draft on June 23.
On the unusually large list of players were two rookies with local ties. One was North Carolina State small forward Abdul-Malik Abu. A Boston native, he reflected on his Celtics fandom afterward:
— Joe Giza (@JoeGiza) May 18, 2016
Interestingly, Abu withdrew from the NBA draft the next day. He will be returning to college for another season.
The other local was Jake Layman from Wrentham. The 6’9″ forward from Maryland once starred for King Philip Regional High School.
“It’s definitely kind of surreal at first,” Layman said to Celtics.com. “I grew up watching these guys at practice when I played on the [Boston Amateur Basketball Club] in this gym, so now it’s kind of cool to be back here for something different.”