Celtics Bring in 21-Year-Old Defensive Ace for Closer Look

Kevin McCullar Jr.

Getty Kevin McCullar (#15) of Texas Tech

The Boston Celtics already got a headstart on their offseason plans it appears. While their season is far from over, that doesn’t mean it’s too early to look at potential diamonds in the rough from the college board. Thanks to the Derrick White trade, Boston does not have a first-round pick this season, but they still have their second-round pick, which currently stands as the 53rd overall pick according to ESPN.com.

Finding a rotation-caliber player at that slot doesn’t happen very often, in fact barely at all, but it’s still been known to happen every now and again. So, Boston has begun looking at its options. On May 5, the Celtics worked out Texas Tech guard Kevin McCullar Jr. for an afternoon workout, according to Jake Weingarten of Stockrisers.com.

Weingarten added that McCullar is picking between playing another year in college for Gonzaga or Kansas or staying in the NBA Draft.

If McCullar does not get drafted, Boston potentially could invite him to play for their Summer League team this July if he still chooses to vie for a roster spot in the NBA.

Whether they take McCullar or not, the Celtics have had some luck picking late in the draft in the past, although it’s been rare and hasn’t happened for them since 2011 when they took E’Twaun Moore with the 55th pick. Moore had a productive NBA career but was only with the Celtics for one season.

Even if McCullar is taken by the Celtics, there’s no telling if he’ll stay with the team or if his successful NBA career will be in Boston.

McCullar Sounds off on Workout With Celtics

No matter what direction McCullar decides to go in next year, it appears he enjoyed his time working out for the Celtics. He tweeted as such following the workout.

Weingarten said in his tweet that McCullar went through his first workout, which indicates that more teams will do the same with him leading up to the draft. If McCullar got a good impression from the Celtics, and the feeling was mutual, whether he’s drafted by the team or brought on to their Summer League roster, McCullar may potentially get a training camp invite with the team.

That’s thinking ahead, but it does sound like at least one side very much enjoyed their time during their individual workout.

McCullar’s Potential Fit in Boston

One of the reasons why the Celtics have become as good as they are is because of the versatility and high-IQ players that they have on both ends of the floor. If McCullar falls to Boston either through draft or free agency, his IQ and versatility should fit Boston like a glove.

Jonathan Wasserman, NBA Draft Analyst for Bleacher Report, believes McCullar could be a sleeper prospect in this year’s draft because of his passing abilities, floor spacing, and defensive prowess.

McCullar’s numbers won’t jump out at you, but some of his accolades at Texas Tech this season might. McCullar was Naismith Defensive Player of the Year Semifinalist this season and was an Honorable Mention for the All-Big 12 in 2022.

Diamonds in the rough are hard to find. That’s what makes them diamonds in the rough. However, some of the league’s best teams record-wise have rounded out the edges of their rotation because of the diamonds in the rough that they found through undrafted free agents. Take the Miami Heat for example.

Miami’s rotation is filled with undrafted players, such as Duncan Robinson, Max Strus, Caleb Martin, Gabe Vincent, and Dewayne Dedmon. They’ve all played a hand in Miami’s success this season. Nothing is a given with Kevin McCullar Jr., but his skillset is intriguing enough that the Celtics made the right choice seeing up close what he could do.

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