Celtics Show Interest in Sharpshooting NBA Draft Prospect

Yoeli Childs, right, a potential Boston Celtic.

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - MARCH 09: Yoeli Childs #23 of the Brigham Young Cougars drives to the basket against Tommy Kuhse #12 of the Saint Mary's Gaels during the West Coast Conference basketball tournament semifinals at the Orleans Arena on March 9, 2020 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The Gaels defeated the Cougars 51-50. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

The Celtics have three first-round picks in the upcoming NBA draft, including Nos. 14, 26 and 30, and a report of their interest in one particular prospect has raised some eyebrows.

According to a report from Chris Grenham of Forbes, the Celtics have interest in BYU wing Yoeli Childs, a 22-year-old senior many have pegged as a second-round pick or, perhaps, a player who could go undrafted. Childs is a multifaceted, 6-8 forward who can score in the post and has some potential as a perimeter shooter.

He averaged 17.1 points in four years with the Cougars, which happens to be the team for which Ainge once starred in college. Childs also grabbed 8.8 rebounds per game, shot 53.7% from the field and 35.6% from the 3-point line, but it was his perimeter shooting in his senior season—48.9% from the arc—that stands out.

He is the only BYU player in history to score 2,000 points with 1,000 rebounds in his career.

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But Childs only played in 19 games last season, sitting out with a minor hand injury before the spread of the novel coronavirus halted NCAA play.

NBA Draft Scouting Report on Yoeli Childs

Here’s how one scout described Childs to Heavy.com: “He has good size, he takes up space, he does not get pushed off the block very much. He has some toughness, I think you like that and he is polished, you have to like that he is going to come in ready to play. I just don’t know that he has the quickness, the mobility you want. He is a classic tweener, not really a big guy and not really a wing. He shot it well last year but he is not a willing shooter, it’s not the skill he emphasizes. If you think you can get that out of him, make him a stretch-4, then he is an intriguing gamble, at least.”

Yoeli Childs BYU Cougars 2019-2020 Highlight Montage | All-WCC First Teamnextones.com/player/yoeli-childs-d6a #YoeliChilds #BYUCougars #NextOnes Yoeli Childs, an All-WCC First Team honoree for the third-straight season, is averaging 22.2 points, 9.0 rebounds and 2.0 assists while shooting 57.4 percent from the field and 48.9 percent from 3-point range. In 19 games played last season, Childs has posted eight double-doubles and 12 20-point games. In the BYU…2020-06-29T22:43:57Z

It would be a stretch for the Celtics to use a first-rounder on Childs, and they do have the No. 47 pick overall, in the second round.

Still, Ainge has gambled on older collegians before, especially when picking late in the first round. Last year’s choice of junior Grant Williams at No. 22 stands out, as does the choice of R.J. Hunter, also a three-year college player, 28th in 2015. Going back to 2011, Ainge selected Purdue senior JaJuan Johnson 27th, acquiring that pick as part of a trade with the Nets.

The Celtics likely will have room on the roster for their draft picks, but if the team is serious about competing for a championship, there probably won’t be a lot of playing time for the young guys.

Childs Spoke Out About Racial Issues in Utah

Childs, who has graduated, did create a stir in BYU circles this summer when he posted a message on Instagram about the racial prejudice he faced growing up in Utah.

He described incidents experienced by his younger brother, Masay, during confrontations with police despite having committed no crime. He tried to deliver a positive message addressing the protests that followed the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis in late May, writing:

I, like so many people in this country, am angry, sad, hurt, and desperate for change. I don’t agree with violence, but please understand what Martin Luther King meant when he said, ‘riots are the language of the unheard. After MLK was assassinated, American cities started rioting, causing millions of dollars in damage. On the 6th day of the riots, the Civil Rights Act of 1968 was passed. There is no right way to protest. No matter how people protest it is met with ‘that’s not the way to do things.’ No I don’t want to see violence and no I don’t advocate for destruction, but the message that Black Lives Matter, and that change is necessary needs to be heard.

He is an interesting prospect for the Celtics to consider, and possibly an interesting guy for the mix of players on this team.

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