With two star players in Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum, the Boston Celtics have a solid and promising duo of wing players. But they need more than that; they need a legitimate supporting cast if they want to regain their status as one of the Eastern Conference’s elite teams.
The Celtics can partially do this through trades — Kemba Walker has been a popular name in the NBA rumor mill as of late. But they also have the opportunity to improve their roster in the draft.
This year, Boston owns the No. 16 and No. 45 picks. The former can become a complementary starter to Brown and Tatum, and the latter could be used to acquire a solid role player.
As reported by Chris Grenham of Forbes, 21-year-old guard Quentin Grimes did a pre-draft workout with the Celtics last week. Projected as a potential second-round pick, Grimes could be available to Boston come the 45th pick.
Here’s what you need to know about Grimes and how he can help the Celtics:
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A native of The Woodlands, Texas, Grimes is a 6-foot-5-inch shooting guard whose collegiate career began at Kansas. As a freshman at KU, he started all 36 games and actually declared for the 2019 NBA draft. He eventually withdrew from the 2019 draft and ended up transferring to the University of Houston, where he played two seasons and most recently played a key role in Houston’s Final Four run.
During this past season at Houston, the junior guard was the team’s star player. He played and started in 30 games and was the leading scorer at 17.8 points per game. Grimes also averaged 2.0 assists, 5.7 rebounds and 1.4 steals per game.
Grimes was selected as the American Athletic Conference’s 2021 men’s basketball co-Player of the Year. He was also named to the 2020-21 All America Third Team by the Associated Press, the National Association of Basketball Coaches, Sporting News and the U.S. Basketball Writers Association.
What Grimes’ Game Offers
Grimes has shown his potential as a scorer. In his junior year at Houston, he shot 40.3% on 3-pointers — a drastic improvement from his 34.0% and 32.6% 3-point shooting in his first two seasons. So he has promise of being a solid 3-point shooter in the NBA.
In a Paper City article, Chris Baldwin described Grimes as “playing like he can get any shot he wants on a basketball court. He’s playing opposing defenses like a pool hustler setting up a mark, like a NASCAR driver who knows just the perfect time to use another car’s draft.”
Justin Quinn of Celtics Wire said Grimes has “solid if imperfect shooting form and good defensive fundamentals.” His average of 1.4 steals this past season proves his activity on the defensive end, so the guard could prove to be an effective 3-and-D player.
When Grimes initially entered the draft in 2019, he participated in the NBA Draft Combine before ultimately withdrawing his name. According to The Wichita Eagle, Grimes showed off his ability to play the lead guard spot during the combine. So it could be possible Grimes tries to sell himself again in the draft as a combo guard.
Despite having previously tried to show off playmaking abilities, Grimes still needs improvement in that area.
Aaron Kellerstrass at Pelican Debrief detailed Grimes’ struggles with playmaking and ball handling, specifically noting his poor assist to turnover ratio.
This past season, the junior guard averaged 2.0 assists and 1.8 turnovers. With a nearly 1-to-1 ratio, it will be tough to keep Grimes on the floor. So if he wants to be a versatile guard, he will need to work on his playmaking.