Boston Celtics

2024 NBA Draft: Potential Celtics targets on March Madness teams

March Madness is the perfect time for draft prospects to showcase their talents to NBA teams.

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The Boston Celtics still own their first-round pick in the 2024 NBA Draft, and with March Madness set to begin Tuesday night with the first two play-in games, now is a good time for fans to familiarize themselves with potential draft targets.

The C's likely will own the No. 30 pick, even if they don't win the NBA Finals. Picks No. 15 through No. 30 are determined by reverse order of regular season record, and the Celtics have an extremely high chance of finishing with the league's best record during the regular season.

Which players on teams competing in the NCAA Tournament might the C's target near the end of the first round in the upcoming draft?

Here are some prospects that could fit on Boston's roster.

Zach Edey, Purdue

Position: Center

Height/Weight: 7-foot-4, 300 pounds

Edey led the nation in scoring at 24.4 points per game and ranked third in rebounding at 11.7 per game. He recently became Purdue's all-time leading scorer and was a unanimous first-team All-American selection. The real question is how will his skill set translate to the NBA. Edey is a good low-post scorer but he's not a shooter at all. He has attempted just two 3-pointers in his four-year college career.

Despite some of his offensive limitations, Edey's interior defense (2.2 blocks per game), overall size and rebounding ability make him an intriguing prospect. And the Celtics could use a little more size and strength at the center position.

K.J. Simpson, Colorado

Position: Guard

Height/Weight: 6-foot-2, 189 pounds

Simpson was a first-team All-Pac 12 selection and one of the notable snubs from the All-America teams. He averaged 19.6 points, 5.7 rebounds and 4.9 assists per game, while shooting an impressive 45.3 percent from 3-point range and 87.7 percent from the free throw line. He averaged a career-high 1.6 steals per game for Colorado, too.

Simpson was the best point guard in the Pac-12 this season and a strong showing in March Madness could solidify his standing as a first-round pick. He's a legit scorer and a very good perimeter defender. His skill set is fairly similar to another former Colorado guard -- Derrick White of the Celtics.

Tristan da Silva, Colorado

Position: Forward

Height/Weight: 6-foot-9, 220 pounds

Da Silva is a versatile wing who can play multiple positions, score in a variety of ways and play good defense at the rim. He's comfortable driving into the paint and finishing in traffic, while also being able to step behind the 3-point line and knock down just under 38 percent of his attempts. Da Silva posted back-to-back seasons averaging at least 15.8 points per game and shooting 37.9 percent from 3-point range. The senior forward might be off the board by the time the Celtics are on the clock, but if he's still available, Brad Stevens and his staff should absolutely consider taking him.

Oso Ighodaro, Marquette

Position: Forward

Height/Weight: 6-foot-11, 235 pounds

Ighodaro is another versatile player with the ability to defend multiple positions at a high level. He's also a smart passer. Ighodaro averaged a career-high 14 points per game this past season on 58.3 percent shooting. He's not a 3-point shooter, but he has decent touch around the rim when attacking the paint, especially with his jump hook. Versatile bigs are valuable in the NBA, and Ighodaro likely would be a good fit on the Celtics with his switchability, athleticism and high basketball IQ.

Baylor Scheierman, Creighton

Position: Guard/Forward

Height/Weight: 6-foot-7, 205 pounds

Scheierman was a third-team All-America selection after scoring 18.4 points and grabbing 9.0 rebounds per game (both career highs) for Creighton. He is a 38.8 percent 3-point shooter after five seasons in college. Scheierman is the only men's player in NCAA history with at least 2,000 points, 1,000 rebounds, 500 assists and 300 3-pointers made. He has an impressive all-around skill set that should help him make an easy transition to the pro game.

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