BOSTON — The Boston Celtics have selected Jaylen Brown with the third pick in NBA draft.
Brown, a 6-foot-7 forward out of California, averaged 14.6 points and 5.4 rebounds per game en route to being named Pac-12 Freshman of the Year.
He also has a reputation as an elite defender, which could be a good fit with Boston’s defensive culture under coach Brad Stevens.
Boston also holds the 16th and 23rd picks in the first round, as part of its eight total picks. It is the most picks the Celtics have had since 1987.
Before this year, Boston had a top-three pick only three times since the common draft era began in 1966. The Celtics selected Kevin McHale third overall in 1980, Len Bias second in 1986, and Chauncey Billups third in 1997.
Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge said in the weeks leading up to the draft that he expected to receive overtures from other teams looking to trade for the No. 3 pick. But he also reiterated that he believed there was quality talent beyond the top two picks.
Boston has a handful of free agent decisions to make this offseason, but entered the draft hoping to land an additional wing scorer and frontcourt players to fortify its interior defense.