Romeo Langford - Pick #14

HomeRunBaker

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I never noticed how many blocks he gets as a guard. D Wade was really good at that too.
He made Cam Reddish his bitch the other night blocking two of his jumpers. One completely caught Cam off guard as he (thought he) had created space with his dribble…….which he did but that didn’t prevent Thybuille from knocking it off his shooting hand on the release. If this kid ever had a more complete game wow.
 
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Euclis20

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I want to see 3pters blocked as a new stat. My eyes say Timelord is the best big at it.
Excluding the players with tiny sample sizes (less than 300 minutes), the only players that have blocked 3 pointers at a higher rate than TL are Thybulle and Chris Boucher (TL is 3rd each of the last two years behind those guys).
 

HomeRunBaker

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Excluding the players with tiny sample sizes (less than 300 minutes), the only players that have blocked 3 pointers at a higher rate than TL are Thybulle and Chris Boucher (TL is 3rd each of the last two years behind those guys).
Spud Webb had 111 career blocks. Muggsy Bogues 38.

I’ve got way too much time on my hands.
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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The video below is why RL will be a 10-year NBA player so long as he stays healthy. As the tweet says, probably the best switch for the Cs thus far. Will also note that NBA.com had RL holding the HEat to 1 FG in 8 attempts where he was the defender, 0-6 on 3PA.

View: https://twitter.com/RealBobManning/status/1456417795831476224?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1456417795831476224%7Ctwgr%5E%7Ctwcon%5Es1_&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.clnsmedia.com%2Fceltics-defense-rising-after-dominating-magic-and-heat%2F
 

lovegtm

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The video below is why RL will be a 10-year NBA player so long as he stays healthy. As the tweet says, probably the best switch for the Cs thus far. Will also note that NBA.com had RL holding the HEat to 1 FG in 8 attempts where he was the defender, 0-6 on 3PA.

View: https://twitter.com/RealBobManning/status/1456417795831476224?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1456417795831476224%7Ctwgr%5E%7Ctwcon%5Es1_&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.clnsmedia.com%2Fceltics-defense-rising-after-dominating-magic-and-heat%2F
They generally give him the toughest wing assignments, including when he checked Durant a lot in last year's playoffs. The fluidity he moves with is really impressive. Missed him a lot in that first half against Dallas. At least this is hopefully just sickness, and not yet another injury.
 

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The talent is clearly there BUT at what point do we get concerned about him being out for games here and there, without a specific cause?

Something isn't adding up. He should have been pumped to play with Jaylen out and the minutes/role he played in the Miami win.
 

Van Everyman

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Well, he was sick, so … I’m not sure how “pumped” you can be. Plus, if I’m Ime I provably don’t want him infecting the rest of the of team. Is any of that on him?
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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The talent is clearly there BUT at what point do we get concerned about him being out for games here and there, without a specific cause?

Something isn't adding up. He should have been pumped to play with Jaylen out and the minutes/role he played in the Miami win.
the flu is going around the Cs locker room.

And some colleges in FL (obviously not related but this flu season is going to be a problem I think).
 

Cesar Crespo

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The talent is clearly there BUT at what point do we get concerned about him being out for games here and there, without a specific cause?

Something isn't adding up. He should have been pumped to play with Jaylen out and the minutes/role he played in the Miami win.
A bunch of us have been worried about it for awhile and think you can't really count on him to be available.
 

reggiecleveland

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The video below is why RL will be a 10-year NBA player so long as he stays healthy. As the tweet says, probably the best switch for the Cs thus far. Will also note that NBA.com had RL holding the HEat to 1 FG in 8 attempts where he was the defender, 0-6 on 3PA.

View: https://twitter.com/RealBobManning/status/1456417795831476224?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1456417795831476224%7Ctwgr%5E%7Ctwcon%5Es1_&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.clnsmedia.com%2Fceltics-defense-rising-after-dominating-magic-and-heat%2F
Well yeah many 10 year vets and NBA all-stars best highlight from a six-game stretch was playing decent help-side D. I am more inclined to think if he keeps shooting 40 from 3 he will last.
 
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Cesar Crespo

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Well yeah many 10 year vets and NBA all-stars best highlight from a six-game stretch was playing decent help-side D. I am more inclined to think if he keeps shooting 40 from 3 he will last.
He's going to get paid if he's hitting 40% of his 3s. Most players stick around nowadays with roster sizes being 15+2 as well. I'm guessing he will as well, even if he is a below average shooter.

It's way too early but through 6 his advanced % rate stats are the same as the last 2 years. I'm not a huge fan but his shot has been better in the early going. Him hitting the 3 vs him not hitting the 3 is the difference between playing 15-20 minutes every game or being a guy who plays in match ups. At least come his 2nd contract when he stops getting developmental minutes.

It's possible he's the exception and his rate stats don't matter because what he contributes doesn't show up in a box score (points, rebounds, assists, steals, blocks, TO, fouls). Usually players who don't show growth in at least one of those categories year over year as developing players tend not to do well. His sample sizes are also incredibly tiny so I'm not sure how much growth one should expect from year 1 to year 2 given all the injuries. Year 3 is 10 games in.

He's a hard one to project. At least for me and how I project players.
 

HomeRunBaker

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He's a hard one to project. At least for me and how I project players.
To me the only questions are his health. He’s already a rotation player in this year with the makeup for being a strong complimentary player in the James Posey mold. Those are the type of minutes, role and production I see for him. I feel his floor is high to where he’s going to make it long term in the league yet low enough to where he’s never going to be a star due to his non-star skill set. The kid is going to make a good living if he isn’t shown to be made of glass and yes I’m aware that the jury is still out on that.
 

Cesar Crespo

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To me the only questions are his health. He’s already a rotation player in this year with the makeup for being a strong complimentary player in the James Posey mold. Those are the type of minutes, role and production I see for him. I feel his floor is high to where he’s going to make it long term in the league yet low enough to where he’s never going to be a star due to his non-star skill set. The kid is going to make a good living if he isn’t shown to be made of glass and yes I’m aware that the jury is still out on that.
Yeah, I just like to see growth that isn't related to the eyeball. If he's shooting 35%+ from 3 on a decent sample size later in the year, that qualifies.

I just can't think of very many players who didn't show any growth in rate % stats in their first 3 years that were any good. Unless they started out at a ridiculously high bar like Ben Simmons or maybe even LaMelo.

I was high on Romeo up until his return last year. Maybe it's on me for expecting more or buying into the mini Jaylen hype.
 

reggiecleveland

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James Posey was 6'8 and a starter his first 7 years in the league. He was a 6-7 rebound/36 minutes guy. He was physical and often much bigger than the guys he guarded, though he was big and tough enough to guard 4s, back when guys like KG and Leon Powe were 4s. There are many bench defence first guys Romeo may model but Posey was a physical beast compared to Romeo. Posey was starter stopper quality and that he was off the bench was one reason that team was stacked. He was regarded as one of the best defender in the game at his peak. It is an insult to him to be compared to a guy trying to get burn on, lets be honest, a mediocre team. A bench 3 and D guys was what he was at the end of his career to get a ring.
 

Cesar Crespo

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James Posey was 6'8 and a starter his first 7 years in the league. He was a 6-7 rebound/36 minutes guy. He was physical and often much bigger than the guys he guarded, though he was big and tough enough to guard 4s, back when guys like KG and Leon Powe were 4s. There are many bench defence first guys Romeo may model but Posey was a physical beast compared to Romeo. Posey was starter stopper quality and that he was off the bench was one reason that team was stacked. He was regarded as one of the best defender in the game at his peak. It is an insult to him to be compared to a guy trying to get burn on, lets be honest, a mediocre team. A bench 3 and D guys was what he was at the end of his career to get a ring.
Posey also entered the league at 23. Romeo entered at 19/20. Posey is still 10 months older than Romeo when he made his debut.
 

reggiecleveland

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So Romeo is going to grow?

Also, these age arguments are hollow. Everyone entered the league older then, younger now.
In those days the Jayhawks or Blue Devils discussion group would be discussing the oft-injured bust that was Romeo Langford, and nobody would be wasting a 1st on him, or assigning irrational hopes of him becoming a guy too big for Kobe to post up.
 
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Cesar Crespo

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So Romeo is going to grow?

Also, these age arguments are hollow. Everyone entered the league older then, younger now.
Most players grow as players and very few come into the league ready to play at 19/20. Posey spent 3 years in college, Langford 1.. If you want to act like that doesn't play a huge part in Posey being a starter right out of the gate, that's fine.

I'll choose to acknowledge the HUGE difference even if I don't like Romeo Langford.
 

HomeRunBaker

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So Romeo is going to grow?

Also, these age arguments are hollow. Everyone entered the league older then, younger now.
In those days the Jayhawks or Blue Devils discussion group would be discussing the oft-injured bust that was Romeo Langford, and nobody would be wasting a 1st on him, or assigning irrational hopes of him becoming a guy too big for Kobe to post up.
I was referring to projected role and production…..not necessarily exact measurements.

Most players grow as players and very few come into the league ready to play at 19/20. Posey spent 3 years in college, Langford 1.. If you want to act like that doesn't play a huge part in Posey being a starter right out of the gate, that's fine.

I'll choose to acknowledge the HUGE difference even if I don't like Romeo Langford.
Posey started right out of the gate bc he was 23, joined a 14-36 team, and replaced Bryant Stith in the starting lineup. Had he played two more years at Indiana and been drafted in the 1st Round by OKC I’m guessing he’d be starting as well.
 

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I was referring to projected role and production…..not necessarily exact measurements.


Posey started right out of the gate bc he was 23, joined a 14-36 team, and replaced Bryant Stith in the starting lineup. Had he played two more years at Indiana and been drafted in the 1st Round by OKC I’m guessing he’d be starting as well.
I reject your premise. There is no replacing Bryant Stith!
 

Bleedred

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Amazing the amount of virtual ink spilled here for a less than mediocre mid first round pick whose shown pretty much nothing other than promise to date. the player does have good defensive instincts (comparing him to Posey is absurd), is moderately athletic and can take the ball to the hoop at times. So far, he's a shit offensive player, cannot shoot (yet), isn't a defensive stopper in any meaningful way and has yet to play consistent minutes, ever, for a team that is good, not great. He's also appears to be made of balsa wood (yes, yes, I know, bad luck, he's young, etc.).

I like Romeo and hope he meets the expectation of what many here see for him, but for the love of Pete!
 

Cesar Crespo

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Amazing the amount of virtual ink spilled here for a less than mediocre mid first round pick whose shown pretty much nothing other than promise to date. the player does have good defensive instincts (comparing him to Posey is absurd), is moderately athletic and can take the ball to the hoop at times. So far, he's a shit offensive player, cannot shoot (yet), isn't a defensive stopper in any meaningful way and has yet to play consistent minutes, ever, for a team that is good, not great. He's also appears to be made of balsa wood (yes, yes, I know, bad luck, he's young, etc.).

I like Romeo and hope he meets the expectation of what many here see for him, but for the love of Pete!
It's because there's no real young talent on the team, at least that isn't established (Tatum, RWill). Brown is no longer under 25.

It is kind of crazy though. You can throw Aaron Nesmith into the same bin, although it's a bit early on him. I wonder what the reaction would be if we had a Jordan Poole or Anfernee Simons. Or Melton.
 

Bleedred

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It's because there's no real young talent on the team, at least that isn't established (Tatum, RWill). Brown is no longer under 25.

It is kind of crazy though. You can throw Aaron Nesmith into the same bin, although it's a bit early on him. I wonder what the reaction would be if we had a Jordan Poole or Anfernee Simons. Or Melton.
Fair. And I love the optimism. But someone once said in another context that hope is not a strategy. Likewise, projection is not a substitute for real, empirical evidence of having game. To date, Romeo has demonstrated very little game beyond limited spurts of production which does not set him apart from 90% of the other 7-12 players on benches in the League.
 

Cesar Crespo

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Fair. And I love the optimism. But someone once said in another context that hope is not a strategy. Likewise, projection is not a substitute for real, empirical evidence of having game. To date, Romeo has demonstrated very little game beyond limited spurts of production which does not set him apart from 90% of the other 7-12 players on benches in the League.
I think more people agree with you than don't. Or it's close anyway. There's plenty of pessimism to go around too, although I think the pessimism is reality.
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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Amazing the amount of virtual ink spilled here for a less than mediocre mid first round pick whose shown pretty much nothing other than promise to date. the player does have good defensive instincts (comparing him to Posey is absurd), is moderately athletic and can take the ball to the hoop at times. So far, he's a shit offensive player, cannot shoot (yet), isn't a defensive stopper in any meaningful way and has yet to play consistent minutes, ever, for a team that is good, not great. He's also appears to be made of balsa wood (yes, yes, I know, bad luck, he's young, etc.).

I like Romeo and hope he meets the expectation of what many here see for him, but for the love of Pete!
Agree that he's shown mostly promise and that he has promise of being able to take the ball to the hoop.

Strongly agree that he doesn't seem durable but hopefully that's just a phase as he grows into his body.

Disagree that he's a "shit offensive player" only because he doesn't touch the ball at all (USG% in the last 3 years of 11.8%, 11.3%, and 13.3%.

Also disagree that is "moderately athletic" and that he isn't "a defensive stopper in any meaningful way" - I might more strongly disagree but I'm not sure how you are using "defensive stopper." While RL can't jump out of the gym, he's an extremely athletic guy and maybe part of the issue is that - as Brad says - athletic stuff comes easy to him so it doesn't look like he's trying very hard. He was the Cs best Cs on-ball defender last year and is probably still the best even with the additions, which is due to his athleticism and also why he gets minutes.

I guess people are spilling a lot of ink because he was a drafted into a situation that probably wasn't the best fit and he's been injured so we're speculating based on limited observations. I don't know what RL's offense is going to look like when he matures but it's hard not to be excited about someone who is a plus defender and was 6th in the Big Ten in scoring as a freshman with a torn ligament in his thumb, even if he has had a trying start to his career because of both health and COVID.
 

Bleedred

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I don't begrudge anyone their excitement as RL was one of the top HS players in the country and the best player on that IU team by a long shot, so there's something there of course. But noting that RL was "the Cs best on-ball defender last year" is a beautiful illustration of damning with faint praise. Even if I agree with that (which I do not), you're comparing RL to who exactly? JB, Smart, Kemba, Pritchard, Nesmith, Tatum? I happen to think Tatum and Smart were better than RL last year as on ball defenders (not by much, but when they were focused and put in the effort), but even if they were not, that's not exactly a list of candidates for DPOY.

In any event, we're quibbling now. I really would love for RL to meet the potential others see for him here, and I'm not without hope that he could turn into a substantial contributor. I only take issue with what, IMO, is the crazy optimism based on a laughably SSS to date.
 

HomeRunBaker

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I don't begrudge anyone their excitement as RL was one of the top HS players in the country and the best player on that IU team by a long shot, so there's something there of course. But noting that RL was "the Cs best on-ball defender last year" is a beautiful illustration of damning with faint praise. Even if I agree with that (which I do not), you're comparing RL to who exactly? JB, Smart, Kemba, Pritchard, Nesmith, Tatum? I happen to think Tatum and Smart were better than RL last year as on ball defenders (not by much, but when they were focused and put in the effort), but even if they were not, that's not exactly a list of candidates for DPOY.

In any event, we're quibbling now. I really would love for RL to meet the potential others see for him here, and I'm not without hope that he could turn into a substantial contributor. I only take issue with what, IMO, is the crazy optimism based on a laughably SSS to date.
Even if you consider two years to be a SSS it isn’t difficult to see the player today, or the player competing in the Nets playoff series as one who has made a significant leap from the one we saw as a rookie who was wandering aimlessly praying that he didn’t have to dribble.
 

Bleedred

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Even if you consider two years to be a SSS it isn’t difficult to see the player today, or the player competing in the Nets playoff series as one who has made a significant leap from the one we saw as a rookie who was wandering aimlessly praying that he didn’t have to dribble.
Significant leap from worthless sack of shit as a basketball player (not as a person). But yes, I agree.
 

HomeRunBaker

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Significant leap from worthless sack of shit as a basketball player (not as a person). But yes, I agree.
Yes exactly. The physical skill was always there and he’s grown a ton as a player to be a rotation guy on a (alledgedly) good team.

Are we talking about the same James Posey? He bounced around 6 teams in 8 years since his rookie contract. He found his success as a role player asked to do what Romeo is being asked to grow into.
 

reggiecleveland

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. Had he played two more years at Indiana and been drafted in the 1st Round by OKC I’m guessing he’d be starting as well.
Wait so hypothetical Romeo is healthy in college and a better player than this Romeo? And gets drafted higher?

Also serious question you believe there are places in today's NBA where the real (not hypothetical) version of Romeo is starting?
 

HomeRunBaker

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Wait so hypothetical Romeo is healthy in college and a better player than this Romeo? And gets drafted higher?

Also serious question you believe there are places in today's NBA where the real (not hypothetical) version of Romeo is starting?
1 - I’m not sure what you’re referring to……he was drafted 14th, Posey 18th.

2 - Had he just been drafted this year by the team starting the 2021 version of Bryant Stith? Yeah absolutely. He’s playing 19 mpg on a playoff team and 27 in his last game. Not going to run down each lottery team but he’s nearly playing starters minutes on this Celtics team when he’s been available (Yes, we know about the health issues).
 

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18.7 mpg is now starter minutes.

Romeo sure is polarizing.
He's polarizing because people saying completely reasonable things like "he looks on track to be a rotation player who plays good defense" are constantly derided as homers.

I have never said that Romeo will be a franchise-changer, but the level of vitriol towards the guy who's probably the Celtics best young player of the last couple drafts (yes, that's sad) is crazy.

It also sucks that the Celtics couldn't end up with Herro or Haliburton in these last couple drafts, because I'd rather have offense than defense. But shitting on Romeo because of who went just ahead isn't particularly fair.
 
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Cesar Crespo

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He's polarizing because people saying completely reasonable things like "he looks on track to be a rotation player who plays good defense" are constantly derided as homers.

I have never said that Romeo will be a franchise-changer, but the level of vitriol towards the guy who's probably the Celtics best young player of the last couple drafts (yes, that's sad) is crazy.

It also sucks that the Celtics couldn't end up with Herro or Haliburton in these last couple drafts, because I'd rather have offense than defense. But shitting on Romeo because of who went just ahead isn't particularly fair.
Or because people say 18.7 minutes is basically starter minutes but sure. Read what HRB wrote and tell me that isn't a homer response. 19 is close to 27? Um, no. It's about 2/3.

Or then you have others comparing Posey starting games right out of the gate as a 22/23 year old college player to Romeo who was 19/20.

Fun times. A lot of the arguments are not reasonable.
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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who's probably the Celtics best young player of the last couple drafts (yes, that's sad) is crazy.
So in the last two drafts the Cs made - in which they had no pick higher than 14 - they have drafted two rotation players and two people who might be rotation players for lesser teams. Seems to me that is about par for drafting but I haven't kept up with expected draft values studies lately.

Add in the draft before that, and you have one starter, two rotation players, and two players that will probably get second contracts. Granted they had an abundance of picks - 14, 26, 30, and 47 / 14, 20, 22, 51 / 27 - but it would seem that in most years, a majority of teams that aren't in top 10 get nothing out of their drafts.

P.S. not trying to turn this into whether DA can draft thread but it's more a question about what's reasonable expectations for a non-top-10 pick draft.
 

Cesar Crespo

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So in the last two drafts the Cs made - in which they had no pick higher than 14 - they have drafted two rotation players and two people who might be rotation players for lesser teams. Seems to me that is about par for drafting but I haven't kept up with expected draft values studies lately.

Add in the draft before that, and you have one starter, two rotation players, and two players that will probably get second contracts. Granted they had an abundance of picks - 14, 26, 30, and 47 / 14, 20, 22, 51 / 27 - but it would seem that in most years, a majority of teams that aren't in top 10 get nothing out of their drafts.

P.S. not trying to turn this into whether DA can draft thread but it's more a question about what's reasonable expectations for a non-top-10 pick draft.
Everyone got a player in 2018.

Who are the 2 rotation players? RL and AN? RL and PP? RL and GW?

Yeah, I think "rotation" player is a very wide spectrum and being one doesn't necessarily make you good. Is GW really a win? It might be about what you expect at that slot but there's nothing wrong with wanting your team to luck into a Banes or Melton and being disappointed with the lackluster RL/AN/PP/GW crowd.

Plus in the last few years, more and more good players are going later in the draft. The C's could have literally taken Bane and no one would care if AN and RL busted because Bane would have made up for it.

If you look around the league and the young talent that surrounds it, it's really sad how little young talent the C's have.

If you don't include Tatum, what team has worse under age 24 talent than the Celtics?
 

Bleedred

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Or because people say 18.7 minutes is basically starter minutes but sure. Read what HRB wrote and tell me that isn't a homer response. 19 is close to 27? Um, no. It's about 2/3.

Or then you have others comparing Posey starting games right out of the gate as a 22/23 year old college player to Romeo who was 19/20.

Fun times. A lot of the arguments are not reasonable.
This. It would be one thing if the people hyping/excited about Romeo were limited to what lovegtm said was "he looks on track to be a rotation player who plays good defense" but that is decidedly not what many of the Romeo enthusiasts have been saying. Comparing him to Posey, suggesting he basically plays starter minutes. Sorry, but those are not credible statements, and those making them know it (or should).

Edit: Romeo had what looks like a decent game last night (I didn't see it). He played 19 minutes, had one block, 6 points, 1 rebound and was a +3. The starters played 36, 34, 32, 34 and 24 minutes respectively. Romeo is not "basically" playing starter minutes, even in a game when he's in the rotation. He may well be a rotation player who plays good defense.
 

Cesar Crespo

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This. It would be one thing if the people hyping/excited about Romeo were limited to what lovegtm said was "he looks on track to be a rotation player who plays good defense" but that is decidedly not what many of the Romeo enthusiasts have been saying. Comparing him to Posey, suggesting he basically plays starter minutes. Sorry, but those are not credible statements, and those making them know it.
Comparing a 19-20 year old making his NBA debut to a 22/23 year old making his NBA debut is a foolish argument either way.
 

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If you don't include Tatum, what team has worse under age 24 talent than the Celtics?
The two rotation players right now are RL and GW because they are in the rotation.

I can't easily find a list that lets me see all under 25 players by their teams but a couple of spot checks.

IND has: Duarte - who is still two years older than RL as a rookie - Oshae Brissett, DeJon Jarreau, Goga Bitadze, Duane Washington Jr., and Isaiah Jackson. Maybe you are super high on Duarte.

DAL - assuming we are taking out Doncic like we are taking out Tatum, has Eugene Omoruyi. JaQuori McLaughlin. Frank Ntilikina. Moses Brown. and Josh Green.

PHI has Grant Riller, Matisse Thybulle, Furkan Korkmaz. Isaiah Joe. Paul Reed. Aaron Henry. Tyrese Maxey. Charles Bassey. and Jaden Springer. Not really a murder's row without Embiid in the lineup but YMMV.

UT has (Mitchell is 25): Malik Fitts, Miye Oni. Trent Forrest, Elijah Hughes, Udoka Azubuike, and Jared Butler.

MIL has Donte DiVincenzo, Justin Robinson. Jordan Nwora, Georgios Kalaitzakis. and Sandro Mamukelashvili.

I assume LAL, LAC, and BRK don't have any real talent under 25 but they aren't designed to.

Before last season, the Cs have won 48 or more games every year since 2015-16. The point, to me at least, is drafting year after year in the mid-teens or below means that the team isn't going to have young talent unless it's super lucky for two reasons: (i) the draft is a crapshoot and (ii) good teams don't have minutes to give away to young players to acclimate them to the league.

Seems to me - and again, trying very hard not to re-start yet another conversation about whether DA is a good drafter - but getting two rotation players and a starter out of 3 drafts that didn't have a pick higher than 14 is above-average (and that could just be because the Cs had multiple draft picks in two of those drafts, not because their drafting process is "better" than anyone else's, or maybe they just got lucky).

I'm asking a question and am willing to be convinced otherwise.
 

Cesar Crespo

79
SoSH Member
Dec 22, 2002
21,015
Rather than look at draft position, why not look at players that were drafted after RL and AN that are better than RL and AN?

This becomes clearer next year but how would Cole Anthony look right now in a C's uniform? Maxey would look pretty great too. He's like a real young player worth getting excited about. He's actually getting starter minutes and doing well in them. We would be thrilled to have Maxey.

Plus it seems drafts have become deeper in recent years, or teams have been better at picking.

https://www.basketball-reference.com/draft/NBA_2019.html
https://www.basketball-reference.com/draft/NBA_2020.html

I'm sure a lot of it is luck but most teams have a player on a rookie contract who is on the court 99% of the time (aka healthy and playing) and is actually producing in those minutes.

This team would be so much better with Duarte, or Maxey. So the C's are probably bottom 5-10 in under 24 talent if you exclude Tatum. He'll be 24 in March so you won't even have to do that much longer.

I'm not even trying to be clever by excluding Tatum. Maybe I should say "worst talent on rookie contracts who haven't signed extensions" but TL doesn't really change the discussion that much anyway so worst talent on rookie contracts.