Friday, June 26, 2009

Meet Your Newest Celtic: Lester Hudson

Long after the Eternal Damnation of Blake Griffin portion of last night's draft, the Celtics last night made their first and only pick, 58th overall, third-to-last in the second round. And the C's picked a player that some of you, especially those of you that played fantasy college hoops, may recognize. For those unfamiliar, let me introduce you to your newest Celtic: Lester Hudson, pride of Tennessee-Martin.

The Good: Hudson flat-out produced in college. After transferring to Tennessee-Martin out of junior college, Hudson led the nation in scoring his junior year, and finished second in the country in scoring last year to Stephen Curry. He scored from all over, showing an ability to drain from the outside and slash to the hoop, and despite his gaudy numbers, never really seemed to force shots at UTM. Hudson produced the first-ever quadruple-double in DI history, and had 35 points and 10 rebounds against Memphis. Despite being 6-1, Hudson has also shown a Rondo-esque ability to grab boards for a small guard, posting 11 double-digit rebound games last season. He was near tops in the nation in steals during both his years at UTM as well, showing that he has at least decent athleticism.

The Bad: Hudson is a 6-1 combo guard, which never bodes terribly well in the NBA. His level of competition at UTM was suspect at best, and he didn't really prove himself against the big boys very well at predraft training camps the last two years. His lateral quickness and defensive acumen are somewhat suspect, despite the gaudy steal numbers. He also has a tendency to turn the ball over more than you'd like, though he reduced his TO numbers his senior year. Hudson also flunked out of high school, and had trouble graduating from junior college. So we're not exactly talking brain surgeon material here. Hudson is also 24 years old, the same age as Darko Milicic and a full year older than Lindsay Lohan's liver. So there's that.

The Reality: While it's not secret that the C's are in dire need of backcourt depth (we do NOT want another Marbury-type roaming the backcourt next year), the C's seem to take the "Irish Sunday Dinner" approach to their younger players, letting them simmer for roughly 5474833 hours before letting them see any actual playing time (see Pruitt, Gabe and Giddens, J.R.). With the right breaks, Hudson could be a Smush Parker/Luther Head/maybe Daniel Gibson type off the bench in a year or two, and worst case, spend two years in the D-League and never be heard from again. That said, for where the C's were picking, Hudson was a decent and one that they can stash away for a while to see if he can hack it against higher level competition in the D-League. Just don't expect him to see major minutes anytime soon.

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