Avery Bradley is one of Kadeem Allen’s favorite NBA players, and now he’ll be teammates with him.
The Boston Celtics selected Allen with the 53rd overall pick in the second round of the 2017 NBA Draft.
It’s a pleasant surprise as the Arizona Wildcats’ guard was projected to go undrafted in virtually every mock draft.
Still, Allen, 23, was labeled as a “sleeper prospect” by Draft Express because of his defensive ability, as the 6’3” guard has a 6’9” wingspan with impressive lateral quickness and instincts.
Arizona head coach Sean Miller said Allen is one of the best defenders he’s ever coached.
Allen profiles as a “3-and-D” guard in the NBA and will need to consistently hit jump shots to stay in the league.
The Wilmington, North Carolina native was a career 40 percent 3-point shooter in two seasons at Arizona, but he only took 125 3s.
Nonetheless, considering Allen’s backstory — he is the first person in his family to graduate from college and he willingly redshirted at Arizona to help the team after transferring in from Hutchinson Community College — it’s nice to see him get a shot in the NBA.
Allen will presumably debut in a Celtics uniform on July 3 in the Utah Summer League in Salt Lake City.
Allen is the 71st draft pick in Arizona history after Lauri Markkanen was selected 7th overall by the Chicago Bulls earlier in the night.
Allen averaged 9.8 points, 4.0 rebounds, 3.0 assists, and a team-high 1.6 steals per game in his senior season, being named a member of the Pac-12 All-Defensive Team.
No one deserves this moment and opportunity more than my brother Kadeem Allen. Been proving people wrong all his life and will continue!— Parker Cartwright (@unrulymino0) June 23, 2017
Teammates Kobi Simmons and Chance Comanche went undrafted and will likely be signing as undrafted free agents.
Follow Ryan Kelapire on Twitter at @RKelapire