Will the Boston Celtics be able to bounce back from their Game 7 loss to the Miami Heat and make another lengthy run in the NBA Playoffs?

The Celtics defeated the Atlanta Hawks and the Philadelphia 76ers in the first two rounds of the NBA Playoffs before falling in seven games to the Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference Finals. Boston came close to clawing back from a 3-0 deficit against the Heat, but the stellar scoring of forwards Jimmy Butler and Caleb Martin helped keep the Heat ahead during a crucial Game 7.

“It's one of the best locker rooms I've been a part of,” Mazzulla said about the Celtics' season, via NBA on ESPN. “Guys cared. They gave it everything they had. That's the most important thing to take from this.

“Obviously, we didn't achieve our goal. We didn't win, which was our goal. So, we failed in that regard, but it's not because the guys didn't have a sense of togetherness, character and just who they are as people.”

The Celtics have the No. 35 pick in the 2023 NBA Draft. They can take their chances and select a potential boom-or-bust prospect or play it safe with a surefire contributor with their second rounder.

Who are three players the Celtics could look out for with their No. 35 pick in the 2023 NBA Draft? And how will they fit in with a roster that's looking to make another hopeful run for the NBA Playoffs?

3. Dillon Mitchell, Texas

The Celtics could use some extra forward depth going into the 2023-24 season, ideally with the ability to play at both the small and power forward.

Boston has five forwards listed on Spotrac's 2023-24 Salary Cap grid for the Celtics. Jaylen Brown, Justin Champagnie and Sam Hauser are listed as the team's returning small forwards. Jayson Tatum and Danilo Gallinari took the two power forward spots. Gallinari is listed with a player option. Forward Grant Williams is listed as a restricted free agent in 2023, while Blake Griffin is listed as an unrestricted free agent.

Mitchell, a former five-star prospect out of Tampa, Fla., played and started in 38 games for the Longhorns during the 2022-23 season. He earned averages of 4.3 points, 3.9 rebounds and 0.4 assists per game in 17.4 minutes per outing.

“In spite of his lackluster production, Mitchell reminded NBA scouts why he was so highly regarded on several occasions with his unique combination of mobility, explosiveness, defensive instincts and finishing ability, areas that give him significant potential to continue to improve at just 19 years old,” ESPN NBA Draft expert Jonathan Givony wrote in April.

Mitchell could have the potential to be a positive contributor for the Celtics a few years down the line if he falls to Boston at No. 35.

2. Jaime Jaquez Jr., UCLA

Jaime Jaquez Jr., a 6-foot-7-inch guard/forward from Camarillo, Calif., declared for the NBA Draft in April. He finished his final season with UCLA with averages of 17.8 points, 8.2 rebounds and 2.4 assists per game in 37 games and 37 starts. He scored 29 points and grabbed 11 rebounds during a 79-76 loss to the Gonzaga Bulldogs in the Sweet 16 of the 2023 NCAA Men's Basketball Championship.

“Jaime Jaquez Jr. has shown everyone that he's a leader and a winner,” UCLA head coach Mick Cronin said. “It's hard for me to put into words what he has meant to our program, but he's obviously been a huge part of our success. I said it two weeks ago, and I'll say it again — we built our program around his competitive spirit and toughness, starting four years ago.

“Jaime has heart and he's all about hustle and hard work. … His dedication, his loyalty and his tenacity are unmatched, and I can't wait to see him play in the NBA.”

Jaquez, a four-year veteran with the Bruins, could be a reliable, experienced option for the Celtics if they need players who can contribute immediately.

1. Dariq Whitehead, Duke

Landing Duke forward Dariq Whitehead at the No. 35 pick will be a longshot.

But, if he falls to Boston in the second round, he could be a worthy investment for a bench that ranked seventh among teams that made the playoffs with an offensive rating of 46.3.

Whitehead ended the 2022-23 season with averages of 8.3 points, 2.4 rebounds and a 42.9% average from beyond the 3-point line, according to the team's website. He scored 16 points and hit four of his eight field goal attempts as the Blue Devils defeated the Miami Hurricanes in the semifinals of the ACC Tournament.

Whitehead's shooting could be a fantastic boost to a Celtics team that already took sixth place in the league with a 37.7% 3-point shooting percentage in the regular season and fifth place with 36.4% in the playoffs. He could be a reliable option off the bench if the Celtics can play him at both the shooting guard and small forward spots.