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NBA draft prospect profile: Spain PF/C Guillermo Hernangomez

06.16.15 at 2:34 pm ET
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As part of’€™s coverage of the 2015 NBA draft, here is one in a series of profiles of prospective picks. The Celtics own two picks in each of the two rounds (16, 28, 33 and 45 overall).


Position: Power forward/center

Country: Spain

Age: 21

Height: 6-foot-11

Weight: 255 pounds

Wingspan: 7-foot-2

Key 2014-15 stats: 20.6 minutes, 10.7 points, 6.0 rebounds

Scouting report: Projected to go as high as the late first round, Hernangomez brings an old-school approach to the block. He has a refined post game, highlighted by his ability to create space with his body. He also is capable of stepping out to hit the mid-range jumper. Mentally, Hernangomez is one of the strongest prospects in the draft, with an extremely high basketball IQ.

“Very skilled,” one Western Conference front office man told’s David Aldridge. “Good around the basket. Kind of an under-the-basket guy, but very skilled.”

The biggest knock on Hernangomez is his low ceiling. Many scouts question his athleticism and whether his high basketball IQ can save him on the defensive end. Without leaping ability or lateral quickness, Hernangomez is questionable with regard to rim protection and pick-and-roll defense.

Notes: Hernangomez likely will return to his principal team, Real Madrid, for a few years following the draft in order to work on aspects of his game. He was named MVP of the Eurocup and made the all-tournament team at the 2014 FIBA Europe U-20 championship representing Spain. He played for Baloncesto Sevilla (on loan from Real Madrid), the same team as top-five projected pick Kristaps Porzingis. Hernangomez has drawn comparisons to Marc Gasol for the way he maneuvers and navigates the post on offense. Against Barcelona on Dec. 7, he dropped 29 points on 11-of-16 shooting along with 13 boards and two steals.

Related articles: Hernangomez developing in Spain’s next great big man

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NBA draft prospect profile: Iowa F Aaron White

06.16.15 at 11:40 am ET
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As part of’s coverage of the 2015 NBA draft, here is one in a series of profiles of prospective picks. The Celtics own two picks in each of the two rounds (16, 28, 33 and 45 overall).


Position: Power forward

School: Iowa

Age: 22 (turns 23 on Sept. 10)

Height: 6-foot-9

Weight: 220 pounds

Wingspan: 6-foot-11.5

Key 2014-15 stats: 16.4 points, 7.3 rebounds, 1.3 steals, 55.8 field goal percentage

Scouting report: White was not highly recruited coming out of high school in Ohio — at least not by the big-time Division 1 programs. However, he proved to be a perfect fit at Iowa, where he led the team in rebounding all four seasons and became the only player in school history to record 1,800 points and 900 rebounds. Last season he earned All-Big Ten first-team honors after being the only Division 1 player to average at least 16 points and seven rebounds while shooting better than 50 percent from the field and 80 percent from the free throw line. He led the Hawkeyes in points, rebounds and steals, and in Iowa’s NCAA Tournament opener he dominated in an 83-52 victory over Davidson, hitting 11-of-14 shots en route to a game-high 26 points.

White, projected to go in the middle of the second round, acknowledges he doesn’t look like a typical NBA prospect, and he might struggle to defend at the next level, but he is lauded for his work ethic, offensive efficiency and ability to contribute everywhere on the court. “I don’t fit the mold,” White told “I don’t look as athletic as I probably play.”

Said Iowa coach Fran McCaffery: “His numbers are astronomical. We didn’t run many plays for him. He just scores. He steals the ball and gets a run-out breakaway. He’s a great motion player on back cuts and curl cuts. He can rip and one-dribble dunk from the 3-point line. We did post him up periodically, but a lot of what he accomplished, he did with his skill set.”

Notes: White set Iowa career records for games played (140), free throws made (618) and free throw attempts (800), and ranks second in points (1,859), third in rebounds (901) and 14th in double-doubles (16). He compares himself to Chandler Parsons and Andrei Kirilenko: “Guys that are my size, obviously versatile guys,” White told the Des Moines Register. “They know the game well and know how to help their team win.” White and his longtime girlfriend, former Iowa volleyball player Grace Burns, are expecting their first child in August.

Related articles: More than numbers when it comes to hard-working White

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NBA draft prospect profile: Syracuse PF/C Rakeem Christmas

06.16.15 at 8:36 am ET
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As part of’s coverage of the 2015 NBA draft, here is one in a series of profiles of prospective picks. The Celtics own two picks in each of the two rounds (16, 28, 33 and 45 overall).


Position: Power forward/center

School: Syracuse

Age: 23

Height: 6-foot-10

Weight: 243 pounds

Wingspan: 7-foot-5

Key 2014-15 stats: 17.5 points, 9.1 rebounds, 55.2 field goal percentage

Scouting report: A projected early second-rounder who helped his stock with a solid performance at the NBA combine, Christmas possesses a rare combination of size, strength and athleticism. He’s long, with a 7-foot-3 wingspan, and can run the floor in transition, both offensively and defensively. His length helps him at both ends of the floor, especially on the glass. His size helps him work the low post, and he has great touch around the basket. He uses his size to his advantage when defending the low post, affecting shots and protecting the rim.

“I think he’s really helped himself,” Steven Pina, Christmas’ representative with ASM Sports, told after Christmas shined during the combine scrimmages. “I think that’s apparent in the number of teams that want him to come in and where they’re picking in the draft.”

The biggest knock on Christmas is his size. While he uses it to his advantage in the post, it will not translate to the NBA if he intends to keep his traditional position as center, according to many pundits. Another facet of his game which needs improvement is his passing. Experts believe he tends to panic when passing out of the post, leading to bad turnovers.

Notes: Christmas earned first-team All-ACC honors in 2014-15, along with All-ACC Defensive Team merits as well. He also was named a third-team All-American. After raising his scoring average from 5.8 to 17.5 from his junior year to his senior year, he was chosen as the conference’s Most Improved Player. Christmas grew up in St. Croix, Virgin Islands, but attended high school in Philadelphia. He got his degree at Syracuse (a B.S. in communications and rhetorical studies) in three years, playing last season as a grad student.

Related articles:

Bleacher Report: Syracuse forward Rakeem Christmas shows why college development is crucial

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Inquisitr: Rakeem Christmas sees draft stock rising after impressive performance at NBA combine

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NBA draft prospect profile: D’Angelo Russell

06.15.15 at 6:32 pm ET
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As part of’s coverage of the 2015 NBA draft, here is one in a series of profiles of prospective picks. The Celtics own two picks in each of the two rounds (16, 28, 33 and 45 overall).


Position: Point guard

School: Ohio State

Age: 19

Height: 6-foot-5

Weight: 195 pounds

Wingspan: 6-foot-9.75

Key 2014-2015 stats: 19.3 points, 5.7 rebounds, 5.0 assists, 44.9 field goal percentage, 41.1 3-point percentage

Scouting report: Russell is advertised as a smart, cerebral point guard who can read the floor and make the tough passes to give teammates open looks. He most often gets compared to Brandon Roy, another savvy combo guard who could get to rim and make plays for teammates. Though he doesn’t showcase elite athleticism, Russell has the size and developing strength to potentially dominate the point guard position on offense and defense. His length is especially valuable on defense, as it allows him to blow up passing lanes and contest shots. His 3-point shooting has been a surprise, and with a field goal percentage of just under 45, he has proven himself a more than capable shooter. His ball-handling ability helps him navigate the pick and roll and either drive and dish or take the mid-range jumper. Russell’s decision-making is much more developed than one would expect out of a freshman, a trait that has helped him develop into a top-five projected pick.

According to former coach Thad Matta, Russell is everything a team can hope for in terms of character. “From the first time I began recruiting him, meeting him, then getting him to campus, he’s a very mature young man,” Matta said. “I think from the standpoint of how he views things, you know, the success that he’s had this year, he didn’t see it coming. We thought for sure kind of a two-year type guy. But I think that’s why he’s been so successful, because he doesn’t let that get in his head. He’s been a very committed teammate. He’s been very committed to Ohio State. He’€™s a pleasure to coach.”

Notes: Russell was a consensus first-team All-American and first-team All-Big Ten selection, and he also took home Big Ten Freshman of the Year honors. Russell set an Ohio State freshman record by scoring 675 points, and his 19.3 ppg led all Division 1 freshmen.

Related articles: Regardless of position, Ohio State’s Russell could go No. 1 Guard Russell is a realistic option for Lakers at No. 2

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NBA draft prospect profile: Utah PG Delon Wright

06.15.15 at 2:11 pm ET
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As part of’s coverage of the 2015 NBA draft, here is one in a series of profiles of prospective picks. The Celtics own two picks in each of the two rounds (16, 28, 33 and 45 overall).


Position: Point guard

School: Utah

Age: 23

Height: 6-foot-5

Weight: 180 pounds

Wingspan: 6-foot-8

Key 2014-15 stats: 14.5 points, 4.9 rebounds, 5.0 assists, 2.1 steals, 50.9 field goal percentage

Scouting report: Wright is a technically gifted point guard with the ability to affect the game significantly on both ends of the floor. He has the size and length to dominate smaller point guards on defense and attack them on offense. He has a well-developed instinct for the tempo and feel of the game, making smart decisions on the fast break and creating open shots for himself and teammates when the game slows down. He is efficient in all facets of the game, especially passing and rebounding, generating a 29.7 PER during his senior season.

A potential first-rounder, Wright will have to bulk up and work on his lateral agility according to some scouts. His 3-point shot also needs attention, as he nailed just .356 percent of his treys last season.

Utah coach Larry Krystkowiak lauds Wright’s all-around approach to the game that led the Utes to the Sweet 16 in 2015. “I said when he was coming to us that he was an absolute stat sheet stuffer,” Krystkowiak told, “but I think that’€™s pretty impressive when you look at Andrew Bogut and Andre Miller that played here more than two years, to put up those kind of numbers [1,000 points, 350 rebounds, 350 assists, 150 steals, 70 blocks].”

Notes: Wright became the Pac-12’s first player to win the Bob Cousy Award, given to the nation’s top point guard. He was voted a consensus first-team All-American. Wright is the second player in Utah history to record more than 1,000 points, 350 rebounds, 350 assists, 150 steals and 70 blocks, and he did it in just two years. He is the younger brother of Trail Blazers small forward Dorell Wright.

Related articles: Utah’s Wright decision to stay for senior year pays off

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NBA draft prospect profile: UNLV PF Christian Wood

06.15.15 at 11:08 am ET
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As part of’s coverage of the 2015 NBA draft, here is one in a series of profiles of prospective picks. The Celtics own two picks in each of the two rounds (16, 28, 33 and 45 overall).


Position: Power forward

School: UNLV

Age: 19 (turns 20 on Sept. 27)

Height: 6-foot-11

Weight: 220 pounds

Wingspan: 7-foot-3

Key 2014-15 stats: 15.5 points, 9.8 rebounds, 2.6 blocks

Scouting report: Wood enters the draft with first-round ambitions as a versatile forward who has the potential to dominate on offense. He already has an above-average face-up game for his level and he can put the ball on the floor and drive it to the cup. Though his post game is not fully developed, his athleticism should allow him to grow quickly in the NBA. With a 7-foot-3 wingspan, Wood is a long, rangy defender with disruptive tendencies in the paint. His numbers showcase good shot-blocking ability and rebounding skills, both of which should only get better at the pro level.

Wood’s former coach Dave Rice highlights the sophomore’s rise from unheard of prospect to potential lottery pick. “He came to us two years ago as a guy who was not on anyone’s draft board, and now he’s on most draft boards,” Rice told “The feedback we received from the NBA indicated he will be drafted. I think it speaks volumes to how he developed as a player in our program. We wish him the best.”

Despite his length, many NBA pundits believe Wood will have to build strength in order to compete defensively on the block at the next level. Even in college, scouts observed him getting bullied in the post by larger, stronger forwards. While his face-up game is above average and still developing, his post game definitely will need work as he has limited experience in that arena.

Notes: Wood earned All-Mountain West second-team honors after averaging a double-double during the regular season. He finished fifth in the conference in scoring, second in rebounding and second in blocked shots. He totaled 18 double-doubles, the eighth most in the NCAA, and scored 20 points nine times.

Related articles:

Basketball Insiders: Christian Wood’s upside makes him intriguing prospect

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NBA draft prospect profile: Syracuse PF Chris McCullough

06.15.15 at 8:30 am ET
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As part of’s coverage of the 2015 NBA draft, here is one in a series of profiles of prospective picks. The Celtics own two picks in each of the first two rounds (16, 28, 33 and 45 overall).


Position: Power forward

School: Syracuse

Age: 20

Height: 6-foot-9

Weight: 220 pounds

Wingspan: 7-foot-3

Key 2014-15 stats: 9.3 points, 6.9 rebounds, 1.1 assists, 1.7 steals, 2.1 blocks, 47.8 field goal percentage, 56.3 free throw percentage

Scouting report: Scouts and analysts like to say that McCullough is a fluid player with great size and length. He can be a threat in transition and has the ability to lengthen the floor with his shot beyond the arc. McCullough is a good rebounder, especially offensively, and can keep plays and possessions going for his team because of that. Jonathan Givony of Draft Express wrote that the 20-year-old “shows the framework of a versatile skill set for a NBA power forward, with flashes of promise in a few different areas that can hopefully be developed into a complete package of skills down the road.” McCullough also is talented at shot blocking and in his face-up game, and in contributing as an unselfish passer.

“I know Chris has a tremendous amount of talent,” Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim said. “I think it can work out for him. I hope it works out for him. You have to make these decisions when you’re young. Somehow they find a way to work out.”

Like most college players making the jump to the NBA, McCullough can stand to add some more bulk onto his body in order to adjust to the professional level. His season-ending knee injury also could affect when he is drafted, as some teams might not be all that eager to spend a pick on him. Still, most mocks have him as a late-first round/early-second round option, which puts him right in the Celtics‘ range. What needs the most work for McCullough’s game is his free throw shooting, as he sunk just 56.3 percent of his attempts at Syracuse, his post game, his awareness and focus on both ends of the court and his shot selection.

Notes: McCullough started 16 games for Syracuse before tearing his ACL on Jan. 11 against Florida State and having season-ending surgery. Initially, the power forward said he would return to school for his sophomore season, but he opted to enter the draft instead. Prior to his injury McCullough posted three double-doubles, and the Orange were 12-4 with him in the lineup.

Related articles:

Yahoo! Sports: Syracuse’s Chris McCullough confident of move to NBA despite ACL injury How Chris McCullough could make Syracuse history in the NBA draft

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