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NBA Draft’s Potential Celtics: Ohio State SF/PF Deshaun Thomas

06.23.13 at 12:57 pm ET
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As part of’€™s coverage of the 2013 NBA draft, here is one in a series of profiles of players who could be available to the Celtics when they make their lone selection at No. 16.


Position: Small forward

School: Ohio State

Age: 21

Height: 6-foot-7

Weight: 225 pounds

Achievements: All-Big Ten first team (2013), AP All-America third team (2013), NABC All-America third team (2013), Sporting News All-America second team (2013), Hall of Fame Tip-Off Naismith Bracket MVP (2013)

Key 2012-13 stats: 19.8 points, 6.0 rebounds, 1.3 assists

What he brings: Thomas does not have top-level athleticism, but he still led the Big Ten in scoring during his junior year of 2012-13. He is a combo forward who uses his jump shot to produce offense. Due to his lack of quickness, he is more effective in catch-and-shoot situations than shooting off the dribble.

Defensively, analysts note that he does not have the foot speed to keep up with most NBA small forwards and does not have the size to play against most NBA power forwards, leaving him without much of a role on the defensive end. He is not a strong rebounder, too, averaging only 6.0 rebounds per game last season ‘€” 4.2 of which came on the defensive glass.

Notes:  Thomas refused to give the Spurs his cell phone number in an interview at the combine, raising some eyebrows from a prospect who is projected to be drafted late in the second round. ‘€œI can’€™t go around giving it out to everyone,’€ Thomas told the Akron Beacon Journal. ‘€œNow if they want to draft me, I’€™d be happy to give it to them.’€

Recent articles:

News Sentinel: In his words: Deshaun Thomas talks on professional future Former Ohio State star Deshaun Thomas refuses to give NBA team his phone number at combine

Video: Here is a video that shows Thomas’s journey as one of the nation’s top high school players to one of the top college players.

Read More: 2013 NBA draft, 2013 NBA Draft's Potential Celtics, Deshaun Thomas,

NBA Draft’s Potential Celtics: Indiana G Victor Oladipo

06.22.13 at 2:22 pm ET
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As part of’€™s coverage of the 2013 NBA draft, here is one in a series of profiles of players who could be available to the Celtics when they make their lone selection at No. 16.


Position: Guard

School: Indiana

Age: 21

Height: 6-foot-5

Weight: 214 pounds

Achievements: All-American (AP, Sporting News, John Wooden) (2013), NABC co-Defensive Player of the Year (2013), All-Big Ten first team (2013), Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year (2013)

Key 2012-13 stats: 13.6 points, 6.3 rebounds, 2.2 steals, 44.1 3-point field goal percentage

What he brings: The Hoosier has transformed from a defensive specialist his freshman year to a more well-rounded player, averaging 12.2 points per game the last two seasons while starting all but two games. As a junior this past season, he shot 59.9 percent from the field and 44.1 percent from beyond the arc ‘€” drastic improvements from his marks sophomore year (47.1 and 20.8, respectively).

Still, Oladipo’€™s relentless and effective work at the other end is his marquee asset. His 6-foot-9 wingspan surely helps, and he’€™s been known to accrue steals by straight up stealing the ball from dribblers (as opposed to intercepting passes gone awry). He is also widely credited with consistently playing hard, which, as cliché as it is, makes a real difference.

Notes: Oladipo overloaded his final semester at Indiana in order to get his degree after just three years. He majored in sport communication broadcast. ‘€¦ He snubbed his hometown Wizards, who invited him to work out at the Verizon Center last week. Oladipo said last month he doesn’€™t think Washington would be a good fit. ‘€¦ In the debate between Oladipo and Kansas guard Ben McLemore, Sports Illustrated’€™s Andy Glockner gave the edge to the Hoosier due to his defensive prowess and potential offensive upside.

Recent articles:

Washington Post: Indiana’€™s Victor Oladipo: ‘€˜I’€™m just abnormal’€™

Detroit Free Press: Work ethic took Indiana’€™s Victor Oladipo from off the radar to lottery pick

Sporting News: Indiana guard Victor Oladipo’€™s NBA future, as fellow Hoosier Cody Zeller sees it

Video: Here’€™s a video from last month with highlights of one of Oladipo’€™s workouts.

Read More: 2013 NBA draft, 2013 NBA Draft's Potential Celtics, Victor Oladipo,

NBA Draft’s Potential Celtics: NC State F C.J. Leslie

06.22.13 at 8:21 am ET
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As part of’€™s coverage of the 2013 NBA draft, here is one in a series of profiles of players who could be available to the Celtics when they make their lone selection at No. 16.


Position: Forward

School: NC State

Age: 21

Height: 6-foot-9

Weight: 209 pounds

Achievements: All-ACC third team (2013), All-ACC second team (2012), ACC all-freshman team (2011), McDonald’€™s All-American (2010)

Key 2012-13 stats: 15.1 points, 7.4 rebounds, 3.0 turnovers, 1.5 assists, 1.2 blocks

What he brings: If nothing else, Leslie, who wrapped up his junior season in March, is consistent on the offensive end, having scored double digits in 31 of his 35 games in 2012-13. lists his explosiveness and speed/quickness among his strengths, both of which factor into his adeptness around the basket and help his ability to finish.

There are some concerns, however, that his size/skill set combination may not smoothly translate to the NBA game. Slimmer than a typical power forward, Leslie averaged only 7.3 rebounds per game in his three years at NC State. But notes he played a lot of small forward, and credits him with greatly improving his jump shot.

Notes: Coach Mark Gottfried‘s arrival at NC State for Leslie’€™s sophomore campaign coincided with increased consistency in the lanky forward’€™s play. ‘€¦ When he played at Word of God High School in Raleigh, N.C., he was teammates with John Wall, the first overall pick in the 2010 NBA draft. ‘€¦ Leslie was suspended the first three games of the 2011-12 season for impermissible benefits. ‘€¦ In May 2011, he made news for a few homophobic tweets that he quickly deleted.

Recent articles: N.C. State’€™s C.J. Leslie rolls with criticism

Yahoo!: C.J. Leslis suffers minor injury to shooting hand

Video: Via the ACC, here are Leslie’€™s official highlights from his time with the Wolfpack.

Read More: 2013 NBA draft, 2013 NBA Draft's Potential Celtics, C.J. Leslie,

A mom’s NBA draft diary: Michael Carter-Williams visits Dallas, New Orleans, OKC as draft approaches

06.21.13 at 12:46 pm ET
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Hamilton resident Mandy Carter-Zegarowski, the mother of Syracuse point guard Michael Carter-Williams and the girls basketball coach at Ipswich High School, is chronicling the days leading up to the June 28 NBA draft through blog entries for Carter-Williams, who prepped at Hamilton-Wenham High School and Rhode Island’€™s St. Andrews School before spending two seasons at Syracuse, is projected to be a lottery pick.

When I started to write this, there were 10 days until the draft. Between my twins’ last week of school and all the eighth-grade events that go with it and dealing with our insurance company for the fire, my week got a little crazy!

Michael went from Sacramento to Dallas. He arrived in Dallas on the 12th. Jeff [Schwartz], his agent, sends him a full itinerary for each trip via email. Michael just has to follow the instructions and be on time. I had a feeling Michael was going to like Dallas, and he did. He liked everything about it. The people, the coach, the GM, the facility and his stay. It felt good. He played well. He was very happy with his workout and enjoyed dinner after with the coach and GM. I think Dallas would be a great fit. The Mavericks need a point guard, it is a terrific marketing venue and they have won there. Joining a franchise that has won presents different opportunities than a team that is building.

It is tough to spend your first years on a team that has lost a lot. The fans are edgy waiting for wins and the team attitude can be overcome with frustration. Losing over 50 percent of your games when you play 82 games makes for a long season.

The Orlando Magic lost 62 games this year. It has to be very hard for a rookie to manage proving himself to a team, moving to a new city and learning to live as a young adult on your own. Then add losing a lot of games and the stress that comes with that, and life in the NBA can quickly become overwhelming. Many players are asked if they would rather go later in the draft to a team with a winning record or go high in the lottery to a team that has lost a lot. If you go high in the lottery, you make a lot more money your first two to three years and you play on a team that has lost a lot of games and needs to win. Playing on a losing team, unless you are the type of player who really does not care about winning, takes the fun out of your job.

I spoke to a player who played on a team that was in the lottery last year and is in the lottery again this year. For those of you who don’t know, that means that this team’s record finished in the bottom 14 of all NBA teams. That is a lot of losing in two years. He was a rookie last year. I asked him if he was enjoying himself. Without hesitation he said he would prefer to be back in college and the only thing he enjoys are Thursdays. Thursdays are payday. Now, to be fair, I asked him at the end of the season. After that conversation, reality hit that the NBA is a job whether you are winning or losing. You can’t pick the team that you go to, but we can hope that Michael lands on a team that is a good fit.

What makes a good fit? I really can’t completely answer that. I have spent a lot of time trying to figure out where he should go. Some teams have a new coach, new GM and even new owners. I think it may be tough for a rookie to walk into a new system, but it could also turn out great if everyone meshes right away. Michael is great in the open court, so it would be nice if he was with a team that likes to run. Coaches all have a style of play, and a coach that likes to push the ball would be good for Michael.

Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Mandy Carter-Zegarowski, Michael Carter-Williams, Trey Burke,

NBA Draft’s Potential Celtics: Cal SG Allen Crabbe

06.21.13 at 12:06 pm ET
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As part of’€™s coverage of the 2013 NBA draft, here is one in a series of profiles of players who could be available to the Celtics when they make their lone selection at No. 16.


Position: Shooting guard/small forward

School: California

Age: 21

Height: 6-foot-6

Weight: 210 pounds

Achievements: Pac-12 Player of the Year (2013), All-Pac-12 first team (2012), Pac-12 Freshman of the Year (2011), Gatorade California High School Player of the Year (2010), ESPN California Player of the Year (2010)

Key 2012-13 stats: 18.4 points, 6.1 rebounds, 81.3 free throw percentage, 36.2 minutes

What he brings: Crabbe does not possess the exceptional athleticism of some of the other potential draftees, but he is a strong shooter from mid-range and beyond. He may be best suited to fill a catch-and-shoot type of role ‘€” the bulk of what he did early in his college career. He did, however, grow into a more well-rounded player in his three years with the Golden Bears by improving his rebounding and defensive game.

His defense generally is thought to be a work in progress helped by a wingspan measuring at 6 feet, 11.25 inches. His ballhandling also is said to be suspect, though that can be hidden in part by the fact that he won’€™t be running the floor.

Notes: Earlier this month, Crabbe hurt his foot while working out for the Nets. ‘€¦ He is most often praised for his smooth shooting stroke. Crabbe is said to have regularly put in many extra hours in gyms when he was younger, sometimes staying until he made 1,000 baskets. ‘€¦ Synergy Sports Technology had Crabbe making just over half of his attempts on unguarded catch-and-shoot chances in 2012-13. ‘€¦ His 3-point field goal percentage dropped to 35 percent junior year after he hit 40 percent of those shots as a sophomore.

Recent articles:

New Jersey Star-Ledger: Guard Allen Crabbe confident his shooting will translate well in NBA

California Golden Blogs: Insight on Cal basketball’€™s Allen Crabbe

Video: Here is a highlight package of Crabbe.

Read More: 2013 NBA draft, 2013 NBA Draft's Potential Celtics, Allen Crabbe,

Podcast: LeBron’s legacy and a Celtics circus

06.21.13 at 11:32 am ET
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Former Celtics beat writer and current SB Nation NBA columnist Paul Flannery joined Ben Rohrbach on the Green Street podcast to discuss the legacies of LeBron James, Tim Duncan, Ray Allen and Boston’s latest Big 3 era — all amidst a legendary NBA Finals and a C’s circus involving Kevin Garnett and Doc Rivers.

To listen to the podcast, check out WEEI’s audio on demand page here or download it on iTunes here.

Also, don’t miss Flannery’s fantastic Game 7 column from Thursday night and follow him on Twitter @Pflanns.

Read More: Boston Celtics, Kevin Garnett, LeBron James, NBA

Update: Doc Rivers, Danny Ainge press conference postponed

06.21.13 at 10:19 am ET
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The Celtics announced that president of basketball operations Danny Ainge and coach Doc Rivers will take part in a press conference at noon on Friday at the team’s practice facility in Waltham. Presumably, the status of Rivers for the forthcoming season — chiefly, whether he will return to the Celtics or head to the Clippers — will be resolved at that time.

UPDATE: Shortly after the press conference was scheduled, the Celtics confirmed to WEEI’s Mike Petraglia that it had been postponed and rescheduled for noon Monday. Whenever it takes place, the press conference will be carried live on WEEI.

Read More: Danny Ainge, Doc Rivers,
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