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NBA draft prospect profile: Duke F Justise Winslow

06.10.15 at 6:40 am ET
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As part of WEEI.com’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).

JUSTISE WINSLOW

Position: Forward

School: Duke

Age: 19

Height: 6-foot-6

Weight: 222 pounds

Wingspan: 6-foot-10

Key 2014-15 stats: 12.6 points, 6.5 rebounds, 41.8 3-point percentage

Scouting report: Winslow, predicted to be a top-five pick, shows a lot of promise on both sides of the ball. He showcases good speed, athleticism, versatility in scoring and use of his good body, but could afford to do so more aggressively, according to NBAdraft.net. CBS Sports cites his athleticism as what really makes his game stand out, as the combination of strength and explosiveness impacts both his offensive and defensive capabilities.

“He does everything,” teammate Jahlil Okafor told the Los Angeles Times. “Steals, blocks, obviously he can score. He can defend pretty much one through four. Five if necessary.”

The only real area of his game that could require significant attention is his free throw shooting since he drained just 64.1 percent of his attempts last season.

Notes: Selected to the All-Final Four team, All-ACC Freshman team and the USBWA All-District 3 Team, Winslow was the third-highest scoring freshman in the ACC last season and recorded 31 double-digit point games, second in the conference only to Okafor, who had 35. The forward’s 6.5 rebounds per contest also ranked second among ACC freshmen, and he was just coach Mike Krzyzewski‘s second player 6-foot-6 or shorter to average at least six rebounds a game. Winslow managed seven double-doubles on the and year and even recorded three in a row from Jan. 28 to Feb. 4. During the NCAA Tournament, Winslow averaged 14.3 points and 9.3 boards and shot 50.9 percent from the field, 57.1 percent from deep, helping the Blue Devils win the championship.

Related articles:

SB Nation: Duke’s Justise Winslow is the do-it-all wing for a new generation

Los Angeles Times: Justise Winslow has become more than just Duke’s other freshman

Sports Illustrated: Emerging star Justise Winslow guides Duke past Gonzaga, into Final Four 

Read More: 2015 NBA draft, 2015 Potential Celtics, Justise Winslow,

NBA draft prospect profile: Washington C Robert Upshaw

06.09.15 at 7:55 pm ET
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As part of WEEI.com’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).

ROBERT UPSHAW

Position: Center

School: Washington

Age: 21

Height: 7-foot-0

Weight: 258 pounds

Wingspan: 7-foot-5.5

Key 2014-15 stats: 10.9 points, 8.2 rebounds, 4.5 blocks, 59.3 field goal percentage, 43.4 free throw percentage

Scouting Report: Upshaw has the right body and dimensions to be an NBA big man. His height, length and big hands give him the profile of a center and make him an imposing rim-protecting presence. He can alter shots inside (4.5 blocks per game last season) and rebound at both ends of the floor. He drew a lot of fouls and can finish above the rim offensively with his massive frame. “With Rob back there, it’€™s like having a security blanket. You know big guy has your back if you make any mistakes,” Huskies guard Andrew Andrews said of his teammate. With Upshaw on the floor, opponents had much more trouble scoring. On two-point attempts, opposing teams shot 49.7 percent with Upshaw on the bench and just 38.5 percent with him on the court.

He will need to adjust to the faster pace and larger front court competitors at the NBA level. He won’€™t be able to get by solely on size at the next level. He struggled mightily at the free throw line, shooting an abysmal 43.4 percent. Mock drafts project Upshaw to be picked anywhere from the tail end of the first round to the middle of the second. USA Today’s mock draft v.10.0 (from June 1) has the Celtics gambling on Upshaw with the 28th pick.

Notes: Upshaw has had more than his share of troubles off the court. He spent his freshman year at Fresno State and was dismissed from the program in August 2013. He then transferred to Washington and played 19 games last season as a redshirt sophomore before being dismissed for what Washington coach Lorenzo Romar called a violation of team rules. ESPNs Jeff Goodman reported that Upshaw failed drug tests at both schools. At the combine, Upshaw was flagged for a heart issue and suspended his workouts and training. His agent said he has had similar test results in the past and was cleared to resume playing. These issues have complicated his draft stock despite his potential lottery-level talent.

Related articles:

NBA.com: Robert Upshaw offers intrigue despite past transgressions

Yahoo: Washington dismisses troubled NBA prospect Robert Upshaw

Read More: 2015 NBA draft, 2015 Potential Celtics, Robert Upshaw,

NBA draft prospect profile: Brazil PG/SG Danilo Fuzaro

06.09.15 at 4:38 pm ET
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As part of WEEI.com’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).

UPDATE, June 15: Fuzaro withdrew from the draft.

DANILO FUZARO

Position: Point guard/shooting guard

Country: Brazil

Age: 21

Height: 6-foot-4

Weight: 180 pounds

Wingspan: N/A

Key 2014-2015 stats (with Minas in the Brazilian league): 20.4 minutes, 9.0 points, 1.8 rebounds, .543 FG percentage, .419 3-point percentage

Scouting report: Fuzaro is a combo guard with a tendency to playing the two. He’s an explosive athlete with the size and potential strength to match up at either point guard or shooting guard. He has above-average court vision and he makes good passes coming off of the pick and roll. However, one rap against Fuzaro is that he tends to put scoring ahead of open teammates and takes too many difficult shots in the lane. Though he may be a tad selfish, Fuzaro is a talented finisher, and with a dynamic first step he is a fierce attacker of the rim. On defense, he looks to get run-outs and lead the fast break, where he is at his best and most aggressive. While his percentages are high, Fuzaro’s shot needs work, especially from beyond the arc.

Fuzaro describes his game as most like Michael Carter-Williams’. In an interview with NBAdraft.net, the potential first-rounder said of himself, “I’m a combo guard. I usually play PG and SG. Being 6-foot-5, I can take advantage of my size and strength playing at the one. I’m very aggressive and I can use my first step to beat my defender. I can finish strong with dunks and layups. I have good vision of the court and I can find the open man. I do have a good shot and I like to run the court and put my team in situations to score in easy ways on fast breaks. I love to defend. I can defend smaller players because I’m quick for my size, and taller players as well because of my body. I am a winner, I practice hard and I work hard to improve my weaknesses, like having more consistency.”

Notes: During the Brazilian league playoffs, Fuzaro averaged 20 points per game. Though he was born in Brazil, he has an Italian passport His full name is Danilo Fuzaro Siqueira.

Related articles:

NBAdraft.net: Danilo Fuzaro interview

Read More: 2015 NBA draft, 2015 Potential Celtics, Danilo Fuzaro,

NBA draft prospect profile: UC Santa Barbara C/PF Alan Williams

06.09.15 at 12:54 pm ET
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As part of WEEI.com’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).

ALAN WILLIAMS

Position: Center/power forward

School: UC Santa Barbara

Age: 22

Height: 6-foot-8

Weight: 260 pounds

Wingspan: 7-foot-1.75

Key 2014-15 stats: 17.3 points, 11.8 rebounds, 1.8 blocks

Scouting report: Williams led the nation in rebounding the past two seasons and is Santa Barbara’s all-time top rebounder. Offensively, he’s known for his good hands and post-up ability. Although he worked on adding a jumper to his game this season, Williams makes a living in the paint, backing his defender into the post before shooting from close range. Williams, who missed seven games as a senior with a shoulder injury. is expected to be drafted late in the second round by a team willing to take a chance on a monster rebounder who lacks size and athleticism.

Williams is confident his rebounding prowess will continue in the NBA. “I think rebounding is a statistic, and it’s been proven, that translates well to the next level,” he told the Arizona Republic. “I think my ability to go out and get rebounds outside of my zone and outside of my area is huge. And also to take on the challenge of taking a great defensive rebounder out of their game by putting a body on them and boxing them out and kind of limiting what they do is something I’ll be able to do at the next level.”

Notes: Williams was the Big West Player of the Year in 2014 after averaging 21.3 points, 11.5 rebounds and 2.4 blocks. He was named All-Big West first team the past two seasons. Williams’ father is an elected judge in Phoenix, and his mother is the chief of police in Oxnard, California. In his bio on the Santa Barbara website, Williams lists the Celtics as his favorite NBA team.

Related articles:

Bleacher Report: Meet Alan Williams, the best college basketball player you’ve never heard of

Arizona Republic: Phoenix-bred Alan Williams banks on boards for NBA draft

Read More: 2015 NBA draft, 2015 Potential Celtics, Alan Williams,

Report: Celtics losing interest in Kevin Love

06.09.15 at 10:59 am ET
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While the Celtics may still have some interest in Kevin Love, their affection for him has waned since last offseason, according to the Boston Herald’s Steve Bulpett.

Love has stated recently that he intends to return to the Cavs, but he can still hit free agency next month. Were Love to test the market, the Celtics are anticipated to be among the list of suitors. However, according to Bulpett: “The Celtics will very likely wind up an afterthought as Love examines his options in the next two months.”

Celtics‘ president of basketball operations Danny Ainge was reportedly enamored with Love last offseason, wanting to pair the All-Star power forward with now-departed point guard Rajon Rondo. Last offseason, Ainge reportedly offered the Timberwolves a deal for Love, yet they were not amused by the offer. Instead, the Celtics went on to make the playoffs without Rondo and Love.

Based on reports, Love has raised some red flags due to persistent health issues. With weak knees and back issues, many in the NBA do not expect his career to last as long as the average player.

“I think he wants to be in a good situation,” one league exec from outside the area told Bullpett. “But I also think he’€™s concerned about his health, so he wants to get a good long-term contract. I still think he stays in Cleveland.”

Read More: Boston Celtics, Kevin Love,

NBA draft prospect profile: Wisconsin SF Sam Dekker

06.08.15 at 5:13 pm ET
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As part of WEEI.com’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).

SAM DEKKER

Position: Small forward

School: Wisconsin

Height: 6-foot-9

Weight: 230 pounds

Age: 21

Wingspan: 6-foot-11.5

Key 2014-15 stats: 13.9 points, 5.6 rebounds, 1.2 assists, .331 3-point percentage

Scouting report: Dekker, who is forgoing his final season of eligibility, has an NBA-ready body. He has the physical tools and size necessary to succeed at the next level. He is very versatile and effective on both ends of the floor. He is both an effective spot-up shooter and a threat to score inside. He’s very long and big for an NBA small forward, but is too quick to be defended by many power forwards, so he could create some matchup problems at the next level. He compares favorably to Utah’€™s Gordon Hayward.

Dekker has proven his ability to perform at a high level in big games and big moments, leading the Badgers in field goal percentage and 3-point percentage during their run to the NCAA title game and hitting multiple big-time 3’s in the process. However, one NBA scout has tempered expectations, telling NBA.com, “I view him as a Kyle Singler type, a role player. He’ll rebound and he’s tough and he’ll give you just enough offense not to be a liability. It’s dangerous to base an evaluation on how a kid played at the end of the season.”

Dekker is a good but not elite athlete and shooter and sometimes struggles to create offense off the dribble. He is certainly versatile but not particularly great in any one area. He is an average free throw shooter, hitting 69 percent this past season and for his career. Playing alongside consensus All-American Frank Kaminsky, Dekker never had to shoulder a large load as a featured scorer.

Notes: Dekker was named the NCAA Tournament West Regional’s most outstanding player after leading the Badgers to the Final Four. In the Final Four, Dekker scored 16 points and shot 6-of-9 from the field as Wisconsin toppled undefeated Kentucky. His tournament performance helped his draft stock and put him firmly onto the national radar. Some mock drafts, including NBA.com, predict that Dekker will be picked by the Celtics at No. 16, although many other mocks have him going higher than that.

Related articles:

NBA.com: If Sam Dekker can knock down triples, he becomes an intriguing prospect given his size, athleticism

The Washington Post: Wisconsin star Sam Dekker’s many 3-pointers impressed Blake Griffin, everyone

Read More: 2015 NBA draft, 2015 Potential Celtics, Sam Dekker,

NBA draft prospect profile: Oregon G Joseph Young

06.08.15 at 12:39 pm ET
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As part of WEEI.com’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).

JOSEPH YOUNG

Position: Point guard/shooting guard

School: Oregon

Age: 22 (turns 23 on June 27)

Height: 6-foot-2

Weight: 182 pounds

Wingspan: 6-foot-5

Key 2014-15 stats: 20.7 points, 3.8 assists, 92.5 free throw percentage

Scouting report: Young, who has earned comparisons to current Celtics guard Isaiah Thomas, is a premier scorer, leading the Pac-12 at 20.7 points per game and tying the school record for most points in a single season (745). He’s known as a great jump shooter who runs the pick and roll like a pro. He took on additional point guard responsibilities his senior season and finished sixth in the conference in assists (3.8) while recording a 1.58 assist-to-turnover ratio, although he’s still viewed as more of a natural shooting guard. He can get to the basket, and when fouled he’s nearly automatic from the line — ranking second in the nation last season in free throw percentage (92.5). Young came up big in big games, registering 27 in Oregon’s NCAA Tournament opener against Oklahoma State and then 30 in a loss to eventual national finalist Wisconsin.

The biggest question mark for Young is his defense, especially with him being on the smaller side. Heading into last month’s NBA combine, he used 2015 NBA MVP Stephen Curry as an example of what someone his size can accomplish. “Steph Curry is my idol and I’ve seen what he does to succeed,” Young told The Oregonian. “People keep saying, ‘He’s not ready. He’s not big enough. He’s undersized. Can he play the point?’ ” Young averaged 13 points, three rebounds and two assists in two combine games, while recording a 34.5-inch standing vertical and 40.5-inch max vertical. He is expected to be drafted in the latter half of the second round.

Notes: Young is the son of Michael Young, whom the Celtics drafted out of the University of Houston in the first round in 1984 (24th overall), although he never played a game for Boston and appeared in just 49 NBA games with three teams. Young originally committed to Providence College, then decided to follow in his father’s footsteps and play at Houston. After two years he transferred to Oregon and scored 1,388 points in two seasons with the Ducks, the highest two-year total in school history. Young set the Pac-12 record for career free throw percentage at .900 (279-of-310). As a senior he was named Pac-12 Player of the Year and was an Associated Press All-America honorable mention.

Related articles:

CSNNW.com: Oregon’s Joseph Young hoping combine will boost draft stock

CollegeSpun.com: Oregon G Joe Young makes plea to get drafted by Cleveland, ‘My bro Bron needs help’

The Oregonian: After the Ducks’ near upset of Wisconsin, the Joseph Young era ends at Oregon without tears

Read More: 2015 NBA draft, 2015 Potential Celtics, Joseph Young,
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