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NBA draft prospect profile: Miami SG Sheldon McClellan

06.21.16 at 8:12 pm ET
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As part of WEEI.com’s coverage of the 2016 NBA draft, here is one in a series of profiles of prospective picks. The Celtics have amassed eight picks: 3, 16, 23, 31, 35, 45, 51, 58. The draft will be held June 23 at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center.

SHELDON MCCLELLAN

Position: Shooting guard

School: Miami

Age: 23 (turns 24 on Dec. 21)

Height: 6-foot-6

Weight: 198 pounds

Wingspan: 6-foot-7

Key 2015-16 stats: 16.3 points, 3.2 rebounds, 1.0 steals, 40.6 3-point percentage

Scouting report: McClellan is your typical athletic guard who could find success in the “3-and-D” role in the NBA. His size isn’t anything special, but he has above-average explosiveness and quickness that he uses to burn his defenders. A projected late second-round pick, McClellan also greatly improved his perimeter shooting during his four collegiate years, using a quick release and impressive range to get open looks. Even when his shots are contested, he keeps his composure and still can knock it down. His ability to hit shots both off the dribble and off screens gives him plenty of opportunities to get his points.

Originally an alternate for the NBA draft combine in May, McClellan was able to attend after Kansas guard Wayne Selden pulled out due to injury. The Miami product believed at the time that his desire to prove people wrong would help his draft stock.

“If you want to be in the NBA and you want to have a chance to be drafted, you have to work hard and that’s what I’m doing,” McClellan told the Sun Sentinel. “I’m kind of a self-motivated guy just because I love the game of basketball, but when I hear [what critics have said] it makes me want to jump three inches higher to prove them wrong and prove myself right. There’s a lot of added motivation for me right now.”

A big question mark for McClellan is his defensive game. His focus and intensity tends to waver when defending, as he often loses this intensity when he’s having an off shooting night. He doesn’t always hustle to stay on his man, and when things aren’t going his way, he’s been accused of sporting a poor attitude that’s not conducive to winning. On offense, McClellan will get tunnel vision while driving, only looking to make plays for himself, yet will shy away from contact down low. He has to work on his playmaking skill, as well as his drive on the defensive end, if he wishes to find a suitable NBA team.

Notes: McClellan made All-ACC second team and led the Hurricanes to a Sweet 16 berth in March. … He transferred to Miami from Texas before his junior season. He played 141 collegiate games in his career.

Related articles:

Sun Sentinel: Ex-UM star Sheldon McClellan looks to silence critics at NBA draft combine

The Wichita Eagle: Miami’s Sheldon McClellan thrives after transfer from Texas

Read More: 2016 NBA draft, 2016 potential celtics, Sheldon McClellan,

NBA draft prospect profile: Serbia SG Timothe Luwawu

06.21.16 at 5:27 pm ET
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As part of WEEI.com’s coverage of the 2016 NBA draft, here is one in a series of profiles of prospective picks. The Celtics have amassed eight picks: 3, 16, 23, 31, 35, 45, 51, 58. The draft will be held June 23 at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center.

TIMOTHE LUWAWU

Position: Shooting guard

Country: Serbia (Mega Leks)

Age: 21

Height: 6-foot-7

Weight: 205 pounds

Wingspan: 6-foot-11

Key 2015-16 stats: 14.5 points, 4.6 rebounds, 2.8 assists

Scouting report: Luwawu enters this year’s draft as one of the more athletic guards available. NBAdraft.net writes that his athleticism and physical attributes give him “good speed and solid leaping ability, combined with a long wingspan.” Complement that with his improved outside scoring and his ability to draw contact on drives, and Luwawu should be an efficient offensive player in the NBA almost immediately. Luwawu, projected to go toward the back end of the lottery or later in the first round, also uses his quick feet and physical length well on defense, as he is able to guard either the opposing team’s point guard or small forward.

“I improved everywhere this season,” Luwawu told DraftExpress.com. “Passing, shooting, going to the basket with contact, without contact, defense also. I improved everywhere, and I think everybody sees it.”

However, Luwawu’s driving ability could be improved by building his upper body strength. He may often draw fouls, but Luwawu needs to keep from getting bumped off course on his drives. Also hurting his driving ability is his 69.percent shooting from the charity stripe. Perhaps the most concerning weakness of Luwawu’s is his ball handling. He averaged almost three turnovers per game this season, and must work on dribbling with his off-hand in order to better protect the rock.

Notes: Luwawu was named to the All-ABA team for the 2016 season and helped Mega Leks win the Serbian Cup. He finished second on the team in points (14.6) and 3-point field goal percentage (37.2).

Related articles:

SB Nation: Timothe Luwawu is the type of wing player every team wants in the 2016 NBA draft

Yahoo Sports: Getting to know Timothe Luwawu

SB Nation: Timothe Luwawu, international man of mystery

Hardwood paroxysm: Timothe Luwawu scouting report: March 2016

Read More: 2016 NBA draft, 2016 potential celtics, Timothe Luwawu,

Celtics’ complete summer league schedule finalized

06.21.16 at 2:47 pm ET
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Celtics draft picks this Thursday will have a busy summer ahead of them. Now, we know their schedule. 

The Las Vegas Summer League finalized its schedule Tuesday, and it includes three games for the Celtics and a playoff schedule. 

The two venues are the Thomas & Mack Center and Cox Pavilion on the campus of the University of Nevada Las Vegas.

The Celtics will play the Bulls on July 9 at Cox Pavilion (6 p.m. ET), the Suns on July 10 at Thomas & Mack Center (10:30 p.m. ET) and the Mavericks on July 12 at Cox Pavilion (6 p.m. ET). 

There will then be six days of playoffs from July 13-18. Earlier this month, the Utah Summer League announced its slate of games. The Celtics play Philadelphia on July 4, Utah on July 5 and San Antonio on July 7. The games on July 4 and 5 will be at Vivint Smart Home Arena while the July 7 contest is set for the University of Utah’s Huntsman Center.

Summer league play consists of draft picks, first-year free agents and second-year players. 

Read More: 2016 NBA Summer League, Boston Celtics, NBA, Utah Summer League

NBA draft prospect profile: Michigan State PF Deyonta Davis

06.21.16 at 2:43 pm ET
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As part of WEEI.com’s coverage of the 2016 NBA draft, here is one in a series of profiles of prospective picks. The Celtics have amassed eight picks: 3, 16, 23, 31, 35, 45, 51, 58. The draft will be held June 23 at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center.

DEYONTA DAVIS

Position: Power forward

School: Michigan State

Age: 19 (turns 20 on Dec. 2)

Height: 6-foot-11

Weight: 237 pounds

Wingspan: 7-foot-2

Key 2015-16 stats: 7.5 points, 5.5 rebounds, 1.8 blocks, 59.8 field goal percentage

Scouting report: Having played only an average of 18.6 minutes in 35 games with the Spartans, Davis is only a promising prospect for the time being, as there are many parts of his game that need to be built on. At the moment, Davis is very mobile for a big man and is adept as a rim protector. He did most of scoring around the rim, soaring high for alley-oops or collecting missed shots and slamming the ball home with ease. For a player his size, his athleticism and physical tools are likely the most impressive thing about him. He can guard perimeter players and would fit right in as a small-ball center in the NBA.

The plan wasn’t always for Davis to stay under Michigan State coach Tom Izzo for just a year, but as the year progressed, the more Davis realized the time to head for the NBA draft was now.

“I always kept in my mind that I could be a one-and-done,” David said at the NBA combine. “It was something I set for myself, me and Tom Izzo.”

Davis, who is projected to be drafted in the middle of the first round, was a key cog in Michigan State’s success last season, but the fact remains that there is plenty of work to be done by the big man. Besides scoring down low, Davis does not bring much else offensively. On the defensive end, he was often too aggressive, getting in foul trouble when biting on pump fakes. Davis also must remain focused more in games and work on both is offensive and defensive awareness.

Notes: Davis finished the season third in the Big Ten in blocks (64) and seventh in offensive rebounds (72). He also ended the year ranked second in field goal percentage and third in total rebounds.

Related articles:

Bleacher report: Breaking down NBA future of MSU’s Deyonta Davis

Lansing State Journal: MSU’s Valentine, Davis in stark contrast as NBA prospects

Read More: 2016 NBA draft, 2016 potential celtics, Deyonta Davis,

Report: Celtics can’t move 3rd pick because ‘Boston doesn’t have anyone on roster that other GMs really want’

06.21.16 at 11:51 am ET
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The Celtics continue to struggle to find a willing trade partner to take the No. 3 pick in Thursday’s draft, and the culprit is the lack of talent on their roster to sweeten a deal.

According to ESPN’s Ryen Russillo, the Celtics are striking out in their efforts to move the pick.

Russillo goes on to note that while some teams might like defensive stopper Avery Bradley, there’s little interest in Jared Sullinger, Kelly Olynyk, the 16th pick, etc.

Read More: 2016 NBA draft, Avery Bradley, Celtics rumors, NBA trades

Report: Celtics talking with Bucks about Khris Middleton

06.21.16 at 11:38 am ET
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According to ProBasketballDraft.com, the Celtics continue to prioritize finding a scorer. And one of the players they are discussing is Milwaukee’s Khris Middleton.

Middleton, who just signed a five-year extension, averaged 18 points per game last season. The 6-foot-8 swingman was a second-round pick of the Detroit Pistons in 2012, having starred at Texas A&M.

He has shot 39 percent or better from beyond the 3-point stripe in each of his last three seasons, while managing a career-high 88 percent clip from the foul line last season.

NBA draft prospect profile: Kentucky PF Skal Labissiere

06.21.16 at 11:30 am ET
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As part of WEEI.com’s coverage of the 2016 NBA draft, here is one in a series of profiles of prospective picks. The Celtics have amassed eight picks: 3, 16, 23, 31, 35, 45, 51, 58. The draft will be held June 23 at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center.

SKAL LABISSIERE

Position: Power forward

School: Kentucky

Age: 20

Height: 7-foot-0

Weight: 216 pounds

Wingspan: 7-foot-3

Key 2015-16 stats: 6.6 points, 3.1 rebounds, 1.6 blocks

Scouting report: Projected to be a top-two pick at the beginning of the season, Labissiere saw his stock fall a bit after he averaged only 15.8 minutes last season. Physically, Labissiere has all the tools, and he can move up and down the court very well for a big man. He specializes above the rim, often scoring on putback dunks or off of lob passes from teammates. Other than his down-low game, NBAdraft.net writes that Labissiere is “a natural, high level shooter with excellent form.” He often flashed his mid-range game in college, but it’s believed that he can develop that jump shot to become a valuable stretch four at the next level. Defensively, Labissiere has a knack for blocking shots with his wingspan and quickness.

What hurts Labissiere is that he never fully lived up to hype about him before his freshman season. He lacks discipline on both ends of the court, and will be a long-term project for an NBA team. He is a bit thin for a 7-footer, and gets bullied in the paint a bit too often. This hurt his rebounding game, and was part of the reason he didn’t get as much playing time as he was expected at the beginning of the year. He’ll need to be a little meaner for the NBA in order to fully utilize his talent and potential.

Notes: Labissiere lived in Haiti until an earthquake in 2010 forced him to move to the United States. … While at Kentucky, he won SEC Freshman of the Week twice, and led the team in blocks in 12 games. … Labissiere was a 2015 Jordan Brand Classic member and was a part of the Nike Hoop Summit World Team that same year.

Related articles:

USA Today: Skal Labissiere: ‘In two or three years, I think I can be the best player in this draft’

247 sports: John Calipari a big believer in Skal Labissiere’s talent

Yahoo Sports: Combine buzz: Skal Labissiere impresses

Read More: 2016 NBA draft, 2016 potential celtics, Skal Labissiere,
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