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NBA draft prospect profile: UNLV SG Patrick McCaw

06.18.16 at 12:32 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.

PATRICK MCCAW

Position: Shooting guard

School: UNLV

Age: 20 (turns 21 on Oct. 25)

Height: 6-foot-7

Weight: 181 pounds

Wingspan: 6-foot-10

Key 2015-16 stats: 14.5 points, 5.2 rebounds, 3.9 assists, 2.4 steals

Scouting report: McCaw is the kind of athlete NBA coaches dream of. He uses his quickness and length to be a ball hawk and cover ground on the defensive end, causing NBAdraft.net to call him “one of the nation’s best on-ball defenders.” That quickness and speed of his also helps him excel in transition. He can be a versatile scorer, and his jump shot form is top-notch. His height as a shooting guard helps him as a passer, and he shines at the game’s biggest moments.

What’s really holding him pick back is his thin frame. He has problems with being physical, as he gets knocked around when coming off screens or battling for a rebound. He has to get stronger and build some muscle in order to better compete in the paint at the next level. He is also sometimes careless with the ball, lacking advanced ball-handling skills.

“I feel like I have such an unselfish game,” McCaw recently told Nuggets.com. “My ability to create for my teammates, knock down open shots and defend. I think that translates to the NBA; I know I have to get stronger. In a couple years, I know my body is going to continue to fill out. People will see the progression.”

McCaw is projected to go late in the first round or early in the second.

Notes: McCaw made All-Mountain West second team and the conference’s all-defensive team after leading the Mountain West in steals. He enters the draft after his sophomore season.

Related articles:

Fansided: Is Patrick McCaw the best 3-and-D prospect in the 2016 NBA draft?

Bleacher Report: Breaking down pro future of UNLV’s Patrick McCaw

Read More: 2016 NBA draft, 2016 potential celtics, patrick mccaw,

NBA draft prospect profile: California PG Tyrone Wallace

06.18.16 at 9:37 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.

TYRONE WALLACE

Position: Point guard

School: California

Age: 22

Height: 6-foot-6

Weight: 198 pounds

Wingspan: 6-foot-9

Key 2015-16 stats: 15.3 points, 5.3 rebounds, 4.4 assists

Scouting report: Wallace played for defensive-minded Cal coach Cuonzo Martin, which was perfect for him. Wallace’s size allows him to guard more positions than just point guard, while also getting in the way of opposing players to contest shots. Further helping Wallace on defense is his basketball IQ.

On offense, Wallace is much more of a liability. He is able to get in the paint and convert on a floater, but his jump shot is in need of a lot of work before he can become productive at the next level. In his sophomore year he hit a career-high 1.2 3-pointers a game and in his senior year he hit just 0.9. Further hurting Wallace is that he missed the NCAA Tournament with a broken right hand, his non shooting hand, which was the second time he broke that hand.

Wallace might get selected late in the second round or go undrafted.

Notes: Wallace helped lead Cal to a No. 4 seed in the NCAA Tournament this year, the highest seeding in program history. … Wallace is the only player to rank in the top 10 in Cal’s all-time scoring, assists and steals records. … He was first-team All-Pac-12 his junior year and made honorable mention his senior year.

Related articles:

Bleacher Report: Breaking down pro future of Cal’s Tyrone Wallace

Nuggets.com: Prospect Q&A: Tyrone Wallace

Read More: 2016 NBA draft, 2016 potential celtics, Tyrone Wallace,

NBA draft prospect profile: Virginia SG Malcolm Brogdon

06.17.16 at 3:48 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.

MALCOLM BROGDON

Position: Shooting guard

School: Virginia

Age: 23

Height: 6-foot-6

Weight: 223 pounds

Wingspan: 6-foot-10

Key 2015-16 stats: 18.2 points, 4.1 rebounds, 3.1 assists

Scouting report: During Brogdon’s college career at Virginia, he proved that he was a complete player. Last month at the NBA combine, he reaffirmed that notion to NBA scouts.

“The 23-year-old two-guard looked like the best pure basketball player among all four 5-on-5 teams as he was able to distribute as the primary ball handler, knock down open shots, and finish over length and through contact all while locking up on the defensive end,” noted DraftExpress.com.

In 24.4 minutes per game Brogdon had 17 points, six assists, four rebounds, four steals and three turnovers. Brogdon consistently improved his jump shot over his four years at college. This past season he hit 45.7 percent from the field, and 46 percent of his shots came off of ball screens. While Brogdon has improved his shot, there still are some mechanics that will need to be smoothed out in order for him to become a consistent scorer in the NBA. Brogdon is limited in terms of athleticism and explosiveness, but he found ways to score because of his high basketball IQ and ability to play handle the ball even when pressure is applied. On defense, Brogdon’s lateral quickness has been called into question, but he uses his large frame and grit to make it difficult for opposing players to get around him. When Brogdon guarded Duke star Brandon Ingram, who is predicted to be one of the top two picks in this year’s draft, Ingram didn’t score, going 0-for-4.

Brogdon’s age (23) as well as questions about his ability to be a dominant scorer, have hurt his draft stock. He is projected to go somewhere in the middle of the second round.

Notes: Brogdon was the ACC Player of the Year and the ACC Defensive Player of the Year, as well as a unanimous first-team All-American. He also was a finalist for the John Wooden Award and Jerry West Award (top shooting guard in the country). … Brogdon was named to the 2016 USA men’s select team roster. The select team will train with the USA basketball team from July 18-21 before the National Team heads to the Olympics.

Related articles:

The Denver Post: The book on Virginia’s Malcolm Brogdon, and how he’d fit with the Nuggets

NBA.com: Virginia’s Brogdon ready to do special things on, off the court

Read More: 2016 NBA draft, 2016 potential celtics, Malcolm Brogdon,

NBA draft prospect profile: Saint Joseph’s SF DeAndre’ Bembry

06.17.16 at 12:58 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.

DEANDRE’ BEMBRY

Position: Small forward

School: Saint Joseph’s 

Age: 21 (turns 22 on July 4)

Height: 6-foot-6

Weight: 207 pounds

Wingspan: 6-foot-9

Key 2015-16 stats: 17.4 points, 7.8 rebounds, 4.5 assists

Scouting report: The term that consistently comes up in analysis of Bembry is “Swiss army knife.” Although the roster may say small forward, Bembry has been used in every position from guard to power forward during his college career. In addition to being versatile, Bembry is a team-oriented player.

“With my unselfishness I just like to play that way,” Bembry said (via CBSSports.com). “I like making great reads, getting my teammates involved. Some guys like scoring more than passing and I’m one of those guys that likes to pass more than score.”

Bembry averaged 4.5 assists this past season and has been praised for his ability to see the court and envision plays before they happen. On the other hand, Bembry has been criticized for sometimes seeming disinterested while playing.

“We had scouts come in this preseason who said, ‘You know what separates him? He practices harder than almost all the first-round picks or any other player in his position would,’” Saint Joseph’s coach Phil Martelli said in defense of his player. “There’s not one day in three years where I would have said to someone that he coasted. Playing hard, that ain’t an issue, man. If you’re deciding on whether or not to pick him based on how hard he plays and winning and competing? Check that box. Forget that. You’ll be sadly mistaken if that’s the reason you don’t take him.”

Another knock against Bembry is his 26.6 3-point percentage and his 65.7 free throw percentage, however, Bembry did hit 122 3’s in 102 college games. He is projected to go late in the first round, which means that he most likely will be headed to a team with a winning culture.

Notes: Bembry was named the Atlantic 10 Player of the Year. In the conference championship game against VCU, Bembry was 13-for-16 for 30 points with five rebounds and four assists. … Three players in the country averaged at least 17.5 points, 7.5 rebounds and four assists this season: LSU’s Ben Simmons, Michigan State’s Denzel Valentine and Bembry. In addition, Bembry played the third-most minutes in the nation (1,341).

Related articles:

NBA.com: Saint Joesph’s Bembry taking his old-school game to NBA

SB Nation: DeAndre Bembry is one of this draft’s best-kept secrets

CBS Sports: Mutli-faceted DeAndre’ Bembry steps into spotlight

Read More: 2016 NBA draft, 2016 potential celtics, DeAndre Bembry,

NBA draft prospect profile: China C Zhou Qi

06.17.16 at 9:35 am ET
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As part of WEEI.com’s 2016 NBA draft coverage, 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.

ZHOU QI

Position: Center

Country: China (Xinjiang Flying Tigers)

Age: 20

Height: 7-foot-2

Weight: 218 pounds

Wingspan: 7-foot-7

Key 2015-16 stats: 15.8 points, 9.8 rebounds, 1.5 assists

Scouting report: Zhou Qi (pronounced Joe Chee) is thought to be one of the best prospects coming out of China since Yi Jianlian was drafted by the Bucks sixth overall in 2007. Because of his height, Zhou also has drawn comparisons to Yao Ming, who was taken first overall by the Rockets in 2002. Zhou is projected to go anywhere from the late first round to middle second round.

Scouts have been impressed with Zhou’s ability to protect the rim. This past season he led the Chinese Basketball Association with 3.2 blocks in 34 minutes per game. Despite being 7 feet tall, Zhou is able to stretch defenses because he is able to shoot like a guard. At the combine he hit 14-of-25 3-pointers, and for the Xinjiang Flying Tigers, his team in China, Zhou hit 60 percent of his shots this past season. Zhou also was solid from the free throw line, hitting 76 percent of his attempts. NBA teams would like to see Zhou bulk up before he comes to the NBA. There is concern that his 218-pound frame would allow defenders to push him around. The good news for Zhou is that he reportedly has put on 10 pounds in recent weeks.

Notes: Jazz center Rudy Gobert is the only current NBA player to have a longer wingspan than Zhou. … Zhou worked out for teams at the combine, but he only worked out for the Grizzles, Celtics and Suns individually. He then returned to China to work out with the Chinese national team in preparation for the Olympics. … In the title game of the 2015 FIBA Asia Championships, Zhou had 21 points and eight rebounds in China’s 76-73 win over Korea. 

Related articles:

The Denver Post: Zhou Qi’s potential could lead to much NBA draft intrigue

FIBA.com: Zhou Qi return boosts China’s Rio preparations

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Report: Celtics boss Danny Ainge meets with agent for Kevin Love, Harrison Barnes, Brandon Ingram

06.16.16 at 5:31 pm ET
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According to a Twitter report from Andrew Perna of RealGM, Celtics president Danny Ainge met with the agent for Cavaliers forward Kevin Love and impending free agent Harrison Barnes this week in New York.

Perna reports that Ainge spoke with agent Jeff Schwartz, who also represents potential top-two pick Brandon Ingram of Duke. The report doesn’t specify what was discussed, but notes that such meetings are common.

Ainge could’ve been inquiring on Barnes, who is expected to receive in the neighborhood of a max contract this offseason after filling an everyman role for the Golden State Warriors.

He also, more intriguingly, could’ve been feeling out Schwartz informally on the potential availability of Love this summer after two relatively lackluster seasons with the Cavaliers in the shadow of LeBron James.

Love has never meshed perfectly in Cleveland, and the Celtics have shown interest in the 27-year-old in the past, including two years ago, when he was spotted at a Red Sox game with then-Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo. The Celtics were unable to swing a deal with Minnesota at that time, though, and Love was instead traded to Cleveland to form a new Big Three with James and Kyrie Irving.

Read More: Celtics, Celtics rumors, Danny Ainge, Harrison Barnes rumors

NBA draft prospect profile: Kansas PF Perry Ellis

06.16.16 at 3:34 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.

PERRY ELLIS

Position: Power forward

School: Kansas

Age: 22 (turns 23 on Sept. 14)

Height: 6-foot-8

Weight: 218 pounds

Wingspan: 6-foot-10

Key 2015-16 stats: 17 points, 5.8 rebounds, 3.9 assists, 1.3 steals

Scouting report: One of the best college basketball players last season, Ellis relies on fundamentals and post moves to score around the basket. His footwork is elite, which helps him with his pivots and spin moves on the block. Ellis also became more and more comfortable with his jump shot as the year progressed, which is a crucial aspect to his game. He isn’t the quickest or most explosive forward in this year’s draft, but he forces defenders to respect his mid-range jumper. Despite a slight lack of athleticism, Ellis is a tenacious defender and rebounder, as well as a hard worker. He got better all four years while at Kansas, something that he takes pride in.

“When it came to my time at Kansas, the reason I stayed for all four years was I felt that I could do more each year and get better with every passing season,” Ellis told CBS Local Sports. “It just felt like the right decision to keep coming back each one of those years. That experience of being around the college game for four years definitely benefited me and helped me to become both a better player and a better person.”

If only Ellis had the typical height of a power forward in the NBA, he likely would be projected higher than a late second-round pick. However, he’s only 6-foot-8, and NBA teams are viewing him as a small forward instead. Ellis has been a big man his whole collegiate career, so it will be a challenge for him to adjust to a different position. He will need to improve his ball handling and his court vision, as he tends to get tunnel vision when driving to the basket. He also has to hit the NBA 3-pointer consistently in order to stay afloat in the league next season.

Notes: Ellis made second-team All-American and was a finalist for the Wooden Award last season. … He was 6-foot-1 as early as sixth grade, and he won four straight 6A high school championships while at Wichita Heights in Kansas.

Related articles:

CBS Local Sports: Perry Ellis: My life as an NBA draft prospect

The Kansas City Star: KU’s Perry Ellis going through whirlwind schedule to prove he’s NBA player

KU Sports: Ellis’ position in NBA draft remains a mystery

Read More: 2016 NBA draft, 2016 potential celtics, Perry Ellis,
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