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NBA draft prospect profile: Oregon State PG Gary Payton II

06.15.16 at 9:25 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.

GARY PAYTON II

Position: Point guard

School: Oregon State

Age: 23

Height: 6-foot-2

Weight: 184 pounds

Wingspan: 6-foot-8

Key 2015-16 stats: 16.0 points, 7.9 rebounds, 5.0 assists, 3.0 steals, 1.3 blocks

Scouting report: A two-time Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year, Payton uses his big wingspan and instincts to follow in his father’s footsteps. He possesses great leaping ability and explosiveness. These two skills have helped him develop into a prolific dunker and good rebounder (team-high 7.9 boards). These traits also help Payton on offense where he is at his best in transition. Offensively, Payton has shown good vision, but he doesn’t always connect on his passes. Payton also lacks a good jump shot. He is able to get in the paint to score, but opposing defenses usually were prepared for Payton to drive to the basket because of his inability to score from the perimeter.

“He’s got to shoot the ball better,” an NBA scout told Bleacher Report. “He’s also got to show possession after possession that he can get you into your offense and make the right reads.”

Payton, who led the Pac-12 in steals the past two seasons, is projected to go in the middle of the second round.

Notes: Payton twice was named first-team All-Pac-12. He led Oregon State in points, steals, rebounds and assists this past season. … Payton transferred to Oregon State for his junior season after playing at Salt Lake Community College, and as a senior he helped guide the Beavers to their first NCAA Tournament appearance since 1990. … Payton is the son of former NBA star Gary Payton, who spent a season with the Celtics in 2004-05.

Related articles:

SB Nation: Gary Payton Jr. looks to create his own NBA legacy

NBA.com: Gary Payton II: Like father, not like son

Read More: 2016 NBA draft, 2016 potential celtics, Gary Payton II,

NBA draft prospect profile: Texas A&M SF Danuel House

06.14.16 at 3:33 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.

DANUEL HOUSE

Position: Small forward

School: Texas A&M

Age: 23

Height: 6-foot-7

Weight: 215 pounds

Wingspan: 6-foot-8 (measured in 2011)

Key 2015-16 stats: 15.6 points, 4.8 rebounds, 2.1 assists

Scouting report: House is known as an aggressive offensive player because of how he attacks the basket. While this mentality did help House become the 12th-ranked scorer in the SEC this past season, it also has hurt him because some scouts think House, at times, can be too aggressive with the basketball. House was able to improve his jump shot toward the end of his college career, but he still needs to  a lot of work to make his shot more consistent in the NBA. At the next level, House won’t be able to have the same offensive mindset and will most likely have to use his athleticism to find a role as a defensive specialist or wing player.

“He’s never met a shot that he doesn’t like and he’s never met a shot that he won’t take,” Texas A&M coach coach Billy Kennedy said. “Offensively that’s a good thing and sometimes he takes some tough shots. That’s just his mindset and he’s got the green light. Sometimes we tell him put it on yellow. That’s just how he’s wired and that’s what we want him to do.”

According to a report from Sporting News, when House worked out for the Celtics he performed excellently, stealing the show from Cal star Jaylen Brown. House is projected to go late in the second round or undrafted.

Notes: House was an honorable mention All-American and second-team All-SEC. … In the SEC championship game against Kentucky, House had 32 points in an 82-77  Texas A&M loss. House had double-digit performances in all three of Texas A&M’s NCAA Tournament games in March. In the second round he scored 22 points and led the Aggies back from a 12-point deficit with 44 seconds remaining to an overtime win over Northern Iowa. … House played in three conferences during his college career. As a freshman House played with Houston in Conference USA, then Houston moved to the AAC, and he concluded his career in the SEC after he transferred to Texas A&M. … House has a 1-year-old daughter.

Related articles:

Bleacher Report: Inside the glamor-free life of an NBA draft long shot

AggieSports.com: Danuel House turned sour start into Sweet 16 for Aggies

Read More: 2016 NBA draft, 2016 potential celtics, Danuel House,

NBA draft prospect profile: Kansas PF/C Cheick Diallo

06.14.16 at 12:41 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.

CHEICK DIALLO

Position: Power forward/center

School: Kansas

Age: 19 (turns 20 on Sept. 13)

Height: 6-foot-8

Weight: 219 pounds

Wingspan: 7-foot-4

Key 2015-16 stats: 3.0 points, 2.5 rebounds, 0.9 blocks

Scouting report: There is a lot of mystery surrounding Diallo, who was ranked as the No. 7 recruit in ESPN’s top 100 but only played one season of college ball. The native of Mali was cleared to play for Kansas on Dec. 1 after being suspended for the first five games following a six-month NCAA investigation that concluded Diallo had received limited benefits but was academically eligible. Then he averaged only 7 1/2 minutes per game.

Due to the lack of tape on Diallo, he had to give a good showing at last month’s NBA combine. Scouts who saw Diallo at the combine were impressed with his raw athleticism and high motor. In the five-on-five portion of the combine Diallo made an impression by recording 18 points, four rebounds and four blocked shots in 22 minutes in his first scrimmage, then recording nine points, 10 rebounds and two blocks in his second game. At times, however, it looked like Diallo was still trying to figure out his role on the court. Diallo’s combine performance was good enough to have him projected to go in the middle to late first round. The downside to Diallo is that he will most likely need time to develop given the fact that he just started playing basketball six years ago and has limited college basketball experience. 

Notes: Diallo first started playing basketball in 2010 and arrived in the United States in 2012 to play basketball at Our Savior New American School in Centereach, New York. … He was MVP of the 2015 McDonald’s All-American Game.

Related articles:

Denver Post: After playing sparingly at KU, Cheick Diallo reintroducing himself in NBA workouts

SB Nation: Back on track: Look at Cheick Diallo’s Kansas struggles and resurgence as an NBA prospect

CBS Sports: Cheick Diallo didn’t play much at Kansas, but is off to the NBA draft

Read More: 2016 NBA draft, 2016 potential celtics, Cheick Diallo,

Kevin Love wasn’t looking for a high-five from LeBron James, and here’s video proof

06.14.16 at 11:45 am ET
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I don’t know why I care about this, since I eviscerated Kevin Love this morning as a bad fit for the Celtics after another no-show performance in Game 5 of the Finals on Monday night, but there’s a widely shared Vine making the rounds that isn’t accurate.

You’ve probably seen it, but if not, here it is:

Looks pretty damning, right? Poor Kevin Love just wants LeBron to love him, and King James yells at him instead.

But what really happened was more pedestrian. One play earlier, Love looked slow on his defensive rotations, allowing an Andre Iguodala follow-up dunk, and LeBron let him know it, as you can see with the quick gesture.

So now watch the “denied five” in its entirety. Love isn’t looking for love. He’s pleading his case, like, “I had my hands up. What do you want from me?”


Of course, if you want to note that LeBron was being totally dismissive of Love and treating him like a JV teammate called up to the varsity for a day because someone was sick, that’s fair game.

But to say he refused a high five and that made Love sad is simply not true.

Read More: Cavaliers, Kevin Love, Kevin Love high five, LeBron James

Report: Timberwolves have interest in Jimmy Butler, Celtics may have more to offer

06.14.16 at 11:10 am ET
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Jimmy Butler

Jimmy Butler

The Celtics might not be the only team that has strong interest in Jimmy Butler.

ESPN reported Monday night that the Timberwolves made it clear to the Bulls that they’re willing to give up the No. 5 overall pick in next week’s draft in a package deal for Butler, a player the Celtics are rumored to be interested in. Although the Bulls aren’t believed to be actively shopping the All-Star, sources say they have been listening to offers from other teams.

Butler, who turns 27 in September, would make sense for the Timberwolves, who recently got a new coach in Tom Thibodeau. Butler began his career under Thibodeau, who helped him become a big name in the league.

Although it seems the Timberwolves now have interest in the 2015 Most Improved Player, the Celtics may be able to offer more. The Celtics likely would have to give up the No. 3 pick and at least one front-line player. Sources also told ESPN that the Bulls have serious interest in Providence point guard Kris Dunn, and they likely would be able to secure him with the third overall selection in the draft.

Both the Celtics and the Timberwolves have plenty of young, promising players to intrigue the Bulls, but Boston might have the advantage by having the higher draft pick.

Butler told ESPN.com’s Nick Friedell last month that he wishes to remain a Bull and expects to be in Chicago once training camp gets underway.

“Yeah, I think so,” Butler said. “I do think that with the year that we did have last season — it’s unacceptable. … You can use whatever excuse you want to use, but we didn’t make the playoffs. That’s all anybody sees and that’s rightfully so. So do I think I’m going to be here? Yeah, I think so.”

Butler is coming off a season in which he averaged 20.9 points, 5.3 rebounds, and 4.8 assists in 67 games. He’s a two-time All-Star and made the All-Defensive Team the last three years. However, the Bulls missed the playoffs with a 42-40 record, suggesting that Chicago isn’t the place where Butler can make a deep playoff run.

Read More: Celtics trade rumors, Jimmy Butler,

NBA draft prospect profile: Texas PG Isaiah Taylor

06.14.16 at 9:17 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.

ISAIAH TAYLOR

Position: Point guard

School: Texas

Age: 21 (turns 22 on July 11)

Height: 6-foot-2

Weight: 170 pounds

Wingspan: 6-foot-3

Key 2015-16 statistics: 15.0 points, 2.8 rebounds, 5.0 assists, 31.0 3-point percentage

Scouting report: On offense, Taylor is at his best in transition because of his lightning-quick speed and strong ball-handling. Taylor’s speed also helps him finish at the rim, which is helpful given his lack of a mid-range jumper. Taylor often will force difficult shots close to the rim, which shows his lack of confidence in his jump shot. In order to guard NBA players effectively on defense, Taylor will have to work on getting stronger.

Taylor’s statistics improved greatly under first-year Texas coach Shaka Smart — he led the team in scoring and assists — and many thought he would return to Austin for one more season to improve his game, but Taylor elected to go to the draft as a junior. Taylor is projected to go late in the second round or undrafted, but he is confident in his decision. 

“At the end of the year, I knew right away what I was doing,” Taylor told the Houston Chronicle. “There was no doubt.” 

Notes: Taylor was named to the All Big-12 first team this year after finishing the season with a 2.57 assist-to-turnover rate, which was third best all-time in Texas history. … Taylor was plagued with plantar fasciitis at the end of this past season. In 2014-15, he missed 10 games early in the season with a fractured wrist. … Taylor’s uncle, Terrell Lowery, played college basketball at Loyola Marymount and eventually went on to play professional baseball with the Cubs, Rays and Giants.

Related articles:

Houston Chronicle: As draft nears, Isaiah Taylor has no regrets about leaving UT early

The Daily Texan: Isaiah Taylor is not ready for NBA play

Read More: 2016 NBA draft, 2016 potential celtics, Isaiah Taylor,

Report: Buddy Hield puts on a shooting clinic for Celtics in California, makes 85 of 100 3-pointers

06.13.16 at 4:21 pm ET
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Buddy Hield

Buddy Hield

Last week, Kentucky freshman and NBA draft hopeful Jamal Murray hit 79 out of 100 3-pointers during a shooting drill with Celtics coaches that was called an unofficial record for a potential draftee.

Turns out Buddy Hield’s competitiveness extends to workouts, because he reportedly one-upped Murray on Monday. According to ESPN draft insider Jeff Goodman, Hield shot 85-for-100 on 3’s in front of the Celtics brass during a workout in California.

Hield, an Oklahoma senior, is considered one of the best pure shooters in the draft, and he apparently showed it on Monday.

The Celtics hold the No. 3 pick in the draft and could consider either gunner in that spot. Murray is already on record that he considers himself the best player in the draft. For more on the decision between Murray and Hield, check out this recent edition of Celtics Choice.

And for more on draft rumors, be sure to follow our Green Street Celtics blog.

Read More: 2016 NBA draft, Boston Celtics, Buddy Hield, Jamal Murray
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