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NBA Draft’s Potential Celtics: New Mexico SF Tony Snell

06.27.13 at 11:38 am ET
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As part of WEEI.com’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.

Tony Snell (AP)

Tony Snell is an all-around solid player who doesn’t stand out in any particular area. (AP)

TONY SNELL

Position: Small forward

School: New Mexico

Age: 21

Height: 6-foot-7 

Weight: 200 pounds

Achievements: Mountain West Tournament MVP (2013), All-Mountain West third team (2013)

Key 2012-13 stats: 12.5 points, 2.9 assists, 2.6 rebounds, 2.1 turnovers

What he brings: While no single skill makes Snell spectacular, he was an all-around solid contributor in his three years with the Lobos. He is successful from beyond the arc, connecting on 39 percent of his attempts, and he can pull up or shoot off of screens. His ballhandling skills have been questioned.

Snell’s quickness and length, including a 7-foot wingspan, work to his advantage at the defensive end. As is the case with most other potential draftees, however, Snell is going to need to get a little thicker and stronger to win and keep a spot on an NBA roster.

Notes: Snell ended his collegiate career having started 70 consecutive games dating back to the beginning of his sophomore year. … He worked out with a handful of teams, including the Kings twice. … He played mostly small forward for the Lobos, but he told media recently he also could be a shooting guard.

Recent articles:

Cowbellkingdom.com: Sacramento Kings give draft prospect Tony Snell another look

The Oregonian: Tony Snell brings shooting, rebounding and defense to pre-draft workouts (with video)

PE Bloggers: Tony Snell zooming upward in NBA mock drafts

Video: Here is a highlight/interview mix from one of Snell’s recent workouts.

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NBA Draft’s Potential Celtics: Virginia Tech PG Erick Green

06.27.13 at 8:18 am ET
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As part of WEEI.com’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.

Erick Green led the nation in scoring last season, but his defense has been questioned. (AP)

Erick Green led the nation in scoring last season, although his defense has been questioned. (AP)

ERICK GREEN

Position: Point guard

School: Virginia Tech

Age: 22

Height: 6-foot-3

Weight: 185 pounds

Achievements: AP All-America third team (2013), ACC Player of the Year (2013), All-ACC second team (2012)

Key 2012-13 stats: 25.0 points, 4.0 rebounds, 3.8 assists, 1.3 steals

What he brings: Despite the fact that Green was a point guard through his senior year with the Hokies, one NBA executive questions whether Green can or will play the point exclusively at the next level. Still, his offensive production is undeniable, and he was the focus of every opposing defense playing against a bad Hokies team (13-19) in 2012-13. The nation’s leading scorer shot 47.5 percent from the floor, 38.9 percent from beyond on the arc and 81.6 percent on free throws.

Draftexpress.com describes Green as “capable” on defense, with his fundamentals making up in part for his lack of size. He isn’t a liability on defense, but he won’t be stealing the show, either. His keen shooting is what teams will pay him for.

Notes: Green worked out for 15 teams in the weeks leading up to the draft. … Although he’s leaving Virginia Tech with a business degree, he missed his own graduation to attend the NBA combine last month. … His profile on hokiesports.com calls him a “terrific defender” who showed all-around tremendous improvement since his one-start freshman year. … Green has four younger siblings.

Recent articles:

Daily Press: Virginia Tech’s Erick Green getting a taste of NBA life in workouts

NBC Sports: Virginia Tech’s reliance on Erick Green didn’t hurt his chances at an NBA career

Roanoke Times: NBA teams get a look at Virginia Tech star Erick Green

Video: The ACC posted an Erick Green highlight video in advance of the draft.

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Fact or fiction: Doc Rivers’ odd call to Boston media

06.26.13 at 8:41 pm ET
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So much for Doc Rivers not disputing Danny Ainge‘s take on the former Celtics coach’s departure to the Clippers. Two hours after telling the media in Los Angeles the only reason he’s coaching “is to win titles,” Rivers spun around in circles on a lengthy teleconference with reporters in Boston.

While Rivers should be lauded for his willingness to discuss his professional life and a decision he had every right to make — even interrupting the Clippers public relations staff when they tried to stop the call with “two more questions” — the 27-minute interview can only be described as confusing after Ainge and Celtics owner Wyc Grousbeck shared similar opinions the last 24 hours about how it all went down.

So, let’s try to separate fact from fiction one quote at a time (thoughts in italics).

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NBA Draft’s Potential Celtics: Russian SF Sergey Karasev

06.26.13 at 7:26 pm ET
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As part of WEEI.com’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.

Sergey Karasev (AP)

Young Russian Sergey Karasev is a solid offensive player who needs to add some bulk in order to compete on the defensive end in the NBA. (AP)

SERGEY KARASEV

Position: Shooting forward

Team: Lyubertsy Triumph (Eurocup league)

Age: 19

Height: 6-foot-7

Weight: 197 pounds

Achievements: Olympic bronze medalist with Russia (2012)

Key 2012-13 stats: 16.1 points, 3 rebounds, 2.4 assists

What he brings: Karasev is considered well ahead of the learning curve in terms of being an international prospect, having led his team in scoring most nights in 2012-13 while playing in one of the top European leagues. The offensive numbers won’t directly translate, but his 41 percent success rate from the floor, 49 percent on 3-pointers and 82.6 percent on free throws isn’t a bad start.

Analysts also indicate Karasev has solid court vision and is unselfish. His defense is a bigger question mark, more so due to his slight frame than his effort. If he can get stronger, almost a universal requirement in Karasev scouting reports, and fill out a bit he will be fine at that end.

Notes: While the culture change/shock is always an issue to varying degrees for international prospects, Karasev definitely wants to play in the NBA, so a holdout is seen as unlikely. … He greatly improved his draft stock with an impressive showing at the Nike Hoop Summit in April, which he attended shortly after declaring for the draft earlier that month. … His father, Vasily Karasev, is the coach of his professional team in Russia, the Lyubertsy Triumph. … Karasev is a native of St. Petersburg, Russia.

Recent articles:

SB Nation: Sergey Karasev will remain in 2013 NBA Draft

ESPN.com: Sergey Karasev struggled in Vegas (Insider subscription required)

Video: Here is video from Karasev’s impressive showing at the Nike Hoop Summit:

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NBA Draft’s Potential Celtics: D-League SF Glen Rice Jr.

06.26.13 at 4:07 pm ET
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As part of WEEI.com’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.

Glen Rice Jr. was dismissed from Georgia Tech in 2012 and played last season in the NBA D-League. (AP)

GLEN RICE JR.

Position: Small forward

Team: Rio Grande Valley Vipers (NBA Development League); previously at Georgia Tech

Age: 22

Height: 6-foot-6

Weight: 211 pounds

Achievements: ACC All-Academic team (2010)

Key 2012-13 stats: 14.5 points, 6.6 rebounds, 2.2 assists

What he brings: Rice’s marquee asset is his jump shot, which he had working particularly well in the latter part of the D-League season. Rice also shot 37.9 percent from beyond the arc this year, and since it was in pro ball he has the advantage of having already played with the NBA-style 3-point line. He can let his athleticism take over defensively, even if the intensity isn’t always there. He averaged about a block and a steal in the D-League in 2012-13.

The biggest concern with Rice is with his maturity and makeup. He had been suspended on multiple occasions by two different coaches at Georgia Tech prior to his dismissal in March 2012 following charges stemming from a shooting incident at an Atlanta nightclub.

Notes: Rice was averaging only 6.6 minutes per game with Rio Grande through mid-January before breaking out and helping the Valley Vipers to the D-League championship. He averaged 29 points and 11.5 boards in the finals. … Should Rice get taken sooner rather than later Thursday, he could earn the rare distinction of being selected higher in the NBA draft than in the D-League draft. Rio Grande picked him in the fourth round (55th overall) last year. … Rice is the son of Glen Rice, who played 1,000 games in 15 NBA seasons with six teams.

Recent articles:

NBA.com: D-League stop helps college washout revive his NBA dream

Marietta Daily Journal: Glen Rice Jr. may be first-round selection in NBA draft

Associated Press: D-League changed Glen Rice Jr.

Video: Here is a short video showcasing some of Rice’s highlights from his Georgia Tech days:

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Doc Rivers: Winning titles is ‘only reason I’m coaching’

06.26.13 at 3:39 pm ET
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Doc Rivers has Clippers fever!

Doc Rivers has Clippers fever!

As the Clippers introduced new vice president of basketball operations and coach Doc Rivers, he sat stone-faced for most of the press conference, offering no objection to former Celtics colleague Danny Ainge‘s version of events the past two weeks.

“Quite honestly,” said Rivers from L.A., “at this point in my life, that’s the only reason I’m coaching — is to try and win titles.”

After watching him coach in Boston for nine seasons, it was strange hearing Rivers using “we” and “us” when referencing the Clippers, but clearly he’s moved on from a team he no longer believed to be a contender. As C’s owner Wyc Grousbeck said Wednesday morning, “I don’t think he wanted to rebuild with us; I think he wanted to make his win-loss record better.”

Over the past 24 hours, Ainge and Grousbeck both stated their desire for Rivers to fulfill the three years remaining on his coaching contract in Boston, and Rivers never actually disputed their claims, although he deflected a bit.

“After the year, I had no plans of leaving and didn’t give it a lot of thought, honestly,” said Rivers. “After every year — and Danny knows me as well as anyone — I put everything I can into a season, and then, if you ask me immediately after the season, I’m not coming back. I’m going home. I’m just burnt out. I’m tired.

“This lasted a little longer, and so when Danny and I talked, I told him I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do, and we just basically sat around as a team and talked about what’s the best way at that time to improve the Celtics, and we went into talking about different scenarios. A couple other teams came up, and Danny talked about assets — me and Kevin Garnett at the time — and then the name Clippers came up, and I thought, ‘Well, that’s interesting,’ and you’d be amazed how — from that point on — I really kind of stepped back. Danny kind of did the talking and would report back to me. I didn’t talk to you or anybody, so I was kind of left out. It was really interesting.

“One thing I would like to make clear: There were never any threats. ‘If you don’t get me here, I’m not doing this.’ ‘I’m not coming back.’ There was never any of that. It was just kind of a negotiation with Danny and [Clippers president] Andy Roeser, and if it all worked out, then I would consider it. That’s basically where it went to, and the closer we got to this thing actually happening is the more I got interested in it.”

Still, both Rivers and Ainge believed they would continue working together until early this week.

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NBA Draft’s Potential Celtics: Murray State PG Isaiah Canaan

06.26.13 at 12:06 pm ET
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As part of WEEI.com’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.

Isaiah Canaan (AP)

Isaiah Canaan (AP)

ISAIAH CANAAN

Position: Point guard

School: Murray State

Age: 22

Height: 6-foot-1

Weight: 195 pounds

Achievements: Ohio Valley Conference Player of the Year (2013, 2012), All-America second team (2012), All-OVC first team (2011), OVC Freshman of the Year (2010), OVC Tournament MVP (2010)

Key 2012-13 stats: 21.8 points, 4.3 assists, 3.5 rebounds

What he brings: Despite serving as the floor general for almost the entirety of his four-year Racer career, Canaan is seen as a shoot-first guard — he averaged a career-high 4.3 assists per game as a senior — partly because that was what the talent around him called for. However, he also saw his shooting percentage take a dip from his junior to senior year: down to 43.1 from 46.8 percent from the floor, to 37 from 45.6 percent on 3-pointers and to 82.2 from 83.7 percent form the charity stripe.

As productive as he is shooting, defense usually is more of a struggle for Canaan. Most of those problems can be pinned on his 6-foot-4 wingspan and sub-200 pound frame. His 2-to-1 turnover-to-steal ratio also is cause for concern.

Notes: Canaan’s tour of pre-draft workouts was dampened by an ankle injury last week. It is not be serious, but did cause him to miss what could have been a few crucial days. … He told his hometown Sun Herald that the pick-and-roll system Murray State used should help him transition to the NBA. … Canaan was a contributor right off the bat for Murray State, playing in all 36 games while averaging 10.4 points as a freshman. … Canaan drew notoriety for a near-halfcourt shot he hit from one knee in February 2010.

Recent articles:

NBA.com: Spotlight: Isaiah Canaan

NBC Sports: Can Isaiah Canaan make a splash in the NBA

New York Post: Nets eyeing Murray State PG Canaan

Video: Here is video from earlier this month of one of Canaan’s workouts.

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