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NBA draft prospect profile: Kansas SG Wayne Selden

06.03.16 at 12:49 pm ET
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As part of’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.


Position: Shooting guard

School: Kansas

Age: 21 (turns 22 on Sept. 30)

Height: 6-foot-6

Weight: 232 pounds

Wingspan: 6-foot-11

Key 2015-16 stats: 13.6 points, 3.4 rebounds, 2.5 assists, 38.3 3-point field goal percentage

Scouting report: Selden struggled his first two years in Kansas, but he bounced back impressively in the 2015-16 season. He improved his shooting and perimeter defense, two things that are crucial in the NBA. Selden has the physical tools to further improve his defensive versatility, and has improved his shooting both off the dribble and coming off screens. His competitiveness will be sure to intrigue NBA teams, but recent right knee surgery kept him from fully participating at the NBA draft combine.

“You want to get out there and always want to be able to compete and stuff like that,” Selden said after the combine. “But I’m not trying to rush anything, so I’m just going to take my time, and when I’m ready I’ll be out there.”

Besides the knee, NBA scouts question Selden’s lateral quickness on the defensive end, as well as his ball-handling. Another concern is his free throw shooting. Despite shooting 38.3 percent from deep, he only hit 61.7 percent of his free throws. It may be a mental issue that causes Selden to shoot so poorly from the charity stripe. Whatever it is, he’ll need to fix it if he wants to take full advantage of his high-flying drives to the basket. He is projected to be drafted in the middle of the second round.

Notes: A Roxbury native, Selden attended Tilton School in New Hampshire before heading to Kansas. He made the All-Big 12 second team last season and led the Jayhawks to a Big 12 Championship.

Related articles: Wayne Selden Jr. talks leaving KU, preparing for NBA draft Wayne Selden’s knee injury not helping 2nd-round status

Boston Herald: NBA draft prospect Wayne Selden embraces Boston connection

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Report: 76ers discuss sending Nerlens Noel to Hawks for Jeff Teague

06.03.16 at 11:37 am ET
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Nerlens Noel

Nerlens Noel

There has been speculation that the Celtics are interested in 76ers center Nerlens Noel, and they previously were linked to Hawks guard Jeff Teague when he was said to be available at the trade deadline.

Now those two players might end up getting traded for each other.

According to a report from Yahoo Sports’ Shams Charania, the Sixers recently had discussions with the Hawks about sending Noel to Atlanta so Philadelphia could fill its hole at point guard with the veteran Teague.

Noel, known for his defense, averaged 11.1 points, 8.1 rebounds and 1.5 blocks this season. The 6-foot-11 product of Everett was selected sixth overall in 2013 out of Kentucky and sat out his rookie season due to an ACL team. He is about to enter the third and final year of his rookie contract and then will be a restricted free agent.

The Sixers also are said to be willing to move center Jahlil Okafor, who is coming off a promising rookie season, but that would seem unlikely if they trade Noel.

Teague, who turns 28 next week and can be an unrestricted free agent next offseason, averaged 15.7 points, 5.9 assists and 2.7 rebounds in 79 games this season, his seventh with the Hawks. He was an All-Star last season, but 22-year-old Dennis Schroder started taking some of his minutes this year.

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NBA draft prospect profile: Kentucky SG Jamal Murray

06.03.16 at 9:36 am ET
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As part of’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.


Position: Shooting guard

School: Kentucky

Age: 19

Height: 6-foot-5

Weight: 200 pounds

Wingspan: 6-foot-7

Key 2015-16 stats: 20.0 points, 5.2 rebounds, 2.2 assists, 40.8 3-point field goal percentage

Scouting report: Murray is a scorer, plain and simple. He showed throughout his freshman campaign that he’s more than comfortable driving into the lane or moving off the ball for an open look. His deep ball has to be respected, and he thrives with the game on the line. says that the likely top-10 pick “makes putting the ball in the basket look effortless,” something many NBA teams crave for.

Murray, who hails from Canada, hit almost 41 percent of his 3-pointers last season and does not expect a major change when shooting NBA 3-pointers in the future.

“Not much of a transition,” Murray said recently. “Just being consistent, adjusting my form a little bit, adjusting my strength and how much I lift.”

In order to be a true combo guard, Murray will have to learn to take better care of the ball. He averaged more turnovers (2.3) than assists (2.2), a very clear indicator that his ball handling must improve quickly. He is often too aggressive on the defensive end, gambling to steal the ball and hurting himself in the process. Murray will have to learn to make plays for others in order to stay afloat at the professional level.

Notes: Murray was selected to the All-SEC first team and the SEC All-Freshman team. He helped Kentucky clinch an SEC championship and led the conference in field goals (244).

Related articles:

ESPN: Inside look at Ingram, Murray and Maker

CBS sports: Jamal Murray vs. Buddy Hield is a close call

Fansided: Is Jamal Murray the best scorer in the draft?

Read More: 2016 NBA draft, 2016 potential celtics, Jamal Murray,

NBA draft prospect profile: Croatia C Ivica Zubac

06.02.16 at 3:46 pm ET
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As part of’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.


Position: Center

Country: Croatia (Mega Leks)

Age: 19

Height: 7-foot-1

Weight: 265 pounds

Wingspan: 7-foot-4

Key 2015-16 stats: 9.0 points, 4.3 rebounds, 0.5 assists

Scouting report: The most impressive thing going for Zubac is his size. With his towering frame and ridiculous wingspan, the big man often had his way during his time with Mega Leks. His soft hands help him play above the rim, and he has the post moves on par with big men in the NBA.

What may drag Zubac down is past injuries. He suffered from a broken foot in 2015 and an injured knee in 2015, so the possibility remains that Zubac is injury-prone. On the court, Zubac lacks athleticism, forcing him to rely too much on size and length. He is not an offensive threat unless he’s in the post, and his lateral quickness will need improvement in order to keep up in the NBA.

Zubac is eager to prove his worth in the United States, telling, “If I get drafted, I would like to go to the NBA right away. NBA has always been my dream. I can’t wait to play there and prove myself on the biggest basketball stage in the world.”

Draft projections vary for Zubac, with predictions that he will be selected anywhere from late in the first round to midway through the second.

Notes: Zubac won a silver medal for Croatia at the U19 World Championships in 2015. A teammate of fellow NBA draft prospect Timothe Luwawu at Mega Leks, Zubac was the starting center and led the team in blocks (1.6) and ranked third in rebounds (5.1).

Related articles: Ivica Zubac says he would love to go to the NBA next season if drafted Zubac bounces back to turn heads

Read More: 2016 NBA draft, 2016 potential celtics, Ivica zubac,

NBA draft prospect profile: USC PG Julian Jacobs

06.02.16 at 12:34 pm ET
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As part of’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.


Position: Point guard

School: USC

Age: 22

Height: 6-foot-4

Weight: 180 pounds

Wingspan: n/a

Key 2015-16 stats: 11.6 points, 4.9 rebounds, 5.4 assists

Scouting report: Most likely a late second-round pick, Jacobs is coming off a strong junior season after two subpar seasons with the Trojans. He was a do-everything kind of athlete for the team, shooting 50 percent on 2-point field goals and averaging 1.2 steals per contest. He also led the team in assists and was third in both scoring and rebounding. Jacobs can both get into the lane and create scoring looks for his teammates, and scouts were impressed with his leadership last season.

However, Jacobs was snubbed an invitation to the NBA draft combine, suggesting that he isn’t on many team’s radars. He has a shaky jump shot, and he averaged 2.7 turnovers per game in the 2015-16 season. With Jacobs already 22 years old, his ceiling may not be very high, a red flag for NBA teams.

Notes: Jacobs made the All-Pac-12 first team after leading the conference in assists (168). He helped lead USC to its first NCAA Tournament berth since 2011.

Related articles:

Los Angeles Times: USC’s Julian Jacobs, Nikola Jovanovic snubbed from draft combine

NBCSports: USC’s Julian Jacobs to sign with an agent, turn professional

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Celtics Choice: Al Horford vs. DeMar DeRozan

06.02.16 at 11:14 am ET
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In the days leading up to June’s NBA draft, we examine what the Celtics could do with the No. 3 overall pick and how they should approach this pivotal offseason. In that spirit, we present “Celtics choice.”

Today: Signing free agent big man Al Horford of the Hawks, or targeting free agent scorer DeMar DeRozan of the Raptors

The case for Horford

Did you watch the playoffs? The Hawks dominated the Celtics inside and even though he didn’t have a great statistical series, Horford was a big reason why. He’ll never be the focal point of an offense, but he does many things well that the Celtics value, especially on defense, where he’s capable of checking shooters on the perimeter on pick-and-rolls before retreating to defend the rim. He’d also provide a legitimate post presence and he’s an excellent inside-out passer. He’s a four-time All-Star for a reason and he’s selfless, which fits the Celtics’ model perfectly. He’d probably be good for 15-8-3 a night, conservatively, and he’s considered a winning player. If you’ve ever wondered what he’d look like in a Celtics uniform, an NBA2K16 player made that trade in the video below.

The case against Horford

He turns 30 on Friday and at times it looks like an old 30. He has suffered tears of each pectoral muscle during his career, limiting him to 11 games in 2011-12 and 29 games two years later, though he played all 82 this season. There’s also the philosophical matter of giving a max contract to a player on the wrong side of 30 who doesn’t exactly fill up the scoresheet. In a vacuum, any team would take Horford. But considering the money it will take to sign him, it’s hard to argue he’s worth it, particularly since the Celtics are looking to add an A-1 option to slot ahead of Isaiah Thomas. Horford isn’t that guy … unless he’d somehow get them Kevin Durant.

The case for DeRozan

The Celtics need scoring, and that’s basically all DeRozan has done since arriving out of USC with the No. 9 pick in the 2009 draft. He averaged a career-high 23.5 points a game this season and led the Raptors to their first Eastern Conference Finals, where they managed to deal the mighty Cavaliers their only two losses of the postseason. DeRozan is a classic scoring wing, with an excellent turnaround game in the post and the ability to get to the rim or get fouled almost at will. The majority of his points come from within 12 feet, but points are points. He finished second in the NBA in free throws made (555) and third in attempts (653), good for a career-high 85 percent from the line. He’s also a solid perimeter defender who doesn’t turn 27 until August. There’s the added bonus that signing him would rob a division rival of its best player. He’s a two-time All-Star.

Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: 2016 NBA draft, 2016 NBA free agency, Al Horford, Celtics

NBA draft prospect profile: Turkey SG Furkan Korkmaz

06.02.16 at 9:17 am ET
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As part of’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.


Position: Shooting guard

Country: Turkey (Anadolu Efes)

Age: 18 (turns 19 on July 24)

Height: 6-foot-7

Weight: 185 pounds

Wingspan: n/a

Key 2015-16 stats: 2.7 points, 0.9 rebounds, 42.3 3-point field goal percentage

Scouting report: Despite playing less than nine minutes per contest last season, Korkmaz has shown enough to be labeled a natural scorer, and is projected to be selected in the top half of the first round in most mock drafts. His best offensive skill is his shooting, as indicated by his outstanding shooting percentage from deep. He can create his own shots, and his athleticism is on par with the average NBA guard. Korkmaz also has a work ethic and a knack for leadership that NBA coaches dream of. At only 18 years old, Korkmaz also has the potential to become even better on the offensive end.

As strong as Korkmaz is offensively, he is held down by his defense. The potential is there, but Korkmaz often is unable to cover stronger guards. He needs to increase his physicality and build up his somewhat-wiry frame if he wants teams to take a chance on him.

“My weakness is defense,” Korkmaz acknowledged to The Vertical in February. “It is hard in the Euroleague. Everyone is quick. Everybody is fast. Sometimes it is hard to guard them. Maybe that is the reason [for my inconsistent playing time].”

Notes: Korkman was selected for the all-tournament team at the U19 World Championships after carrying his team to a bronze medal. In the Euroleague, he also helped his team to a 13-11 record in limited playing time.

Related articles:

Bleacher Report: Breaking down future of Turkey’s Furkan Korkmaz

Yahoo Sports: Getting to know Furkan Korkmaz

Read More: 2016 NBA draft, 2016 potential celtics, Furkan Korkmaz,
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