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NBA Draft’s Potential Celtics: NC State PG Lorenzo Brown

06.24.13 at 10:27 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.

LORENZO BROWN

Position: Point guard

School: NC State

Age: 22

Height: 6-foot-5

Weight: 186 pounds

Achievements: All-ACC second team (2013), All-ACC third team (2012)

Key 2012-13 stats: 12.4 points, 7.2 assists, 4.3 rebounds, 3.5 turnovers

What he brings: Brown was often smooth, unselfish and creative while commandeering the Wolfpack offense, able to find a teammate at just about any moment. That court vision helped lead to the junior’s ACC-high 7.2 assists per game, which is a key part of his game since he doesn’€™t shoot very well (41.9 percent overall, 26.3 percent on 3-pointers).

He does, however, do a bit of just about everything else. Brown is adept at the defensive end, using his 6-foot-7 wingspan to defend his position well, and his 2.0 steals per game can shift momentum in a given game. NBAdraft.net wrote in late April that Brown possesses good instincts and is a solid decision-maker.

Notes: Not only will Brown likely be available to the C’€™s at pick No. 16, he may not even go in the first round. ‘€¦ Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski praised Brown in January as being the best guard in transition in the country, calling him ‘€œmagical’€ when in possession. ‘€¦ After graduating from Centennial High in Roswell, Ga., Brown attended Hargrave Military Academy, a boarding school in Chatham, Va. ‘€¦ Brown majored in parks, recreation & tourism management.

Recent articles:

New Jersey Star-Ledger: North Carolina State’€™s Lorenzo Brown fits, but is he a first-rounder?

Allmediany.com: Lorenzo Brown, others work out for Knicks

Video: Here is video from one of Brown’€™s workouts this month.

Read More: 2013 NBA draft, 2013 NBA Draft's Potential Celtics, Lorenzo Brown,

Irish Coffee: Top 18 coaches to replace Doc Rivers in Celtics search for Banner 18

06.24.13 at 8:00 am ET
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The Celtics and Clippers have reportedly reached a deal that will allow Doc Rivers to coach in L.A. next season in exchange for a unprotected first-round pick in the 2015 NBA draft, pending league approval. So, the search begins to replace a coach that finished only 11 victories shy of tying Tommy Heinsohn for second behind Red Auerbach on the franchise’s wins list. Here are 18 candidates to lead the C’s to an 18th banner.

18. Kevin Garnett: Whether tongue-in-cheek or not, the Worcester Telegram & Gazette’s Bill Doyle threw this one out there, suggesting Garnett could follow Rivers as a player-coach the way Bill Russell did Auerbach, but the advanced statistics, strategy and amount of game planning in today’s NBA make it a pipe dream.

17. Larry Bird: If the Celtics legend showed interest in the GM position for the Kings, what’s to say he wouldn’t consider a coaching position in the organization he resurrected as a player? Well, for one, he’d have to accept a scenario in which he answered to C’s president Danny Ainge, and secondly, he would command big money.

16. Byron Scott: Considering Scott appeared to be the Clippers’ fall-back option if they couldn’t get a deal done for Rivers, he’s a leading candidate among the NBA coaching retreads. However, the former Lakers standout has maintained a disdain for Boston in his coaching career, and the feeling is probably mutual.

Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Boston Celtics, Brian Shaw, Danny Ainge, David Fizdale

Report: Celtics finally send Doc Rivers to Clippers

06.23.13 at 6:45 pm ET
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Pending league approval, the Celtics have finally agreed on a deal that will result in Doc Rivers coaching the Clippers next season, according to ESPN.com’s Jackie MacMullan.

The Clippers will send an unprotected first-round pick in the 2015 NBA draft to the C’s in exchange for releasing Rivers from the three years and $21 million remaining on his contract, per Yahoo! Sports columnist Adrian Wojnarowski. Rivers will reportedly receive the same deal to coach in Los Angeles.

Rivers and Celtics president Danny Ainge have tentatively scheduled a noon press conference on Monday, at which point the two are expected to explain the drama that led to their breakup after nine seasons together.

According to MacMullan, Rivers and Ainge worked side-by-side to reach a deal with the Clippers that benefits both the Celtics and Doc’s desire to avoid a lengthy rebuilding process. C’s ownership also reportedly was not wild about paying Rivers $7 million annually to coach a rebuilding team.

Talks between the C’s and Clippers were dubbed dead several times this past week — once when the NBA refused to allow a deal involving Rivers and any package of players, and then again when the Clippers insisted upon not sending anything beyond a second-round pick in exchange for Rivers.

However, discussion between the two sides heated up again on Sunday, when Chris Paul pressured L.A. to concede in sending a first-round selection to Boston, according to reports from Yahoo! and The Boston Globe.

Considering NBA commissioner David Stern‘s recent comments, another deal that would have sent Kevin Garnett to the Clippers in exchange for DeAndre Jordan and another first-round pick still appears dead. After a week of highly publicized negotiations involving the two teams, it will be nearly impossible for Ainge to convince the league office that a deal involving Garnett isn’t linked to the proposed Rivers deal.

Still, Ainge is seeking a first-round pick in exchange for Paul Pierce, according to MacMullan, and The Globe relayed “better-than-average interest” in the 35-year-old Celtics captain. The C’s would also reportedly be open to picking up Pierce’s $15.3 million option for next season and shopping him at the trade deadline.

Meanwhile, Garnett has two years and $24.4 million left on his deal, and his no-trade clause further limits Ainge’s options in finding another destination outside Los Angeles for his 37-year-old center.

Read More: Boston Celtics, Danny Ainge, Doc Rivers, Kevin Garnett

NBA Draft’s Potential Celtics: North Texas PF Tony Mitchell

06.23.13 at 5:58 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.

TONY MITCHELL

Position: Power forward

School: North Texas

Age: 21

Height: 6-foot-8

Weight: 213 pounds

Achievements: All-Sun Belt second team (2013), All-Sun Belt first team (2012), Sun Belt All-Tournament team (2012), Sun Belt Freshman of the Year (2012)

Key 2012-13 stats: 13.0 points, 8.5 rebounds, 2.7 blocks

What he brings: According to SB Nation’€™s scouting report of Mitchell, he has ‘€œthe size of a power forward and the athleticism of a shooting guard.’€ He has a 7-foot-3 wingspan and is an explosive leaper, making him an excellent shot-blocker and rebounder. He is strong around the rim and fights through contact to score from in close. He shot 43.9 percent from 3-point range his freshman year at North Texas.

His numbers dropped during his sophomore season of 2012-13. The knock on him is that he was lazy on defense last season and tended to stand and watch on the defensive glass. Mitchell also struggled with defensive positioning at times and got lost in dead ball situations. He is a raw prospect but could be the steal of the draft depending on how he responds to a professional environment.

Notes:  Mitchell, who hails from Dallas, committed to play at Missouri out of high school in 2010. However, he had some NCAA issues related to his academics (due mainly to a stint at Center of Life Christian Academy in Miami, a non-accredited prep school), so he instead chose to play as a partial qualifier at North Texas. If he is selected in the first round, he will be the first player to spend his entire college basketball playing at North Texas to do so.

Recent articles:

USA Today: Tony Mitchell doesn’t regret NBA decision 

Sports Illustrated: Ex-Mizzou recruit Mitchell ready to make comeback at North Texas

Video: Here is a highlight video of Mitchell.

And here is a feature video on Mitchell finding his home in North Texas.

Read More: 2013 NBA draft, 2013 NBA Draft's Potential Celtics, Tony Mitchell,

NBA Draft’s Potential Celtics: Ohio State SF/PF Deshaun Thomas

06.23.13 at 12:57 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.

DESHAUN THOMAS

Position: Small forward

School: Ohio State

Age: 21

Height: 6-foot-7

Weight: 225 pounds

Achievements: All-Big Ten first team (2013), AP All-America third team (2013), NABC All-America third team (2013), Sporting News All-America second team (2013), Hall of Fame Tip-Off Naismith Bracket MVP (2013)

Key 2012-13 stats: 19.8 points, 6.0 rebounds, 1.3 assists

What he brings: Thomas does not have top-level athleticism, but he still led the Big Ten in scoring during his junior year of 2012-13. He is a combo forward who uses his jump shot to produce offense. Due to his lack of quickness, he is more effective in catch-and-shoot situations than shooting off the dribble.

Defensively, analysts note that he does not have the foot speed to keep up with most NBA small forwards and does not have the size to play against most NBA power forwards, leaving him without much of a role on the defensive end. He is not a strong rebounder, too, averaging only 6.0 rebounds per game last season ‘€” 4.2 of which came on the defensive glass.

Notes:  Thomas refused to give the Spurs his cell phone number in an interview at the combine, raising some eyebrows from a prospect who is projected to be drafted late in the second round. ‘€œI can’€™t go around giving it out to everyone,’€ Thomas told the Akron Beacon Journal. ‘€œNow if they want to draft me, I’€™d be happy to give it to them.’€

Recent articles:

News Sentinel: In his words: Deshaun Thomas talks on professional future

Ohio.com: Former Ohio State star Deshaun Thomas refuses to give NBA team his phone number at combine

Video: Here is a video that shows Thomas’s journey as one of the nation’s top high school players to one of the top college players.

Read More: 2013 NBA draft, 2013 NBA Draft's Potential Celtics, Deshaun Thomas,

NBA Draft’s Potential Celtics: Indiana G Victor Oladipo

06.22.13 at 2:22 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.

VICTOR OLADIPO

Position: Guard

School: Indiana

Age: 21

Height: 6-foot-5

Weight: 214 pounds

Achievements: All-American (AP, Sporting News, John Wooden) (2013), NABC co-Defensive Player of the Year (2013), All-Big Ten first team (2013), Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year (2013)

Key 2012-13 stats: 13.6 points, 6.3 rebounds, 2.2 steals, 44.1 3-point field goal percentage

What he brings: The Hoosier has transformed from a defensive specialist his freshman year to a more well-rounded player, averaging 12.2 points per game the last two seasons while starting all but two games. As a junior this past season, he shot 59.9 percent from the field and 44.1 percent from beyond the arc ‘€” drastic improvements from his marks sophomore year (47.1 and 20.8, respectively).

Still, Oladipo’€™s relentless and effective work at the other end is his marquee asset. His 6-foot-9 wingspan surely helps, and he’€™s been known to accrue steals by straight up stealing the ball from dribblers (as opposed to intercepting passes gone awry). He is also widely credited with consistently playing hard, which, as cliché as it is, makes a real difference.

Notes: Oladipo overloaded his final semester at Indiana in order to get his degree after just three years. He majored in sport communication broadcast. ‘€¦ He snubbed his hometown Wizards, who invited him to work out at the Verizon Center last week. Oladipo said last month he doesn’€™t think Washington would be a good fit. ‘€¦ In the debate between Oladipo and Kansas guard Ben McLemore, Sports Illustrated’€™s Andy Glockner gave the edge to the Hoosier due to his defensive prowess and potential offensive upside.

Recent articles:

Washington Post: Indiana’€™s Victor Oladipo: ‘€˜I’€™m just abnormal’€™

Detroit Free Press: Work ethic took Indiana’€™s Victor Oladipo from off the radar to lottery pick

Sporting News: Indiana guard Victor Oladipo’€™s NBA future, as fellow Hoosier Cody Zeller sees it

Video: Here’€™s a video from last month with highlights of one of Oladipo’€™s workouts.

Read More: 2013 NBA draft, 2013 NBA Draft's Potential Celtics, Victor Oladipo,

NBA Draft’s Potential Celtics: NC State F C.J. Leslie

06.22.13 at 8:21 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.

C.J. LESLIE

Position: Forward

School: NC State

Age: 21

Height: 6-foot-9

Weight: 209 pounds

Achievements: All-ACC third team (2013), All-ACC second team (2012), ACC all-freshman team (2011), McDonald’€™s All-American (2010)

Key 2012-13 stats: 15.1 points, 7.4 rebounds, 3.0 turnovers, 1.5 assists, 1.2 blocks

What he brings: If nothing else, Leslie, who wrapped up his junior season in March, is consistent on the offensive end, having scored double digits in 31 of his 35 games in 2012-13. Scout.com lists his explosiveness and speed/quickness among his strengths, both of which factor into his adeptness around the basket and help his ability to finish.

There are some concerns, however, that his size/skill set combination may not smoothly translate to the NBA game. Slimmer than a typical power forward, Leslie averaged only 7.3 rebounds per game in his three years at NC State. But NBAdraft.net notes he played a lot of small forward, and Scout.com credits him with greatly improving his jump shot.

Notes: Coach Mark Gottfried‘s arrival at NC State for Leslie’€™s sophomore campaign coincided with increased consistency in the lanky forward’€™s play. ‘€¦ When he played at Word of God High School in Raleigh, N.C., he was teammates with John Wall, the first overall pick in the 2010 NBA draft. ‘€¦ Leslie was suspended the first three games of the 2011-12 season for impermissible benefits. ‘€¦ In May 2011, he made news for a few homophobic tweets that he quickly deleted.

Recent articles:

Newsobserver.com: N.C. State’€™s C.J. Leslie rolls with criticism

Yahoo!: C.J. Leslis suffers minor injury to shooting hand

Video: Via the ACC, here are Leslie’€™s official highlights from his time with the Wolfpack.

Read More: 2013 NBA draft, 2013 NBA Draft's Potential Celtics, C.J. Leslie,
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