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NBA Draft’s Potential Celtics: Gonzaga C Kelly Olynyk

06.25.13 at 5:13 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.

KELLY OLYNYK

Position: Center

School: Gonzaga

Age: 22

Height: 7-foot-0

Weight: 238 pounds

Achievements: All-America first team (2013), West Coast Conference Player of the Year (2013), All-WCC first team (2013), Academic All-America first team (2013)

Key 2012-13 stats: 17.8 points, 7.3 rebounds, 1.7 assists, 1.1 blocks

What he brings: Olynyk boasts a well-rounded skill set, with his greatly improved skills in the post making him a threat in 2012-13 for the Bulldogs, despite not being overly athletic. Between his 62.9 percent success rate from the floor and 77.6 free throw shooting percentage, scoring was not a problem for the long-haired redshirt junior.

Most are not as keen on his rebounding and defending abilities. Olynyk registered more than twice as many turnovers (2.4) as he did blocks (1.1) per game this year. Two third of his 7.3 boards per game came at the defensive end. Additionally, some reports half-jokingly give Olynyk credit for being an extremely patient player as well, since he had to wait three seasons to get significant playing time.

Notes: After not seeing much action his first two seasons, Olynyk redshirted in 2011-12 before breaking out this past year, featuring a 63.1 shooting percentage. ‘€¦ He was forced to miss the first three games of the season for violating the school’€™s code of conduct. ‘€¦ He was a point guard until his junior year of high school and had a seven-inch growth spurt. … The Toronto-born Olynyk moved to Kamloops, British Columbia, when he was young after his father, Ken Olynyk, formerly a coach with Canada’€™s junior national team, became athletic director at a nearby college.

Recent articles:

Gonzaga product Kelly Olynyk has weight, scoring ability that OKC fans crave

USA Today: Anthony Bennett, Kelly Olynyk lead Canada’€™s NBA future

Video: Courtesy of Gonzaga Athletics, here’€™s an Olynyk highlight reel.

Read More: 2013 NBA draft, 2013 NBA Draft's Potential Celtics, Kelly Olynyk,

Report: Celtics target Josh Smith pending Paul Pierce trade

06.25.13 at 1:52 pm ET
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If the Celtics can unload captain Paul Pierce to a team with enough cap space to absorb his $15.3 million contract next season — acquiring an equally hefty trade exception in return — Danny Ainge already has a sign-and-trade package prepared to offer the Hawks for unrestricted free agent Josh Smith, according to a Sporting News report.

The Bucks and Cavaliers have both been rumored among potential Pierce suitors, but the Celtics legend’s desire to play for a contender if he doesn’t stay in Boston remains an apparent hurdle for Ainge, who also reportedly wants a first-round pick back for Pierce.

Unless Ainge finds a trade destination for Pierce or both agree to extend the deadline, the C’s must decide by July 1 whether to pay Pierce his $15.3 million or cut him for $5 million against the cap.

While Sporting News reporter Sean Deveney‘s source did not divulge any details of a potential sign-and-trade deal for Smith, the Celtics would reportedly be willing to offer the athletic 27-year-old $15 million.

However, Smith could receive as much as $17.5 million on the open market from teams with the salary cap space (i.e., the Bucks, who sought Smith at the trade deadline), throwing yet another wrinkle into Ainge’s rebuilding plans this summer.

Of course, Smith and Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo have been close friends since their days as roommates at Oak Hill (Mouth of Wilson, Va.) Academy. The mercurial Hawks forward has admitted being “a little jealous” of Rondo’s Boston experience in addition to conceding that a trade to the C’s was “a possibility” in February.

Read More: Atlanta Hawks, Boston Celtics, Josh Smith, NBA

NBA Draft’s Potential Celtics: Brazilian C Lucas Nogueira

06.25.13 at 12:51 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.

LUCAS NOGUEIRA

Position: Center

Team: Asefa Estudiantes (Spain’s ACB League)

Age: 20

Height: 7-foot-0

Weight: 220 pounds

Key 2012-13 stats: 5.4 points, 3.4 rebounds, 1.1 blocks, 13.6 minutes

What he brings: Nogueira’€™s 7-foot, 5-inch wingspan makes him an excellent defensive player and has encouraged comparisons between him and Marcus Camby. While he has yet to fully develop into his frame, he is an excellent player in the paint and averaged 5.0 offensive rebounds per 40 minutes last season.

As a scorer, Nogueira is rather limited. While he is among the better finishers in the draft around the rim, he does not have a very good jump shot and does not handle the ball well. However, thanks to his size and length, he has a chance at scoring on any drive and dish opportunity by the basket.

Notes: Nogueira, who goes by the nickname ‘€œBebe,’€ declared for the 2011 draft but eventually backed out. Therefore, he cannot back out of the 2013 draft.

Recent articles:

Hoops World: Lucas Nogueira: The Next Marcus Camby?

Pro Basketball Talk: Lucas Nogueira says he’s flexible on developing his skill set either in Europe or the NBA

Video: Here’s a look at Nogueira in action from this past season.

Read More: 2013 NBA draft, 2013 NBA Draft's Potential Celtics, Lucas Nogueira,

Irish Coffee: Top 10 reasons Celtics should hire Antoine Walker

06.25.13 at 11:48 am ET
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Antoine Walker wants to be the next coach of the Boston Celtics.

 

No, seriously, Antoine Walker wants to be the next coach of the Boston Celtics.

‘€œI want to be back in the game, I love the game and am a student of the game,’€ he told The Boston Globe. ‘€œI want to stress seriously that I do want to become a coach … there’€™s a lot of guys starting to get opportunities and so the league is getting younger coaches. Obviously I’€™m lacking in experience but we’€™ve all got to start from somewhere.’€

OK, then. I guess these would be the Top 10 reasons the Celtics should hire Antoine Walker.

Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Antoine Walker, Boston Celtics, NBA,

NBA Draft’s Potential Celtics: Michigan SG Tim Hardaway Jr.

06.25.13 at 5:43 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.

TIM HARDAWAY JR.

Position: Shooting guard

School: Michigan

Age: 21

Height: 6-foot-6

Weight: 205 pounds

Achievements: Coaches’ All-Big Ten first team (2013), Media All-Big Ten second team (2013), NIT Season Tip-Off Most Outstanding Player (2012), All-Big Ten third team (2012)

Key 2012-13 stats: 14.5 points, 4.7 rebounds, 2.5 assists

What he brings: Hardaway Jr. has good athleticism for a 6-foot-6 shooting guard, and excels at getting to the rim in transition according to DraftExpress.com. However, he is a good shooter from beyond the arc, especially in spot-up shots, as he hit 44 percent of his unguarded spot-up shots from 3-point range last season.

While he does not have great length — he only has a 6-foot-7 wingspan — Hardaway’€™s athleticism and motor give him the potential to be a good NBA defender. That wingspan makes him less likely to get steals and rebounds, though, as he recorded only 0.7 steals and 4.5 rebounds per game last season. He has to improve his consistency, too, as he tended to lose focus on the defensive end.

Notes: He is the son of five-time NBA All-Star Tim Hardaway, who spent 14 years in the NBA with the Warriors, Heat, Mavericks, Nuggets and Pacers. … Trey Burke, a teammate of his at Michigan, is projected to be taken among the top eight selections in the draft.

Recent articles:

NBA.com: Heat scout Hardaway sees a familiar face in Michigan guard

Detroit Free Press: Michigan’s Tim Hardaway Jr. enjoying benefits of fatherly advice

Video: Here’s a highlight package of Hardaway.

Read More: 2013 NBA draft, 2013 NBA Draft's Potential Celtics, Tim Hardaway Jr.,

Jeff Green: ‘I’m happy for’ Doc Rivers

06.24.13 at 5:20 pm ET
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While admitting he returned to Boston in hopes of playing four years under coach Doc Rivers, Celtics forward Jeff Green told ESPN.com, “I can’€™t speak for the other guys, but I’€™m not angry at all. I’€™m happy for him.”

Green first met Doc while teammates with the coach’s eldest son Jeremiah Rivers at Georgetown University. Green reportedly feels “absolutely no animosity,” but the 26-year-old understands if his teammates harbor ill will after the Celtics released Rivers from the three years and $21 million left on his contract in exchange for a first-round NBA draft pick from the Clippers.

Rivers is reportedly still in the process of reaching terms on a similar deal with Los Angeles. Green knows the NBA business well, having been a pawn in the C’s Kendrick Perkins trade to the Thunder two years ago.

‘€œThe main reason I came back to Boston was because of Doc, but I understand things change,” Green added. “Not everything goes as planned. We had injuries, and some other things, that altered our team. You can’€™t predict the future. I really enjoyed playing for Doc. We have a great relationship. I’€™m sure some people will feel betrayed, but we all have to do what is best for us and our families. Whenever there’€™s a trade or a coach leaves, there’€™s always emotion. But then after a while we all move on and say, ‘€˜What’€™s next?’”

Read More: Boston Celtics, Doc Rivers, Jeff Green, NBA

NBA Draft’s Potential Celtics: German PG Dennis Schroeder

06.24.13 at 2:32 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.

DENNIS SCHROEDER

Position: Point guard

Team: New Yorker Phantoms Braunschweig (Germany)

Age: 19

Height: 6-foot-2

Weight: 165 pounds

Achievements: Basketball Bundesliga Most Improved Player (2013), Basketball Bundesliga Best Young German Player (2013)

Key 2012-13 stats: 11.9 points, 3.3 assists, 2.5 rebounds, 24.7 minutes

What he brings: Drawing comparisons to Rajon Rondo, Schroeder is one of the more intriguing prospects of the 2013 draft. He has a freakish body type, as he is 6-foot-2 with a 6-foot-8 wingspan. Schroeder uses his ability to change speeds effectively, but his shooting stroke is what separates him as a point guard. He shot 40.2 percent from 3-point range last season and 84 percent from the free throw line.

However, Schroeder has to work on his decision-making with the ball, as analysts note that he tends to force passes into tight areas. He averaged 4.0 turnovers per 40 minutes last season, compared to 5.3 assists per 40 minutes. Schroeder also needs to improve his ability to handle bigger opponents on defense, so getting stronger will be part of his growth process.

Notes: Schroeder did not work out at the combine or Eurocamp, leading to rumors that he has a promise to be drafted by an NBA team. According to Hoops Hype, that team is the Celtics, who could take him at 16. Schroeder insisted that nobody has promised him anything, though. According to Sporting News, Schroeder sat out of drills because he had a toothache.

Recent articles:

Hoops Hype: Schroeder fulfilling promise to late father

WEEI: NBA draft guru Jeff Goodman on Celtics: ‘I’d look at Dennis Schroeder or Shane Larkin at No. 16

Video: Here’s a package of Schroeder highlights.

Read More: 2013 NBA draft, 2013 NBA Draft's Potential Celtics, Dennis Schroeder,
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