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NBA Draft’s Potential Celtics: San Diego State SG Jamaal Franklin

06.14.13 at 12:07 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.

JAMAAL FRANKLIN

Position: Shooting guard

School: San Diego State

Age: 21

Height: 6-foot-5

Weight: 205 pounds

Achievements: Mountain West All-Conference first team (2013, 2012), Mountain West Player of the Year (2012), AP All-America honorable mention (2012) Mountain West All-Tournament Team (2012)

Key 2012-13 stats: 16.6 points, 9.4 rebounds, 3.3 assists, 1.6 steals

What he brings: Franklin has good size for an NBA shooting guard and uses that and his athleticism to get to the rim and draw fouls. He averaged 8.2 free throw attempts per 40 minutes last season and was aggressive in transition. He improved significantly at his passing in his junior season, as he improved from 1.9 assists per to 4.0 assists per 40 minutes. However, he is not a great perimeter shooter, making only 23.7 percent of his shots in catch-and-shoot situations.

On the defensive end, Franklin is uses his good motor to make plays. He recorded 2.0 steals per 40 minutes last season and used his quickness to jump into passing lanes. However, he gets overaggressive at times and can get beat off the dribble. His biggest impact comes on the defensive glass, as he averaged 9.4 defensive rebounds per 40 minutes, which puts him among the top rebounding shooting guards in the class.

Notes: Franklin, who declared for the draft after his junior season, missed the draft combine due to a sprained ankle. He was scheduled to visit with the Celtics but a workout was in question. … As a freshman, Franklin was a bit player on a team that went 34-3 and received a No. 2 seed in the NCAA tournament, advancing to the Sweet 16 before losing to eventual national champion UConn. He became a starter as a sophomore and led the Aztecs back to the NCAAs the last two seasons, although they were not able to get past the opening weekend.

Recent articles:

Pro Basketball Talk: Jamaal Franklin can dunk, but can he shoot?

SB Nation: Jamaal Franklin scouting report

Video: Here’€™s a highlight package from Franklin’s 2012-13 season.

Read More: 2013 NBA draft, 2013 NBA Draft's Potential Celtics, Jamaal Franklin,

Report: ‘Strong mutual interest’ between Doc Rivers, Clippers

06.13.13 at 6:25 pm ET
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ESPN.com is reporting that, while the Clippers have not requested permission to talk with Celtics coach Doc Rivers,

there is “strong mutual interest” between Rivers and the Clippers. The report cites “sources close to the situation.”

The report suggests that the Celtics “are determined to prevent [Rivers] from coaching another NBA team next season since he has three years and $21 million left on his contract. But sources added that Boston could be moved to let Rivers out of his contract depending on the level of compensation they get from the Clippers, whether that’s a veteran player or future draft picks. The thought in coaching circles is that the close relationship between Ainge and Rivers might help the coach get out of his obligation.”

Meanwhile, Rivers would be the top candidate to succeed fired coach Vinny Del Negro, the report says that the Clippers would be leery of “[mortgaging] their future by giving up an exorbitant amount of assets to get him.”

Rivers is two years into a five-year, $35 million deal he signed with the Celtics after the 2010-11 season. He has a 416-265 record (.533) in nine seasons in Boston, a stretch that includes a championship in 2007-08 and a 59-47 record (.557) in the playoffs.

NBA Draft’s Potential Celtics: Kansas C Jeff Withey

06.13.13 at 9:40 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.

JEFF WITHEY

Position: Center

School: Kansas

Age: 23

Height: 7 feet

Weight: 235 pounds

Achievements: All-Big 12 first team (2013), Consensus All-America second team (2013), NABC Defensive Player of the Year (2013), Big 12 Tournament Most Outstanding Player (2013), Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year (2013, 2012), Big 12 All-Defensive Team (2013, 2012)

Key 2012-13 stats: 13.7 points, 8.5 rebounds, 3.9 blocks

What he brings: Offensively, Withey is most effective when working without the ball, and scores most of his points following a pick and roll or a drive from a guard. According to Draft Express’€™ scouting report, Withey was the top player in college basketball at scoring efficiency in non-post up situations, with a 79 percent field goal percentage around the basket.

On the defensive end, Withey shines as a shot blocker, swatting 4.9 shots per 40 minutes during the 2012-13 season. However, he has to gain some weight and get stronger in preparation for facing up with the big men in the NBA.

Notes: Withey is a former volleyball player, which has helped him with timing his shot blocks. He was originally committed to Louisville, but switched his commitment to Arizona. When he didn’€™t see any playing time during his freshman season, he transferred to Kansas and took over as a starter once twin brothers Markieff and Marcus Morris left for the NBA.

Recent articles:

Newsday: Jeff Withey, Allen Crabbe work out for Knicks

NJ.com: Knicks draft watch: Both Knicks, Nets interested in Louisville’s Gorgui Dieng, Kansas’ Jeff Withey?

Kansas City Star: Withey’€™s volleyball background was a building block 

Video: Here’s a package of highlights from Withey’s 2012-13 season.

Read More: 2013 NBA draft, 2013 NBA Draft's Potential Celtics, Jeff Withey,

NBA Draft’s Potential Celtics: Georgia SG Kentavious Caldwell-Pope

06.13.13 at 3:31 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.

KENTAVIOUS CALDWELL-POPE

Position: Shooting guard

School: Georgia

Age: 20

Height: 6-foot-5

Weight: 200 pounds

Achievements: SEC Player of the Year (2013), All-SEC first team (2013), SEC All-Freshman team (2012)

Key 2012-13 stats: 18.5 points, 7.0 rebounds, 2.0 steals

What he brings: Caldwell-Pope is an offensive threat due to his shooting ability. He averaged 21.8 points per 40 minutes and showed a great ability to knock down shots when coming off screens or spotting up. However, he also showed great athleticism and could finish at the rim against smaller defenders.

While Caldwell-Pope’€™s short wingspan leaves his defensive potential limited, he has shown the ability to be an effective wing defender, according to Draft Express’ scouting report. He is a strong defender in isolation, but he needs to improve some flaws in off-ball movement ‘€” especially in pick-and-roll situations.

Notes: Caldwell-Pope was a bit inconsistent as a freshman but improved significantly as a sophomore in 2012-13. He is projected to be taken in the middle to late first round.

Recent articles:

AL.com: SEC Player of the Year Kentavious Caldwell-Pope rising in NBA mock drafts

Detroit Free-Press: Pistons might have to decide between Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Shabazz Muhammad

Video: Here’€™s a scouting video of Caldwell-Pope.

Read More: 2013 NBA draft, 2013 NBA Draft's Potential Celtics, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope,

A mom’s NBA draft diary: Hard to handle a disappointing team workout

06.12.13 at 3:28 pm ET
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Hamilton resident Mandy Carter-Zegarowski, the mother of Syracuse point guard Michael Carter-Williams and the girls basketball coach at Ipswich High School, is chronicling the days leading up to the June 28 NBA draft through blog entries for WEEI.com. Carter-Williams, who prepped at Hamilton-Wenham High School and Rhode Island’€™s St. Andrews School before spending two seasons at Syracuse, is projected to be a lottery pick.

Michael left Phoenix and flew to Sacramento this past Friday night. He was in great space and felt really good about his Phoenix workout and interviews with the GM and president. His agent received really positive feedback from Phoenix but reminded us that the positive feedback did not mean Phoenix was going to take him. He told me not to get too high or too low through this process, which we could understand. [Carter-Williams' stepfather] Zach [Zegarowski] and I always tell our kids, don’t ever get too high or too low in basketball. It is a little more difficult not to do this during this process because we feel and have been told a lot will weigh on Michael’s workouts. So after Phoenix, we were looking for houses in Phoenix. Just kidding, but we were happy his first workout went well. Sacramento was a different story.

My family was at a friend’s son’s graduation party on Saturday. I have been friends with Ellen since the fifth grade, so her family is our family. We are very close. We lived with them for a while after our house burnt down. Our kids are best friends. I had actually forgotten Michael was working out because of the time difference, I was not even thinking about when he would be done. I got a text message from him at 4 our time saying: It didn’t go well. My body felt a step behind and I did not defend like I can or shoot as consistently as I have been…..I stayed positive but I did not feel great….

He said he felt dehydrated and had trouble sleeping the night before. I felt sick after reading the text, my stomach dropped. I removed myself from the crowded table I was sitting at and went to an area in the yard where no one was so I could text him back without distraction. I signaled to Zach who was in the middle of a horseshoe game and mouthed, “It did not go well” to him. He continued to play the game, which made the pit in my stomach turn to fire. Is he really not running over here to deal with this, I said to myself!

My fingers were moving furiously as I text Michael he should have been drinking water on the plane the night before and how important preparing yourself physically and mentally is for these workouts. I asked him what the hell he was thinking about and that he must have been distracted. I told him he has to immediately move on from one workout to the next mentally and start thinking about what he needs to do to be ready. The time change, the travel, sleeping in a hotel, he has to adjust quickly and he will need to do that in the NBA. I texted him he has seven workouts in 15 days, he has to be disciplined.

“Mandy, come back and join us,” my friend yelled from what felt like another state as I stood there anxiously wondering how to find out what this means. How bad was the workout? Michael is usually accurate with his self-assessments. I looked over at the table of friends and yelled back, “Michael did not do well in Sacramento,” in a tone that let everyone know not to call my name again. I couldn’t believe it. He just did so well in Phoenix. I glared over at Zach with the threat stare letting him know that either the horseshoe game was going to end or I was going to end it.

I stopped caring about everything else around me and was in my own world. Michael was upset, and I did not have it in me to tell him it was OK. Or that things would work out. I knew Zach could spin it quicker than I could. He has the ability to help Michael learn from things and move on quicker than I do. He doesn’t tell Michael what he wants to hear like a friend would, but he is less intense with his tone and energy than I am, so Michael is more receptive to him. But I don’t care in the moment. It takes me a while to process and regroup. I am working on it, but it’s who I am.

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Read More: Mandy Carter-Zegarowski, Michael Carter-Williams, NBA Draft,

Report: Doc Rivers ‘feels it may be time for a change’

06.12.13 at 11:48 am ET
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Celtics coach Doc Rivers has been quiet this season about his future in Boston, leading to speculation that the popular mentor might be considering other options.

On Wednesday, ESPN’s Chris Broussard quoted a source close to the situation as saying there is some truth to the rumors that Rivers remains unsure whether he’ll return.

“Doc loves coaching,” the source said. “He loves coaching in Boston. But he feels it may be time for a change.”

Rivers, who has spent nine years with the Celtics, has three years and a reported $21 million remaining on his contract. The ESPN story stated that Rivers’ close relationship with president of basketball operations Danny Ainge is making his decision difficult. Ainge previously suggested that Rivers might need some time to regroup after a challenging season, but that he expected him to return to the bench.

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Rajon Rondo: ‘I still am’ hard to coach

06.11.13 at 10:02 am ET
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Long silent since tearing his right ACL in February, Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo has begun popping up across the country as he is wont to do in the summertime. Prior to Game 2 of the NBA finals on Sunday, we saw him along with several other stars reading mean tweets from their Twitter timelines.

Rondo’s line: “Is it me or does Rajon Rondo look like that turtle named Franklin on Nick Jr.?”

Then, Rondo discussed everything from Celtics coach Doc Rivers to Connect Four and algebra with Red Bull Signature Series host Sal Masekela and Sheridan Hoops contributor Brian Kamenetzky on a series of videos promoting the energy drink (h/t NBC Sports). Before we get into Rondo’s dominance of Milton Bradley products and mathematics, let’s deal with the basketball-related discussion centered around Rondo’s coachability.

Rajon Rondo: “I always try to be on the same page as Doc, so I’m always looking at him and reading his mouth, but I pretty much know what he’s going to say. I’ve been playing for him for seven years, and we’ve always pretty much been on the same page, especially now. Each year, we’re growing and communicating better and learning each other more and more.”

Sal Masekela: “A lot of times, you see people who are potentially great players come in the league, and the main problem is coachability. How much of that is on the coach? And how much is it on the player?”

RR: “As a young player, you always think the coach is pretty hard on you, which he should be. If he’s not, that means he doesn’t care. They always say, ‘When I stop talking to you, then you should worry.’

“My first year was pretty rough, but I had great mentors in my life that I could call, and they’d be like, ‘You know what? Just hang in there. You’ve got to listen to your coach.’ So, I was able to make it through that.

“It wasn’t a big deal. We were struggling the first year. We lost 18 in a row that year, so I felt like I could help the team, and you’ve got to look at it a different way. I look at Doc differently now. You don’t look at your coach as trying to hurt you. Obviously, we all want the same thing — to win — so whatever he’s telling me or telling the team, it’s for the betterment of the team, and you have to take yourself out of it and look at it from a team aspect.”

Brian Kamenetzky: “Do you think you were hard to coach earlier in your career?”

RR: “I still am. It’s not that I’m hard to coach; it’s just that I may challenge what you say. I know the game myself. I’m out there playing, so I may have seen something different versus what you saw from the sidelines. I’m going to be respectable. I’m going to let the coach talk. Me and Doc talk all the time; it’s just different dialogue. We’ve built to that relationship, and I’ve been fortunate to play for Doc for seven years. If I have any questions, he’s pretty much got all the answers. And if he doesn’t, he’s always honest with me. I wouldn’t rather play for any other coach.”

There you have it. Rondo isn’t the easiest player to coach, and yet he and Rivers have built a working relationship. All the more reason the Celtics must be weary of Doc’s strange comments about his future in Boston.

Enough about basketball. Let’s get to Rondo’s true passion: Connect Four. In a “Bobby Fischer style” game between Rondo and his two interviewers, we’re treated to this amazing exchange with the four-time NBA All-Star.

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Read More: Boston Celtics, Doc Rivers, NBA, Rajon Rondo
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