NBA Draft’s Potential Celtics: Kentucky G DeAndre Liggins
|06.16.11 at 7:15 pm ET|
WEEI.com continues to provide daily insight and analysis on the 2011 NBA draft. This is one in a series of profiles of players who might be available for the Celtics to select with one of their two picks (25th and 55th overall).
Weight: 210 pounds
Stats: 8.6 ppg, 4.0 rpg, 2.5 apg
What he brings: As his stats would suggest, Liggins never was much of an offensive force over three years in Lexington. He scored his career high of 19 twice last season in home wins over Indiana and Tennessee but reached double digits in only 15 of his 38 games.
Where he really made a name for himself was as perimeter defender, thanks in part to his 6-foot-11 wingspan. Usually charged with covering the other team’s best guard, Liggins led the Wildcats in steals with 46 (1.2 per game) last season and even earned Lefty Driesell Defensive All-America and Yahoo! Southeastern Conference Defensive Player of the Year honors. Opposing coaches liked what they saw defensively as well, voting him to the SEC All-Defensive squad as well as the East Regional all-tournament team after helping the Wildcats reach the Final Four. But with Avery Bradley, a young guard whose strengths are on the defensive end, already on the roster, don’t be surprised to see the C’s pass on Liggins.
Where the Celtics could get him: Second round
What they’re saying: “[Tony Allen] has transformed the Grizzlies. Everybody is looking at DeAndre Liggins, that he could guard multiple positions. He’s athletic, tough, comes up with balls — all the stuff they want in that position.” — Kentucky coach John Calipari on comparisons of Liggins and former Celtic stopper Allen
Notes: Calipari advised Liggins to stay in college, but the player decided that he and his family would best served by making the jump to the pro ranks after talking to NBA scouts. For what it’s worth, ESPN draft analyst Chad Ford tweeted that Liggins was one of the best-looking prospects at a Nets workout that did not include any big names.