NBA Draft’s Potential Celtics: UCLA G Malcolm Lee
|06.17.11 at 5:14 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: 200 pounds
Stats: 13.1 ppg, 3.1 rpg, 2.0 apg
What he brings: Although his offensive numbers won’t blow anyone away, Lee follows an impressive line of UCLA guards who have thrived in the NBA, including Arron Afflalo, Darren Collison, Jrue Holiday and Russell Westbrook. With his length and build, Lee passes the “eye test” as a combo guard. He used his lateral quickness to become one of the top defenders in the Pac-10. The Moreno Valley, Calif., native could develop into an effective slasher, as he’s shown an ability to finish strong at the rim with both hands. Lee also demonstrated improvement in the balance and rhythm of his jump shot in recent NBA draft workouts, though he still lacks consistency in that department.
On the negative side, scouts have questioned Lee’s decision-making ability, which certainly is suspect with a career 1:1 assist-to-turnover ratio. At UCLA, he often committed the cardinal sin of leaving his feet to make passes, which led to giveaways. Without much of a playmaking mentality, Lee could have to make his living off the ball, but he might not have enough size to match up with the NBA’s premier 2 guards.
Where the Celtics could get him: First or second round
What they’re saying: “He can go into an NBA game right now and guard a 1 or a 2 as well as anyone coming out of college. I can’t say enough great things. I think [Lee] will play in the NBA.” — UCLA coach Ben Howland
Notes: Despite his praise for Lee, Howland told Sporting News that Lee should have stayed for his senior year. According to The Los Angeles Times, Howland thought the potential NBA lockout would affect Lee’s decision to enter the draft, especially because he was not projected to be a top 15 pick.