|NBA Draft’s Potential Celtics: Duke G Nolan Smith||06.17.11 at 11:38 am 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: 185 pounds
Stats: 20.6 ppg, 5.1 apg, 4.5 rpg
What he brings: Smith’s best attribute is his basketball IQ, that intangible quality so essential for NBA guards which combines court-vision, decision-making and maturity. He’s a solid passer with good body control, which lets him fire off passes from multiple angles and body positions, similar to Rajon Rondo. Smith is great off the pick-and-roll, has good lateral agility and can fake out defenders in isolation. He’s a confident shooter who can slash through the lanes or step back for the jumper. Also of note: His scoring, rebounding and passing numbers all have gone up each season with Duke.
Where the Celtics could get him: First or second round
What they’re saying: “We haven’t had a player who has done what Nolan has done in my 31 years here.” — Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski
Notes: Smith became the first Duke player ever to finish with 1,500 points (1,911) after scoring fewer than 500 in his first two years. He was named Fox Sports, Yahoo! Sports and NBC Sports National Player of the Year. His father, the late Derek Smith, was a solid NBA player before injuries set in, and Derek played briefly for the Celtics at the end of his career.
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