NBA Draft’s Potential Celtics: Weber State PG Damian Lillard
|06.16.12 at 6:50 am ET|
As part of WEEI.com’s coverage of the 2012 NBA draft, we are profiling all players considered likely candidates to be drafted June 28. The Celtics own three picks: 21, 22 (from the Thunder in the Kendrick Perkins trade) and 51.
Position: Point guard
School: Weber State
Weight: 185 pounds
Achievements: 2012 All-America third team (AP, NABC), 2012 Big Sky Most Valuable Player, 2010 Big Sky Most Valuable Player, 2009 Big Sky Freshman of the Year
Key 2011-12 stats: 24.5 points, 5.0 rebounds, 4.0 assists, 46.7 FG%, 34.5 minutes
What he brings: Lillard is a phenomenal scorer who attacks the rim consistently and finishes strong He also is a superior shooter from mid-range to deep-3-range and he doesn’t need much room to get off his shot. The 21-year-old likes to push the tempo and creates for his teammates with kickout passes off of his explosive drives. He also is a strong locker room presence.
While his scoring ability is his strength, it is also his crutch. Lillard too often looks for his own shot and isn’t a true point guard because of it. He also has shown a tendency to overshoot when he is in rhythm.
The biggest knock on Lillard is that he didn’t face elite competition playing in the Big Sky. He is considered to be a top-15 pick, but his lack of experience against top-tier teams makes him a risk for any lottery team.
Where the Celtics could get him: The C’s would need to trade up to acquire Lillard, which is unlikely because they are set at point guard with Rajon Rondo.
Notes: Lillard played the first nine games of the 2010-11 season but then suffered a foot injury that forced him out for the rest of the season.
Video: Here are highlights of Lillard’s 2011-12 season.