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NBA Draft’s Potential Celtics: Duke SG Austin Rivers

06.20.12 at 12:50 pm ET

As part of’€™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: Shooting guard

School: Duke

Age: 19

Height: 6-foot-5

Weight: 203 pounds

Achievements: 2012 All-America third team (NABC), 2012 All-ACC first team, 2012 ACC Freshman of the Year

Key 2011-12 stats: 15.5 points, 2.1 assists, 3.4 rebounds, 43.3 FG%, 33.2 minutes

What he brings: Rivers is a good-sized, athletic guard who plays smoothly and is almost always under control. He has a phenomenal first step and can create for himself extremely well. The 19-year-old has a great jumper, has NBA range and can finish around the rim really well. He has shown solid ball-handling skills that help him attack the rim with both creativity and strength. On defense he has quick, active hands that allow him to get steals.

The biggest knock on Rivers is his tendency to overshoot and hog the ball. His last offensive resort is passing, and his shot selection can be poor. He also can get lackadaisical if things don’t go his way and his defensive intensity has been questioned.

Despite some maturity issues, Rivers is a big-time scorer. He will be able to make an immediate impact in the NBA on the offensive end and should only grow with NBA coaching.

Where the Celtics could get him: It seems that the only way Doc Rivers will get the chance to coach his son is if the Celtics swing a big deal to move up. Rivers reportedly has been given a guarantee that he’ll be selected by a late lottery team.

Notes: Rivers helped the USA U-18 team win gold in the FIBA U18 Americas Championship in 2010. … He was named the Naismith Prep Player of the Year and Morgan Wootten Player of the Year at Winter Park High School in suburban Orlando, Fla.

Recent articles: Duke guard Austin Rivers a potential 76ers draft pick

Worcester Telegram & Gazette: Doc Rivers: Austin’s competitive fire a good thing

Video: Here is Rivers’ game-winning shot against North Carolina in February.

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