|NBA Draft’s Potential Celtics: Fairfield SF Rakim Sanders||06.23.12 at 12:55 pm 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: Small forward
Weight: 234 pounds
Achievements: 2012 All-MAAC team, 2012 USBWA All-District 1 team
Key 2011-12 stats: 16.6 points, 50.0 FG%, 8.2 rebounds
What he brings: Sanders, who transferred to Fairfield after averaging double-figure points all three of his seasons at Boston College, is an athletic forward who doesn’t have trouble getting to the net. Even though he’s not going to be one of the biggest players on the court, Sanders plays an aggressive style of defense and doesn’t shy away from rebounding or blocking shots.
The Rhode Island native does not excel at 3-point shooting, converting 31.2 percent of his chances in comparison to his 50.0 percent field goal conversion rate. Sanders shot 63.5 from the the line his senior year, leaving room for improvement in that area as well.
Where the Celtics could get him: There’s a chance Sanders could go late in the second round after he averaged 19.3 points and 8.7 rebounds and was named to the all-tournament team at the Portsmouth Invitational in April, but he’s just as likely to be available as an undrafted free agent.
Notes: Sanders was the 2007 Gatorade Rhode Island Player of the Year. As a child growing up in Pawtucket, Sanders got into trouble frequently. He later went to a private school (St. Andrew’s) with the help of family friend Joan Doyle — wife of ex-Pawtucket mayor James Doyle — who paid part of Sanders’ tuition. … While at BC, Sanders was suspended the first two games of his junior season for a violation of team rules.
Video: This highlight package from Sanders’ sophomore year at Boston College shows his NBA-caliber athleticism and shooting ability.