Jeff Goodman on D&C: Celtics could go with Noah Vonleh
|04.09.14 at 12:17 pm ET|
ESPN college basketball insider Jeff Goodman joined Dennis & Callahan on Wednesday to talk about the Celtics and who they could draft, Duke star Jabari Parker, and the rumors about John Calipari going to the Laker. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.
With the Celtics out of playoff contention and the season almost over, Celtics observers are looking at the upcoming NBA draft. Goodman sees a variety of players who could fit the Celtics, depending on where they are picking.
“If they go six, I would say a guy like Noah Vonleh,” Goodman said. “Local kid, from the North shore. Played in Indiana this past season. He’s about a [6-foot-9 1/2] 4 man and can kind of be a little bit of a 3. Played 5 this year at Indiana. A great, great high-character kid. He’s only going to get better. I think he’d be in the mix if they pick somewhere around that six range.”
Added Goodman: “They really need to get in the top three, and then if they’re drafting four or five, you’re probably talking about picking from a group of Julius Randle, who we saw really struggle the other night in Kentucky. Dante Exum, that combo guard from Australia who’s really athletic, got size, about 6-5. But a lot of people don’t whether he’s a 1 or a 2. Many people haven’t seen him against high-quality competition.”
Parker and Andrew Wiggins are considered two of the top prospects, with many analysts going back and forth on who is better. Goodman prefers Parker, comparing him to Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony.
“He’s as much of a given in this draft that you can’t miss,” Goodman said. “I know people are going to say, well, you shoot for the stars and Andrew Wiggins could be — I don’t know, who do they say, Tracy McGrady I guess. Jabari Parker could be Carmelo without some of the issues. That’s how good he is offensively. That’s how good he’s going to be. You’re not missing on Jabari Parker. But the bottom end of Jabari Parker, this is the worst-case scenario to me, is he’s a 13[-point] and six[-assist] guy. The top end is he’s Carmelo and he’s averaging 22 [points] and eight [assists].”
Goodman is more lukewarm on Wiggins. While he sees potential in the 19-year-old, he doesn’t see Wiggins as having that killer instinct.
“I was there for that last game against Stanford,” Goodman said. “He had four points. Four points. Biggest game of the year. … Maybe it’ll come to him, maybe the light will go on in the NBA. Maybe the spacing will make it a little bit easier for him. … You don’t develop a killer instinct, you either have it or you don’t, and I don’t think Andrew Wiggins has it.”
Earlier, Goodman touched on the rumors that the Lakers would get Calipari. Goodman sees no chance of it happening, citing Calipari’s ego as the biggest problem.
“I talked to probably 30 or 40 NBA guys prior to the season and did something on if they were to hire a college coach, who would it be,” Goodman said, adding. “John Calipari got very little love from the NBA. … You’re not hiring a guy like that. It didn’t work the last time around. He’s still got a huge ego. The NBA doesn’t want that out of their coaches unless it’s Phil Jackson or somebody who’s already established themselves at that level, at the highest level of winning championships.”