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Celtics Friday workout notes: C’s on their guard as NBA draft draws near

06.13.14 at 9:21 pm ET
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WALTHAM — Friday featured the largest pre-draft workout the Celtics have held so far. Julius Randle and Marcus Smart were the two biggest names, but there were five other guards on the floor with high hopes of hearing their names called early on draft night, too.

Nik Stauskas, Gary Harris, Zach LaVine, Elfrid Payton and Jordan Clarkson all worked out together alongside Smart. Here is some of what they had to say about their workouts.

Zach LaVine (UCLA, freshman)

On the workout:

“It was really good. I feel like I got through everything. I feel like I played really good defense. I feel like I shot the ball well. Just being with the guys, you know, it was a good overall workout.”

On what stood out:

“We did pretty much everything competitive — one-on-one, two-on-two, three-on-three. We also got to show our skill set and athleticism. Then at the end we got to show our heart and will. … I definitely liked this one a lot.”€

Elfrid Payton (Louisiana Lafayette, junior)

Do you have a chip on your shoulder coming from a small school?

“€œOh yeah, definitely. Definitely. I’ve got to prove something every time I’€™m on the court, prove that I belong and that I’€™m one of the best. So that’€™s kind of my mindset coming in.”

What kind of feedback are you getting from teams?

“That I can play at this level, stay at this level, play defense at this level, be a leader at this level. [I] can create plays for others and shoot the ball better than they thought”

Jordan Clarkson (Missouri, junior)

On his workout/any tips from Phil Pressey (who also went to Missouri):

“€œI think I did well. I shot the ball really well, competed in the competitive drills. I think I had an all around good showing. [Pressey said] just push though whatever goes on. He told me about the three-minute run, so just to be ready for that.”

Is there added incentive going against proven lottery guys (like Smart)?

“€œNo, not really, but you know, I play with a chip on my shoulder from the jump. I’ve been highly recruited, so I’€™m coming in here just competing like everybody else.”

Nik Stauskas (Michigan, sophomore)

On what made him come to the gym a day early to do some shooting:

“Well, I worked out for Charlotte on Wednesday and I just flew straight in from Charlotte. I just figured it was a great opportunity to watch the workout before I came in and they let me shoot around afterwards and get some shots up.”

On being a 3-point shooter in a league where 3-point attempts are trending upward:

“Just going through this whole process and talking to teams, I think they all are stressing how important that is now, and how important it is to have a guy that can not only do that, but put the ball on the floor and make decisions and distribute to other people.”

What else do you have to prove outside of shooting?

“€œI’€™m much more than a shooter, I’€™m a complete basketball player. So, just coming into today I’€™m just trying to show my competitiveness and really get after it on the defensive end. Because I think that has been the main question, is, just how good am I going to be defensively? Am I going to be able to check other 2-guards? So just coming in here and really competing and showing that I’€™m trying to get after it.”

Gary Harris (Michigan State, sophomore)

What can you do to stand out in a group of this many guards?

“Just compete. You cant always control the shots you make and what happens on the defensive end, so you go out there and play hard. So you just go out there and compete, that’€™s the main thing.”

What position do teams see you playing/are you getting comfortable at point guard?

“Right now they see me as a 2-guard, but eventually transitioning into a combo guard — just being able to play both guard positions. I’€™m getting more comfortable each day. That’€™s something I’€™m going to continue to work on, it’€™s definitely going to be an adjustment and I’€™ll continue to improve on that.”

Follow Julian Edlow on Twitter @julianedlow.

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