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Greg Stiemsma set to join Timberwolves 07.23.12 at 11:18 am ET
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Greg Stiemsma

Center Greg Stiemsma agreed to a deal with the Timberwolves on Saturday, his agent told the Minneapolis Star Tribune.

Since Stiemsma is a restricted free agent, the Celtics have three days to match Minnesota’s offer. But it is believed the Timberwolves offered more money (reportedly $2.5 million to $3 million per season) than the Celtics have to match (the $1.975 million biannual exception).

Appearing off the bench for Boston last season, Stiemsma averaged 2.9 points and 3.2 rebounds and 13.9 minutes in 55 games.

Stiemsma, 26, was born and raised in neighboring Wisconsin and played at the University of Wisconsin from 2004-08. The Wolves signed Stiemsma to his first NBA contract in April 2010, although he never appeared in a game.

“Minnesota is always where Greg wanted to be,” agent Mike Naiditch told the Star Tribune.

The Celtics apparently have a replacement already, as reports indicate there is a one-year deal in place for veteran center Jason Collins.

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NBA Draft’s Potential Celtics: New Mexico PF Drew Gordon 06.25.12 at 8:17 pm ET
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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.

Drew Gordon averaged a double-double in both of his seasons at New Mexico after transferring from UCLA. (AP)

DREW GORDON

Position: Power forward

School: New Mexico

Age: 21

Height: 6-foot-9

Weight: 240 pounds

Achievements: 2012 All-Mountain West Conference first team, 2012 MWC Tournament MVP, 2011 All-MWC second team, 2011 MWC Newcomer of the Year

Key 2011-12 stats: 13.7 points, 54.2 FG%, 11.1 rebounds

What he brings: Gordon is a large presence on the floor and plays very aggressively on defense. He led the team with 11.1 rebounds — 8.0 defensively — his senior year and added 1.1 steals and 1.0 blocked shots per game. Gordon also is quick and can traverse the floor well despite his size and is aware of where the basketball is, even when he doesn’t have it. Gordon, who can convert mid-range shots, averaged a double-double both of his seasons at New Mexico.

Gordon started his collegiate basketball career at UCLA, where he reportedly didn’t get along with coach Ben Howland. He played six games with the Bruins in 2009-10 before transferring to New Mexico. The San Jose native was included in a Sports Illustrated article this year that targeted behavioral problems within the UCLA team. The article alleged Gordon had gotten into multiple fights, smoked marijuana and drank. Gordon told the San Jose Mercury News the SI article was inaccurate, although he acknowledged that he did make some “ill-advised” choices as a freshman at UCLA.

Where the Celtics could get him: Gordon is expected to be drafted toward the middle of the second round.

Notes: Gordon needed surgery in October 2010 for a torn meniscus in his knee, suffered a concussion in 2009 that caused him to miss the first game of the NCAA tournament and missed playing time his senior year of high school due to an ankle injury.

Recent articles:

San Jose Mercury News: Drew Gordon works to repair reputation for NBA draft

San Francisco Chronicle: Prep phenom Drew Gordon aims to return to spotlight

Video: Here are some highlights of Gordon (32) shooting and defending.

Read More: 2012 NBA Draft, 2012 NBA Draft's Potential Celtics, Drew Gordon,
NBA Draft’s Potential Celtics: Memphis SG/SF Will Barton 06.25.12 at 1:12 pm ET
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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.

Will Barton was named Conference USA Player of the Year as a sophomore and subsequently declared for the draft. (AP)

WILL BARTON

Position: Shooting guard/small forward

School: Memphis

Age: 21

Height: 6-foot-6

Weight: 175 pounds

Achievements: 2012 Conference USA Player of the Year, 2011 All-Conference USA third team, 2011 Conference USA All-Freshman team

Key 2011-12 stats: 18.0 points, 50.9 FG%, 8.0 rebounds

What he brings: Barton has long strides that allow him to traverse the court quickly, and he can power his way past defenders to get to the net. He shot 50.9 percent from the field, but his 3-point shooting can be improved. He converted 34.6 percent of his tries from the arc.

At 6-foot-6 and 175 pounds Barton isn’t small, but he’s not the strongest player on the court. He’s very skinny, which may be a concern for some teams.

Where the Celtics could get him: Barton is expected to be picked late in the first round or early in the second.

Notes: Barton, who is from Baltimore, prepped one season in New Hampshire at Brewster Academy, leading the team to a 35-4 record and the 2010 national prep title. … He is leaving Memphis after two seasons.

Related articles:

San Francisco Chronicle: Draft prospect Will Barton has chip on shoulder

HoopsWorld: Will Barton doesn’t lack confidence

Video: Here’s a lengthy package of highlights of Barton.

Read More: 2012 NBA Draft, 2012 NBA Draft's Potential Celtics, Will Barton,
NBA Draft’s Potential Celtics: Central Connecticut PF Ken Horton 06.24.12 at 4:49 pm ET
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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.

Ken Horton is Central Connecticut's all-time leading scorer with 1,966 points. (AP)

KEN HORTON

Position: Power forward

School: Central Connecticut

Age: 22

Height: 6-foot-7

Weight: 200 pounds

Achievements: 2012 All-NEC first team, 2011 NEC Player of the Year, 2011 All-America honorable mention, 2009 All-NEC second team, 2008 NEC All-Rookie team

Key 2011-12 stats: 19 points, 49.1 FG%, 8.9 rebounds

What he brings: Horton, who holds the Central Connecticut all-time scoring record (1,966 points), can shoot from multiple spots on the court and can rebound as well, but he can work on driving to the net. He is an underrated prospect because he’s from a small conference.

Where the Celtics could get him: Horton will be fortunate to be a late-second-round pick. He’s more likely to go undrafted. He is expected to receive offers from European teams.

Notes: Horton missed the 2009-10 season due to a hip injury that required surgery. … He was arrested last September for a breach of peace after an alleged altercation with his girlfriend.

Recent articles:

Hartford Courant: Central’s Ken Horton hopes bumpy ride ends with trip to NCAA tournament

Hartford Courant: Central Connecticut’s Ken Horton signs with agent, will attend Portsmouth Invitational

Video: Here is a video of Horton breaking the Central Connecticut scoring record.

Read More: 2012 NBA Draft, 2012 NBA Draft's Potential Celtics, Ken Horton,
NBA Draft’s Potential Celtics: Yale PF/C Greg Mangano 06.24.12 at 6:52 am ET
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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.

Greg Mangano led the Ivy League in rebounding and blocked shots the past two seasons. (AP)

GREG MANGANO

Position: Power forward/center

School: Yale

Age: 22

Height: 6-foot-10

Weight: 231 pounds

Achievements: 2012 All-Ivy League first team, 2012 NABC All-District team, 2011 All-Ivy League first team, 2011 NABC All-District team,

Key 2011-12 stats: 18.2 points, 47.4 FG%, 9.6 rebounds

What he brings: Despite being listed as a center by Yale athletics, Mangano’s scoring ability makes him more of a combination player. He isn’t the fastest player on the court but he moves well for someone his size, allowing him to shoot from multiple places on the floor, ranging from under the net to the perimeter.

The majority of Mangano’s rebounds are defensive, as he doesn’t excel at hitting offensive glass. In his senior year he led Yale in scoring, although he had trouble from the free throw line, finishing with a 65.5 percent conversion rate.

Where the Celtics could get him: If he gets drafted, Mangano will go late in the second round.

Notes: The Connecticut native declared for the 2011 draft to see if teams were interested in him but withdrew his name before the deadline. … Last summer he appeared in the 2011 World University Games as a part of Team USA. … Mangano led the Ivy League in rebounding and blocked shots the past two seasons. His 213 career blocks rank first all-time in Yale history.

Recent articles:

New Haven Register: Yale’s Greg Mangano opens some eyes at showcase

Hartford Courant: Yale’s Mangano Returning For Senior Season With Pro Career In Mind

Video: Here are some highlights of Yale’s win over Albany that features Mangano (44) hitting shots from all over the court.

Read More: 2012 NBA Draft, 2012 NBA Draft's Potential Celtics, Greg Mangano,
NBA Draft’s Potential Celtics: Fairfield SF Rakim Sanders 06.23.12 at 12:55 pm ET
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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.

Rakim Sanders, who finished his college career at Fairfield after three seasons at Boston College, is a borderline draft prospect who helped his stock with an impressive showing at the Portsmouth Invitational Tournament in April. (AP)

RAKIM SANDERS

Position: Small forward

School: Fairfield

Age: 22

Height: 6-foot-5

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.

Recent articles:

Connecticut Post: Fairfield’s Sanders thanks his support group for his own success story

Pawtucket Times: Pawtucket’s Sanders putting best foot forward leading up to NBA draft

Video: This highlight package from Sanders’ sophomore year at Boston College shows his NBA-caliber athleticism and shooting ability.

Read More: 2012 NBA Draft, 2012 NBA Draft's Potential Celtics, Rakim Sanders,
NBA Draft’s Potential Celtics: Tennessee Tech SG/SF Kevin Murphy 06.23.12 at 9:51 am ET
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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.

Kevin Murphy had the highest single-game scoring total in Division 1 this past season when he netted 50 against SIU-Edwardsville in January. (AP)

KEVIN MURPHY

Position: Shooting guard/strong forward

School: Tennessee Tech

Age: 22

Height: 6-foot-6

Weight: 194 pounds

Achievements: 2012 All-OVC first team, 2012 All-OVC Tournament team, 2011 All-OVC first team, 2011 All-OVC Tournament team

Key 2011-12 stats: 20.6 points, 44.4 FG%, 5.2 rebounds

What he brings: Murphy proved in his senior year that he’s a scoring threat from all over the court. The Georgia native is fast but not strong, something that might concern NBA scouts. He has plenty of other positives though, like his impressive scoring ability.

He can jump, is good at catch-and-release shots and can get to the rim. In his senior year Murphy led the team in 3-point shooting with a 41.6 percent conversion rate and he converted 72.1 percent of his free throws.

Where the Celtics could get him: Murphy is expected to be drafted late in the second round or go undrafted.

Notes: Murphy tossed up 50 points against SIU-Edwardsville in the best scoring effort by any player in Division 1 basketball this past season.

Recent articles:

NBA: Top-notch scorer Murphy has evolved into all-around player

CBS: Kevin Murphy scores 50, promptly heads to bed

Video: Here are highlights from Murphy’s 50-point night against SIU-Edwardsville in January.

Read More: 2012 NBA Draft, 2012 NBA Draft's Potential Celtics, Kevin Murphy,
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