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NBA draft prospect profile: Spain F Juan Hernangomez 06.07.16 at 9:24 am ET
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As part of WEEI.com’s coverage of the 2016 NBA draft, here is one in a series of profiles of prospective picks. The Celtics have amassed eight picks: 3, 16, 23, 31, 35, 45, 51, 58. The draft will be held June 23 at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center.

JUAN HERNANGOMEZ

Position: Forward

Country: Spain (Estudiantes)

Age: 20 (turns 21 on Sept. 28)

Height: 6-foot-9

Weight: 220 pounds

Wingspan: n/a

Key 2015-16 stats: 9.7 points, 5.7 rebounds, 35.8 3-point field goal percentage

Scouting report: Hernangomez had a solid season in 2015-16 that catapulted his draft stock. Playing in the highly regarded Spanish ACB league, he displayed impressive numbers for a player his age. He sometimes struggled to defend in the ACB, but he was facing older opponents who had physical advantages. He also played a lot of center, while he’s projected as more of a stretch four or perhaps even a small forward in the NBA.

Playing on one of the ACB’s weaker teams, Hernangomez took advantage of his opportunity for playing time, demonstrating an ability to hit the outside shot but also showing excellent mobility. He was especially effective in the pick-and-roll, either popping out for a jumper, driving to the basket or distributing the ball. He averaged 5.6 free throw attempts per 40 minutes, a solid average for a big.

Critics point to Hernangomez’s sometimes questionable decision-making — throwing risky passes and trying to do too much offensively, while gambling too much on defense — and question whether he projects to be anything but a role player in the NBA.

Hernangomez is projected to go late in the first round or early in the second. With the Celtics having picks to spare, he’s exactly the type of gamble worth taking — a promising youngster they can stash in Europe for another year or two while he continues to develop. His contract with Estudiantes is up, so he has the option of heading to North America now (likely starting in the D-League) or staying in Europe and perhaps signing with a stronger team for a year or two.

Notes: Hernangomez’s father, Guillermo Hernangomez Heredero, was a power forward in the ACB in the 1980s, and his brother, Willy, is a 6-foot-10 backup center for Real Madrid who was selected 35th overall last year — by the 76ers, who then traded him to the Knicks — and is expected to head to the States in the next year or two. Hernangomez was named to the all-tournament team at the U-20 European Championships last summer.

Related articles:

SB Nation: Juan Hernangomez will find a role

CBS Sports: Getting to know the top 10 international players

Read More: 2016 NBA draft, 2016 potential celtics, Juan Hernangomez,
NBA draft prospect profile: Maryland PF Robert Carter Jr. 06.05.16 at 8:03 pm ET
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As part of WEEI.com’s coverage of the 2016 NBA draft, here is one in a series of profiles of prospective picks. The Celtics have amassed eight picks: 3, 16, 23, 31, 35, 45, 51, 58. The draft will be held June 23 at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center.

ROBERT CARTER JR.

Position: Power forward

School: Maryland

Age: 22

Height: 6-foot-7

Weight: 250 pounds

Wingspan: 7-foot-3

Key 2015-16 stats: 12.3 points, 6.9 rebounds, 1.3 blocks, 55.4 field goal percentage

Scouting report: A redshirt junior in 2015-16, Carter led the Terps in rebounding and was third in scoring, shooting 62.9 percent on shots inside the arc. He has a reputation as a hard worker and vocal leader. “I’ve never had anybody as consistent as Robert in terms of his effort and his enthusiasm,” Maryland director of basketball performance Kyle Tarp said (via WTOP.com) early this past season when commenting on Carter’s dedication to getting in top shape. “He’s one of the most fun athletes I’ve been around. He’s the strongest guy on the team right now in the traditional sense, but he can do a lot of things that 6-9, 235-pound guys can’t usually do.”

Carter did not help his cause with his performance in the NCAA Tournament, as he averaged just 7.3 points in his team’s three-game run as he struggled to stay out of foul trouble.

During one of the five-on-five scrimmages at the NBA combine Carter was impressive, scoring 22 points on 8-of-15 shooting from a variety of spots — especially standing out in the pick-and-pop — and recording seven rebounds and foul steals while playing strong defense. In two games at the combine he finished with 35 points and 14 rebounds in 45 minutes of action. He went into the combine as someone who was considered a fringe second-rounder but came out with analysts predicting he was sure to get drafted — possibly even sneaking into the late first round if one team finds him appealing enough.

Carter does not have explosive athleticism, but he’s helped by his 7-foot-3 1/4 wingspan. He has drawn comparisons to Jared Sullinger, and, like Sullinger, his weight has fluctuated a bit, which could concern NBA executives. After starting this past season at 235 pounds — dropping 18 pounds and 6 percent body fat in a year — he weighed in at 250 pounds at the combine with a body fat percentage of 12.5, ranking him fourth worst of those tested. However, with the Celtics owning eight picks, this could be the kind of player on whom they might gamble.

Notes: Carter was named All-Big Ten honorable mention in his lone season at Maryland. He also won the conference’s sportsmanship award. A Georgia native, Carter started his college career at Georgia Tech, averaging 10.5 points and 7.4 rebound as a sophomore before transferring to Maryland. He reportedly was not happy that Georgia Tech used him mainly in the post and did not give him a chance to show his range. “I just felt like I needed to put myself in a better position to accomplish the goals that I set for myself, and that’s it,” he explained.

Related articles:

Fansided: Robert Carter impresses at NBA scouting combine

WTOP.com: How Robert Carter Jr. transformed himself into Maryland’s most complete player

Bleacher Report: Breaking down future of Maryland’s Robert Carter Jr.

Read More: 2016 NBA draft, 2016 potential celtics, Robert Carter Jr.,
Report: 76ers discuss sending Nerlens Noel to Hawks for Jeff Teague 06.03.16 at 11:37 am ET
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Nerlens Noel

Nerlens Noel

There has been speculation that the Celtics are interested in 76ers center Nerlens Noel, and they previously were linked to Hawks guard Jeff Teague when he was said to be available at the trade deadline.

Now those two players might end up getting traded for each other.

According to a report from Yahoo Sports’ Shams Charania, the Sixers recently had discussions with the Hawks about sending Noel to Atlanta so Philadelphia could fill its hole at point guard with the veteran Teague.

Noel, known for his defense, averaged 11.1 points, 8.1 rebounds and 1.5 blocks this season. The 6-foot-11 product of Everett was selected sixth overall in 2013 out of Kentucky and sat out his rookie season due to an ACL team. He is about to enter the third and final year of his rookie contract and then will be a restricted free agent.

The Sixers also are said to be willing to move center Jahlil Okafor, who is coming off a promising rookie season, but that would seem unlikely if they trade Noel.

Teague, who turns 28 next week and can be an unrestricted free agent next offseason, averaged 15.7 points, 5.9 assists and 2.7 rebounds in 79 games this season, his seventh with the Hawks. He was an All-Star last season, but 22-year-old Dennis Schroder started taking some of his minutes this year.

Read More: Jeff Teague, Nerlens Noel,
Celtics reportedly have talked to Rockets about Dwight Howard 02.03.16 at 8:59 am ET
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The rumor mill continues to churn out interesting stories regarding the Celtics and their pursuit of a marquee player. The latest has the C’s talking to the Rockets about veteran center Dwight Howard.

Writes Frank Isola of the New York Daily News: Meanwhile, the Celtics have engaged the Houston Rockets in talks about a possible deal for Dwight Howard, the Daily News has learned. Howard can opt out of his contract this summer, and considering his back and knee issues, it doesn’t make much sense for Boston GM Danny Ainge to use the assets on a player with declining skills and a battered body.

The oft-injured Howard, who was suspended by the league for Tuesday’s game after making contact with an official in Saturday’s loss to the Wizards, is averaging 14.4 points and 11.8 rebounds per game this season.

The 30-year-old, who previously played for the Magic and Lakers, is making $22 million. He has a player option for next season.

Howard is an eight-time All-Star and three-time Defensive Player of the Year.

Read More: Dwight Howard,
Report: Celtics ‘quietly aggressive’ on trade front looking to make ‘splashy move’ 01.29.16 at 11:30 am ET
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Danny Ainge

Danny Ainge

Much has been made of the fact that the Celtics are loaded with assets as the Feb. 18 trade deadline approaches. The team has appealing complementary players and multiple draft picks to dangle.

Controversial Kings forward DeMarcus Cousins long has been considered a target for C’s president Danny Ainge, along with Cavaliers forward Kevin Love. However, both teams have made it clear those players are not available.

That doesn’t mean the Celtics are folding. According to ESPN’s Marc Stein, “Boston has been quietly aggressive, with its well-chronicled array of assets, in search of the splashy move we all know Danny Ainge would love to make.” With Cousins and Love apparently out of the picture, “there isn’t a starry trade target for Ainge to chase. At least not yet.”

Read More: Danny Ainge,
Kelly Olynyk injures knee playing for Team Canada 08.24.15 at 12:57 pm ET
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Celtics forward Kelly Olynyk, playing for the Canadian national team in the Tuto Marchand Cup, left Sunday’s game after being hit on the left knee while setting a pick against Argentina.

According to the Toronto Sun, “Canada got a major scare when starter Kelly Olynyk, of the Boston Celtics, went down in a heap clutching his left knee after getting run over by an opponent who had no desire to fight through the screen the Canadian was setting.
Olynyk limped off and went briefly to the back, but returned to the bench quickly, sitting out the rest of the game.”

The team did not provide an immediate update on Olynyk’s condition.

Olynyk had played 15 minutes, recording eight points and three rebounds, in Canada’s 85-80 victory. The tournament is a lead-up to next week’s FIBA Americas Olympic qualifying tournament.

Olynyk averaged 10.3 points, 4.7 rebounds and 1.7 blocks last season, his second in the NBA.

Read More: Kelly Olynyk,
Marcus Smart dislocates 2 fingers in summer league game 07.17.15 at 6:36 am ET
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Marcus Smart dislocated two fingers on his right hand during the Celtics‘ summer league game Thursday night in Las Vegas, the team announced.

Midway through the second quarter, Smart was attempting to track down a rebound when he dove over Trail Blazers forward Noah Vonleh and landed on his hand. Smart immediately left the game for X-rays, which showed no break, and he was diagnosed with dislocations of his index and middle fingers.

Smart tweeted later: Thanks to everyone for the prayers thanks to the staff for all that they did to help just a minor set back for major comeback.

The 21-year-old Smart is preparing for his second season after being selected sixth overall in the 2014 draft. He averaged 7.8 points, 3.3 rebounds, 3.1 assists and 27 minutes in 67 games last season.

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