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NBA Draft’s Potential Celtics: Ohio State SF/PF Deshaun Thomas 06.23.13 at 12:57 pm ET
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As part of WEEI.com’s coverage of the 2013 NBA draft, here is one in a series of profiles of players who could be available to the Celtics when they make their lone selection at No. 16.

Deshaun Thomas (AP)

Deshaun Thomas led the Big Ten in scoring this past season, but there are concerns about how his game will translate to the NBA level. (AP)

DESHAUN THOMAS

Position: Small forward

School: Ohio State

Age: 21

Height: 6-foot-7

Weight: 225 pounds

Achievements: All-Big Ten first team (2013), AP All-America third team (2013), NABC All-America third team (2013), Sporting News All-America second team (2013), Hall of Fame Tip-Off Naismith Bracket MVP (2013)

Key 2012-13 stats: 19.8 points, 6.0 rebounds, 1.3 assists

What he brings: Thomas does not have top-level athleticism, but he still led the Big Ten in scoring during his junior year of 2012-13. He is a combo forward who uses his jump shot to produce offense. Due to his lack of quickness, he is more effective in catch-and-shoot situations than shooting off the dribble.

Defensively, analysts note that he does not have the foot speed to keep up with most NBA small forwards and does not have the size to play against most NBA power forwards, leaving him without much of a role on the defensive end. He is not a strong rebounder, too, averaging only 6.0 rebounds per game last season — 4.2 of which came on the defensive glass.

Notes:  Thomas refused to give the Spurs his cell phone number in an interview at the combine, raising some eyebrows from a prospect who is projected to be drafted late in the second round. “I can’t go around giving it out to everyone,” Thomas told the Akron Beacon Journal. “Now if they want to draft me, I’d be happy to give it to them.”

Recent articles:

News Sentinel: In his words: Deshaun Thomas talks on professional future

Ohio.com: Former Ohio State star Deshaun Thomas refuses to give NBA team his phone number at combine

Video: Here is a video that shows Thomas’s journey as one of the nation’s top high school players to one of the top college players.

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NBA Draft’s Potential Celtics: Kentucky SG Archie Goodwin 06.21.13 at 5:47 am ET
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As part of WEEI.com’s coverage of the 2013 NBA draft, here is one in a series of profiles of players who could be available to the Celtics when they make their lone selection at No. 16.

Archie Goodwin (AP)

Archie Goodwin’s strength is his ability to drive to the basket, but that might not be enough to make up for his shooting deficiencies. (AP)

ARCHIE GOODWIN

Position: Shooting guard

School: Kentucky

Age: 18

Height: 6-foot-5

Weight: 198 pounds

Achievements: SEC All-Freshman Team (2013)

Key 2012-13 stats: 14.1 points, 4.6 rebounds, 2.7 assists

What he brings: With a 6-foot-9 wingspan, Goodwin possesses great defensive potential that has SB Nation comparing him to Tony Allen. He was a very strong perimeter defender in college and can guard both guard positions due to his size and quickness. He averaged 1.1 steals per game last season.

Offensively, Goodwin has an elite first step and good ballhandling skills that helps him get around perimeter defenders. However, he struggles as an outside shooter, and only made 26.6 percent of his shots from 3-point range last season. Goodwin is young and is still growing as a player, but he is not a good shooter right now.

Notes: Goodwin led the SEC in free throw attempts with 212, although he made only 135 (63.7 percent). … He led Sylvan Hills High School to the Arkansas Class 5A state championship in 2012, earning tournament MVP honors in the process. He was named Gatorade Arkansas High School Player of the Year twice and was a member of the McDonald’s All-America team.

Recent articles:

Slam: Good to go: Kentucky-bound Archie Goodwin is ready to live up to the late-arriving hype

The Arkansas Leader: Coach backs Goodwin on NBA

Video: Here is a highlight video of Goodwin in a matchup against Vanderbilt last season.

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NBA Draft’s Potential Celtics: Duke C Mason Plumlee 06.20.13 at 11:29 am ET
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As part of WEEI.com’s coverage of the 2013 NBA draft, here is one in a series of profiles of players who could be available to the Celtics when they make their lone selection at No. 16.

Mason Plumlee (AP)

Mason Plumlee projects to be a solid but not spectacular NBA center, perhaps in a backup role. (AP)

MASON PLUMLEE

Position: Center

School: Duke

Age: 23

Height: 7 feet

Weight: 235 pounds

Achievements: Consensus All-America second team (2013), All-ACC first team (2013), Pete Newell Big Man Award (2013)

Key 2012-13 stats: 17.1 points, 10.0 rebounds, 1.9 assists, 1.4 blocks

What he brings: Plumlee does not project as an NBA star, but he has the size and defensive skill to make an impact off the bench. He is among the best defensive rebounders in the draft, as he averaged 7.2 defensive rebounds per game last season. While he has the size and leaping ability to be strong on the defensive glass, he has to improve his lateral quickness to be a strong defender at the NBA level.

Offensively, his points per game increased every year he was at Duke, going from 10.4 points per 40 minutes his freshman year to 19.7 points per 40 minutes his senior year. He uses his ability to get up and down the court without the ball to be effective offensively, while his post game consists of mainly hook shots.

Notes: He is the brother of Miles Plumlee, who was drafted with the 26th overall pick last year by the Pacers. His younger brother, Marshall Plumlee, is entering his sophomore season at Duke in the fall. … Plumlee was an Academic All-American as a junior and senior.

Recent articles:

Hoops Hype: Mason Plumlee: “I’m tested and I’m ready to help a team right now”

Celtics Life: Celtics work out seven more draft prospects, including Mason Plumlee

Video: Here is a highlight mix of Plumlee’s senior season.

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Adrian Wojnarowski on D&C: Chris Paul pushing Clippers to finish deal with Celtics 06.20.13 at 9:32 am ET
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Adrian Wojnarowski

Adrian Wojnarowski

Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports joined Dennis & Callahan Thursday morning to give an update on the ongoing trade talks between the Celtics and Clippers involving Doc Rivers and Kevin Garnett for DeAndre Jordan and one or two first-round picks.

While the deal appeared to be dead Tuesday, the Clippers started trade discussions again Wednesday at the urging of pending free agent Chris Paul, according to Wojnarowski.

“Yesterday, Chris Paul — really over the last 36 hours or so, Chris Paul really started to pressure the Clippers to get this deal done,” Wojnarowski said. “If they wanted to keep him in L.A. and to keep him off the free agent market July 1, that they had to get this deal done and to throw that extra draft pick that Danny Ainge has wanted, get this done and all but certainly lock him down to stay with the Clippers. That is what started to happen. The Clippers called the Celtics back yesterday afternoon, reported at Yahoo!, and started a dialogue again.

“Late last night after Brian Shaw interviewed with [Clippers owner] Donald Sterling in L.A., the Clippers management met with Sterling. I don’t know if they are going to talk more this morning, but they met with Sterling last night really to give him their recommendation that, ‘Hey, we need to do this. Let’s give them the pick. Let’s make these incredible financial commitments and get this deal done.’ I think there is a very good chance that Doc and Kevin Garnett go to the Clippers for Jordan and the two picks as early as today.”

Wojnarowski said the deal makes perfect sense for Garnett, who has a chance to compete for a championship with the Clippers and does not have to play 37 minutes per night. However, he also said trading Garnett and his no-trade clause to the Clippers makes sense for the Celtics, who can use Jordan and the two first-round picks to help rebuild.

“For the Celtics, I really think this is a win-win,” Wojnarowski said. “They wanted Doc to be their coach. They weren’t trying to run him out. But when he expressed his desire to do this, to get two first-round picks out of this, to get a young player, DeAndre Jordan, who they like but they don’t love him — I think everyone in the league feels his contract, he is overpriced. But I know DeAndre is excited about coming to Boston. He feels like maybe it has run its course with him and the Clippers. Maybe he will develop better in Boston. This is a situation where Boston is ready to do this, too. They are not sending Doc away angrily.”

Without Garnett in Boston, Paul Pierce would be the last remaining member of the Big Three that won the 2008 NBA championship together on the Celtics. However, Wojnarowski said there is a good chance that Pierce ends up in a Clippers uniform by the end of the summer as well.

“The Clippers would be one of the teams after [Pierce],” Wojnarowski said. “For Pierce, if he does become a free agent — there were a lot of questions around the league — if Boston does waive him, remember, somebody can claim him on waivers, pick up his deal when they buy him out and pay him the full freight. So that is possible. Boston could still trade Pierce and get something back for him. The Clippers don’t have just a clear path to getting Pierce if he becomes free, but certainly there is an opportunity there. You know for Paul it makes all the sense in the world. Home in L.A., back with KG and Doc, a chance to win with the Clippers. It makes all the sense if he does get free to end up with the Clippers as part of the crew.”

To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page. For more Celtics news, visit the team page at weei.com/celtics.

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NBA Draft’s Potential Celtics: Greek SF Giannis Adetokunbo 06.16.13 at 11:39 am ET
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As part of WEEI.com’s coverage of the 2013 NBA draft, here is one in a series of profiles of players who could be available to the Celtics when they make their lone selection at No. 16.

Giannis Adetokunbo

Giannis Adetokunbo has a contract with a Spanish team but reportedly has an affordable buyout.

GIANNIS ADETOKUNBO

Position: Guard/forward

2012-13 team: Filathlitikos (Greece)

Age: 18

Height: 6-foot-9

Weight: 196 pounds

Achievements: Greek League All-Star (2013)

Key 2012-13 stats: 9.5 points, 5.0 rebounds, 1.0 blocks

What he brings: Adetokunbo can play any position on the floor and is extremely versatile and an explosive athlete. He is a smooth ballhandler and a smart passer who gets his teammates involved. While he is not a bad outside shooter — he shot 34 percent from 3-point range last season — he is better at getting to the basket and using his length and quickness to score from in close.

Defensively, he shows great potential, but he is not refined yet, according to Draft Express’ scouting report. Due to his lack of experience with top-level competition, he is raw defensively and needs to be more physical. However, he is a good defensive rebounder and uses his length to disrupt offenses.

Notes: Adetokunbo, whose parents fled Nigeria in 1992 for Greece, began playing basketball with his brother Thanasis in 2003. The two were spotted by Spyros Veliniatis, coach of Filathlitikos, who invited them to play for his academy after watching them play a casual game on a local court. He and his brother — who is a 6-foot-7 small forward — helped the academy get promoted six times in 10 seasons all the way up to the second-tier A2 League. The team finished one spot away from being promoted to the top-tier Greek Basket League this past season. … Adetokunbo has signed a four-year contract with Zaragoza of the Spanish league but reportedly has an affordable NBA buyout clause.

Recent articles:

Sheridan Hoops: Greek freak prospect draws Danny Ainge to Greece

HoopsWorld: Giannis Adetokunbo not ready for NBA play?

Video: Here’s a highlight mix of Adetokunbo.

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NBA Draft’s Potential Celtics: Louisville C Gorgui Dieng 06.15.13 at 11:46 am ET
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As part of WEEI.com’s coverage of the 2013 NBA draft, here is one in a series of profiles of players who could be available to the Celtics when they make their lone selection at No. 16.

Gorgui Dieng helped Louisville win the national championship. (AP)

Gorgui Dieng was named Big East Defensive Player of the Year and helped Louisville win a national title. (AP)

GORGUI DIENG

Position: Center

School: Louisville

Age: 23

Height: 6-foot-11

Weight: 230 pounds

Achievements: All-Big East first team (2013), Big East Defensive Player of the Year (2013), Big East All-Tournament Team (2012)

Key 2012-13 stats: 9.8 points, 9.4 rebounds, 2.5 blocks

What he brings: Dieng has the size to be a strong defender at the NBA level. With his 7-foot-4 wingspan, he is a blocking machine who averaged 3.2 blocks per game his sophomore year of 2011-12 at Louisville. As a defender, the main thing he needs to improve on is his strength, while he could improve his defensive discipline as well.

Offensively, Dieng is an excellent passer for a big man, averaging 2.5 assists per 40 minutes last season. He is strong around the rim, converting 66 percent of shots from in close last season. However, he is not a great shooter, hitting just 28 percent of his shots from the post last season.

At 23 years old, Dieng is among the oldest players who are expected to be taken in the 2013 NBA draft. While he is more likely have an immediate impact than some players slated to be taken in the first round, his potential for growth is a bit limited.

Notes: Dieng was named MVP of the 2009 Basketball without Borders event in South Africa before enrolling in Covenant Christian Academy in Georgia. … The Senegal native missed the draft combine due to a sprained ankle.

Recent articles:

NewsOK.com: Louisville’s Gorgui Deng getting more familiar with English language, basketball

Sporting News: Louisville center Gorgui Dieng enjoying basketball, life with Cardinals

Video: Here’s a highlight video of Dieng in the national championship game.

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NBA Draft’s Potential Celtics: Pittsburgh C Steven Adams 06.14.13 at 3:28 pm ET
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As part of WEEI.com’s coverage of the 2013 NBA draft, here is one in a series of profiles of players who could be available to the Celtics when they make their lone selection at No. 16.

Steven Adams (AP)

Steven Adams’ offensive skills are a work a progress, but the 7-foot New Zealander is a presence on defense. (AP)

STEVEN ADAMS

Position: Center

School: Pittsburgh

Age: 19

Height: 7 feet

Weight: 255 pounds

Achievements: Big East All-Rookie team (2013)

Key 2012-13 stats: 7.2 points, 6.3 rebounds, 2.0 blocks

What he brings: Adams is an athletic big man who runs the floor well. While he is not a big offensive threat at this point — he only averaged 12.3 points per 40 minutes — his primary value comes as a rebounder and a defender. Adams averaged 10.8 rebounds and 3.7 blocks per 40 minutes while showing the quickness to guard screens and defend against the pick and roll.

However, Adams struggles at the free throw line (44 percent) and was not used offensively much as a freshman. He does not have a good shooting stroke and struggles when he steps away from the basket. While he may never develop into a star offensively, he has the potential to be a highly effective defensive player.

Notes: A native of New Zealand, Adams shined at the 2012 Adidas Nations camp, drawing attention as a potential top-five pick. He played at Scots College high school in New Zealand before transferring to Fitchburg’s Notre Dame Prep in November of 2011 in order to be eligible to play at Pittsburgh. Due to his lack of American basketball experience, he is still adjusting to playing at a high level of competition.

Recent articles:

SB Nation: Steven Adams impresses Celtics in workout

Pro Basketball Talk: Pitt’s Steven Adams helped his cause

Video: Here’s a look at Adams in action from his lone season at Pittsburgh.

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