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NBA Draft’s Potential Celtics: Duke G Nolan Smith 06.17.11 at 11:38 am ET
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WEEI.com continues to provide daily insight and analysis on the 2011 NBA draft. This is one in a series of profiles of players who might be available for the Celtics to select with one of their two picks (25th and 55th overall).

Nolan Smith

Position: Guard

School: Duke

Height: 6-foot-2

Weight: 185 pounds

Stats: 20.6 ppg, 5.1 apg, 4.5 rpg

What he brings: Smith’€™s best attribute is his basketball IQ, that intangible quality so essential for NBA guards which combines court-vision, decision-making and maturity. He’€™s a solid passer with good body control, which lets him fire off passes from multiple angles and body positions, similar to Rajon Rondo. Smith is great off the pick-and-roll, has good lateral agility and can fake out defenders in isolation. He’€™s a confident shooter who can slash through the lanes or step back for the jumper. Also of note: His scoring, rebounding and passing numbers all have gone up each season with Duke.

Where the Celtics could get him: First or second round

What they’€™re saying: ‘€œWe haven’t had a player who has done what Nolan has done in my 31 years here.’€ ‘€” Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski

Notes: Smith became the first Duke player ever to finish with 1,500 points (1,911) after scoring fewer than 500 in his first two years. He was named Fox Sports, Yahoo! Sports and NBC Sports National Player of the Year. His father, the late Derek Smith, was a solid NBA player before injuries set in, and Derek played briefly for the Celtics at the end of his career.

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NBA Draft’s Potential Celtics: Notre Dame G Ben Hansbrough 06.13.11 at 11:04 am ET
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WEEI.com continues to provide daily insight and analysis on the 2011 NBA draft. This is one in a series of profiles of players who might be available for the Celtics to select with one of their two picks (25th and 55th overall).

Ben Hansbrough

Position: Guard

School: Notre Dame

Height: 6-foot-3

Weight: 203 pounds

Stats: 18.4 ppg, 4.3 apg, 3.9 rpg

What he brings: The Celtics lacked a true scoring threat off their bench this year, with both Delonte West and Glen Davis (and Nate Robinson, before the trade) flashing brilliance but never achieving consistency. Hansbrough has the potential to give the Celtics that threat. He’€™s a quick guard who can spin and slash his way through the lane, and he also can catch and shoot the jumper. He’€™s unafraid to shoot 3-pointers, which makes him very hard to guard on offense. His defense is nothing special, but he works incredibly hard, something that will help him get along with players like Ray Allen, who he would most likely back up. He’€™s a confident shooter who’€™s been forged in the crucible of Big East basketball.

Where the Celtics could get him: Second round

What they’€™re saying: “He’s obviously a good shooter, scorer and passer, but it’s his will to win that sets him apart. Some guys have great stats and put up a lot of points; Ben has great stats, but his impact goes far beyond that. He’s a flat-out winner. When you’re being led by someone who has a will like that, it’s very contagious.’€ ‘€” Notre Dame teammate Joey Brooks

Notes: Hansbrough’s brother Tyler was a three-time All-American at North Carolina and now is with the Pacers. His mother, Tami Wheat, was named Miss Missouri 1978. His uncle Sean Fister won the world long drive championship in golf three times.

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