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NBA Draft’s Potential Celtics: Weber State PG Damian Lillard 06.16.12 at 6:50 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.

Damian Lillard was a two-time Big Sky Player of the Year at Weber State. (AP)

DAMIAN LILLARD

Position: Point guard

School: Weber State

Age: 21

Height: 6-foot-3

Weight: 185 pounds

Achievements: 2012 All-America third team (AP, NABC), 2012 Big Sky Most Valuable Player, 2010 Big Sky Most Valuable Player, 2009 Big Sky Freshman of the Year

Key 2011-12 stats: 24.5 points, 5.0 rebounds, 4.0 assists, 46.7 FG%, 34.5 minutes

What he brings: Lillard is a phenomenal scorer who attacks the rim consistently and finishes strong He also is a superior shooter from mid-range to deep-3-range and he doesn’t need much room to get off his shot. The 21-year-old likes to push the tempo and creates for his teammates with kickout passes off of his explosive drives. He also is a strong locker room presence.

While his scoring ability is his strength, it is also his crutch. Lillard too often looks for his own shot and isn’t a true point guard because of it. He also has shown a tendency to overshoot when he is in rhythm.

The biggest knock on Lillard is that he didn’t face elite competition playing in the Big Sky. He is considered to be a top-15 pick, but his lack of experience against top-tier teams makes him a risk for any lottery team.

Where the Celtics could get him: The C’s would need to trade up to acquire Lillard, which is unlikely because they are set at point guard with Rajon Rondo.

Notes: Lillard played the first nine games of the 2010-11 season but then suffered a foot injury that forced him out for the rest of the season.

Recent articles:

Tough-minded Lillard leaps from mid-major to potential top-10 pick

Weber State boasts the nation’s top scorer in Lillard

Video: Here are highlights of Lillard’s 2011-12 season.

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NBA Draft’s Potential Celtics: Georgetown PF/C Henry Sims 06.15.12 at 3:10 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.

Henry Sims didn't do much his first three seasons at Georgetown, but he had a breakout senior year. (AP)

HENRY SIMS

Position: Power forward/center

School: Georgetown

Age: 22

Height: 6-foot-11

Weight: 250 pounds

Achievements: 2012 All-Big East third team

Key 2011-12 stats: 11.6 points, 6.0 rebounds, 3.5 assists, 46.2 FG%, 27.5 minutes

What he brings: Sims is an athletic big man who uses his lanky frame well. He can run the floor well for his size and has a great pair of hands. Offensively, his game doesn’t stretch past the 15-foot range but his post play is pretty solid.

The biggest problem with Sims is that he didn’t come on until later in his college career. He averaged less than 15 minutes a game until his senior season, where he filled a larger role playing more than 27 minutes a game. The Georgetown product also isn’t the most sound rebounder.

Since Sims didn’t start receiving significant time until his senior year he is still considered a major project. However his height and long frame are always things NBA scouts look for. He could become a solid body off the bench for the Celtics in years to come.

Where the Celtics could get him: Sims should still be available when the Celtics pick in Round 2, or he might be an undrafted free agent.

Notes: Sims had only started one game before his senior year. As a junior, he led the team by shooting 57.8 percent of his field goals.

Recent articles:

Casual Hoya: The education of Henry Sims

Ballin’ is a habit: The maturation of Henry Sims

Washington Times: Henry Sims ready to pen final chapter of an up-and-down Hoyas career

Video: Here are some highlights of Sims from two games this past season.

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NBA Draft’s Potential Celtics: Wisconsin PG Jordan Taylor 06.15.12 at 6:12 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.

Jordan Taylor owns the NCAA career record for assist-to-turnover ratio at 3.01. (AP)

JORDAN TAYLOR

Position: Point guard

School: Wisconsin

Age: 22

Height: 6-foot-2

Weight: 195 pounds

Key 2011-12 stats: 14.8 points, 4.1 assists, 3.8 rebounds, 40.2 FG%, 36.0 minutes

Achievements: 2012 All-Big Ten first team (coaches), 2011 All-America second team (AP, Sporting News), 2011 All-Big Ten first team (coaches, media), 2011 Big Ten All-Defensive team

What he brings: Taylor is strong, physical point guard who has an extremely high basketball IQ. The senior doesn’t make many mistakes and brings his awareness to both sides of the ball. In terms of executing coach Bo Ryan‘s offense, he was excellent and at times he added a solid degree of 3-point shooting. He is a strong defender who uses his physicality, active hands and awareness to make up for his lack of size and quickness.

The biggest issue with Taylor is his undersized body and lack of explosiveness to defend at the NBA level. He rarely gets to the basket and is a non-threat in the isolation game. He was on track to be a serious NBA prospect after his junior year, but a subpar senior season downgraded his prospect status.

Where the Celtics could get him: Taylor is expected to go late in the second round if he’s drafted at all.

Notes: During his junior season Taylor averaged a nation-best 3.83 assist-to-turnover ratio. His career 3.01 assist-to-turnover ratio is an NCAA record.

Recent articles:

Fox Sports North: Next step will be toughest for Taylor

Minneapolis Star Tribune: Former Benilde star Taylor working for a shot at NBA

Video: Here’s a nice package of clips showing Taylor’s offensive skills.

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NBA Draft’s Potential Celtics: Kentucky PF Anthony Davis 06.14.12 at 9:12 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.

After leading Kentucky to a national championship, Anthony Davis is expected to be the No. 1 pick in the draft. (AP)

ANTHONY DAVIS

Position: Power forward

School: Kentucky

Age: 19

Height: 6-foot-10

Weight: 220 pounds

Achievements: 2012 National Player of the Year (AP, Sporting News, Naismith, Wooden), 2012 Final Four Most Outstanding Player, 2012 Defensive Player of the Year (NABC)

Key 2011-12 stats: 14.2 points, 10.4 rebounds, 4.7 blocks, 62.3 FG%, 32.0 minutes

What he brings: Davis is widely considered to be the premier prospect in this year’s draft. The 19-year-old is freakishly athletic with a long frame and the ability to run the floor like a guard. On offense Davis is extremely efficient, shooting 65 percent this past season. His length and athleticism allow him to be an alley-oop threat as almost every pass is in reach. He has also shown some guard-like ability on offense by averaging less than one turnover a game.

On defense, Davis brings a wide array of skills. His best skill is his shot-blocking, but he also is great at recovering, can guard on the perimeter, has a high defensive basketball IQ and gives full effort at all times. Despite his attacking-style defense, Davis keeps his foul count low. Scouts see his defense as the most ready aspect of his game.

The only knock on Davis’ game is that he appears weak at times, but he hides his lack of strength with his great athleticism.

Where the Celtics could get him: They have virtually no chance. It would be a major surprise if Davis is not the first overall pick.

Notes: Davis won a national championship with Kentucky this year as a freshman, tying an NCAA record for the title game with six blocked shots. … Davis set the Kentucky and SEC single-season record for blocks (186). … He was almost the consensus National Player of the Year, but the National Association of Basketball Coaches chose Michigan State’s Draymond Green.

Recent articles:

USA Today: How does Anthony Davis fit on each NBA lottery team?

Los Angeles Times: Anthony Davis can’t wait to shut down Kobe Bryant

College Basketball Talk: Anthony Davis headed back to where he helped UK win a title

Video: Here’s a highlight video of Davis’ 2011-12 season.

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NBA Draft’s Potential Celtics: Kentucky SF Michael Kidd-Gilchrist 06.13.12 at 9:18 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.

Michael Kidd-Gilchrist won a national championship in his lone season at Kentucky. (AP)

MICHAEL KIDD-GILCHRIST

Position: Small forward

School: Kentucky

Age: 18

Height: 6-foot-7

Weight: 228 pounds

Achievements: 2012 All-America second team, 2012 All-SEC first team

Key 2011-12 stats: 11.9 points, 7.4 rebounds, 1.9 assists, 49.1 FG%, 31.1 minutes

What he brings: Kidd-Gilchrist is a strong, athletic forward who uses his speed and leaping ability to finish at the rim with authority. Though he isn’t an elite jump shooter, he has a solid ability to beat his defender off the dribble and get to the rim. He also is a great off-the-ball offensive player. Kidd-Gilchrist has potential to be a lockdown defender at both the forward positions thanks to his length, supreme athleticism and relentless motor.

The 18-year-old one-and-done Wildcat is an all-around player, but he doesn’t necessarily excel in any particular department. His skill set is wide but not deep. Kidd-Gilchrist also is undersized for the NBA game and it may be difficult for him to be as effective in his attack-the-rim offensive style. He will need to improve his jump shot if he wants to be an effective scorer at the next level.

Despite not having a particularly elite skill, Kidd-Gilchrist brings an intense work ethic and style of play that could help any team in the NBA. He isn’t a project since he possess a solid two-way game, but NBA coaches could definitely help improve some aspects of his game.

Where the Celtics could get him: Kidd-Gilchrist is a certain top-five pick and could go as high as second. The Celtics would need to make a huge trade to move up that far.

Notes: Kidd-Gilchrist helped Kentucky win the national championship this year. In high school he was a 2011 McDonald’s All-American and a finalist for the Naismith Award for the nation’s best high school player.

Recent articles:

San Francisco Chronicle: Michael Kidd-Gilchrist loves getting lost in a gym

The Washington Post: Kentucky’s Michael Kidd-Gilchrist ‘not worried about my age’

Video: Here are highlights of Kidd-Gilchrist’s lone season at Kentucky.

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NBA Draft’s Potential Celtics: LSU C Justin Hamilton 06.13.12 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.

Justin Hamilton honed his skills for one season at LSU after transferring from Iowa State. (AP)

JUSTIN HAMILTON

Position: Center

School: LSU

Age: 22

Height: 6-foot-11

Weight: 260 pounds

Achievements: 2012 All-SEC second team, 2012 first-team All-District (USBWA)

Key 2011-12 stats: 12.9 points, 7.2 rebounds, 1.3 blocks, 49.4 FG%, 30.0 minutes

What he brings: Hamilton is a legitimate big man with size and ability to run the floor. His most deadly post move is a right hook. As a jump shooter, Hamilton can hit the 18-footer with regularity and is a 78 percent free throw shooter. Defensively, his awareness is apparent and his lateral movement is fairly strong.

Even though he has appropriate size for an NBA big man, he could put on more muscle. Because of his lack of weight he can get pushed around in the paint by a stronger offensive presence. He also hasn’t shown a knack for grabbing rebounds and his toughness is questioned at times. While he possesses that strong right hook move, the rest of his post offense is relatively unimpressive.

Hamilton won’t be an instant-impact player in the NBA, but if he can add strength he can be a serviceable player. If he can improve on his shooting he could provide a bit of an offensive spark off the bench, but he won’t be much more than a role player for a team such as the Celtics.

Where the Celtics could get him: Hamilton is likely to go in the second round or possibly be available as an undrafted free agent.

Notes: Hamilton transferred from Iowa State after his sophomore season and had to sit out a year. He only played one year at LSU. … His father, Larry Hamilton, started at defensive tackle on the 1984 national championship BYU football team and also wrestled. His mother, the former Tami Senkovich, was a two-time all-conference volleyball player at BYU.

Recent Articles:

NBC Sports: Justin Hamilton to leave LSU when he graduates

Video: Here’s a closer look at Hamilton from LSU’s student TV station.

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NBA Draft’s Potential Celtics: St. John’s SF Moe Harkless 06.13.12 at 6:13 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.

Moe Harkless leaves St. John's after one season in which he was named Big East Rookie of the Year. (AP)

MOE HARKLESS

Position: Small forward

School: St. John’s

Age: 19

Height: 6-foot-8

Weight: 208 pounds

Achievements: 2012 Big East Rookie of the Year

Key 2011-12 stats: 15.5 points, 8.6 rebounds, 1.5 assists, 1.4 blocks, 1.6 steals, 45.2 FG%, 36.1 minutes

What he brings: Harkless is a long, athletic forward who runs the floor well. He has a great first step and, thanks to his solid ball-handling, footwork and agility, he attacks the rim well. The 19-year-old also has a solid mid-range jumper, and while he isn’t a terrific 3-point shooter, he has quality shooting mechanics that may allow him to be a solid 3-point shooter with some coaching. He reads the passing lanes well on defense and forces a lot of deflections and blocks.

While Harkless can get to the rim, he really can’t create his own shot, and his pull-up isn’t great. He also needs to add muscle in order to be a more effective forward. The St. John’s product is also stuck between the 3 and 4 positions, because he’s not a good enough shooter for the small forward position and not strong enough for power forward.

Harkless still has major potential and could be a great NBA player if he develops properly.

Where the Celtics could get him: Harkless is projected as a mid-to-late first-round pick. ESPN’s Chad Ford predicts Harkless to the Celtics with the 21st pick in his mock draft 6.0.

Notes: Harkless won the Daily News Queens High School Player of the Year award as a junior. He transferred to the South Kent school in Connecticut for his senior year.

Recent articles:

ESPN: Moe Harkless leaving St. John’s early for NBA draft

Video: Here’s a highlight mix of Harkless.

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