Green Street
NEED TO KNOW
Don't forget to follow Ben on Twitter.
A WEEI.com Celtics Blog
WEEI.com Blog Network
NBA Draft’s Potential Celtics: Bosnian C Ognjen Kuzmic 06.23.12 at 6:47 am ET
By   |  Comments Off

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.

OGNJEN KUZMIC

Position: Center

Team: Clinicas Rincon (Spain)

Age: 22

Height: 7-foot-1

Weight: 231 pounds

Key 2011-12 stats: 10.4 points per game, 8.6 rebounds per game, 2.1 blocks per game

What he brings: Kumic is surprisingly athletic for a player that’€™s over 7 feet tall, and he uses that athleticism to crash the boards and create opportunities for himself around the basket. He lacks polish and consistency in his offensive game, but can be very productive at times. He has solid footwork with a soft touch and has shown potential with his jump shot.

The most glaring weakness with Kumic is his lack of strength. Despite his large frame, he gets pushed around under the block and is easily backed down by opposing big men. Still, he’€™s an imposing shot-blocker — swatting over two shots per game last year — and has excellent timing and jumping ability. If he can get his shot-blocking ability on par with his ability to defend and be more physical down low, Kuzmic can develop into a solid, role-playing big man at the NBA level.

Where the Celtics could get him: Kuzmic is expected to be a mid-to-late-second-round pick.

Notes: A native Bosnian, Kuzmic began his playing career in his home country before going on to play in the first and second divisions of Finland, where his family lived after the war in Bosnia.

Video: Here are highlights of Kuzmic’s 21-point, 15-rebound, seven-block game against Tarragona last season.

Read More: 2012 NBA Draft's Potential Celtics, NBA Draft 2012, Ognjen Kuzmic,
NBA Draft’s Potential Celtics: Turkish C Dusan Cantekin 06.22.12 at 6:52 am ET
By   |  Comments Off

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.

DUSAN CANTEKIN

Position: Center

Team: Mega Vizura (Serbia)

Age: 22

Height: 7-foot-4

Weight: 255 pounds

Achievements: Member of the Turkish national team

Key 2011-12 stats: 11.4 points, 7.2 rebounds

What he brings: Possessing an incredible size of 7-foot-4, Cantekin is naturally a towering figure and would be the tallest player in the NBA. But despite his large size, he has much to improve on to be a formidable NBA center on both ends of the floor. Offensively, his game is far from polished. He shoots a high percentage around the rim but he doesn’€™t use his size to his advantage, isn’€™t very aggressive and doesn’€™t have great footwork.

Cantekin is very quick for his size, however, and can often beat other big men down the floor in transition. Much of his offense, though, comes via designed lob plays. With no one really close to his size, it’s easy for him to score and his size allows it so that he barely has to jump to score. His jump shooting can improve and he sometimes chooses to take his man off the dribble to get to the basket as well.

Despite his 7-foot-4 frame, Cantekin doesn’€™t block many shots, averaging less than a block per game last year in the Serbian league. Defense is clearly the area Cantekin needs to work on drastically if he wants to be successful in the NBA. He gets pushed around inside and possesses poor defensive fundamentals, which makes him susceptible to foul trouble.

Where the Celtics could get him: Cantekin is projected to be selected in the mid-to-late second round and could fall to the Celtics at 51.

Notes: Cantekin was born as Dusan Gavrilovic and became a member of the Turkish national team by receiving a passport after being ignored by Serbian youth leagues. He signed a Euroleague contract with Anadolu Efes but has been on loan from his home country at Mega Vizura. Cantekin is eligible to be drafted this year as he is a 1990-born draft-eligible international prospect.

Recent articles:

NBADraft.net: Dusan Cantekin playing big in Serbia

Video: Here’s Cantekin finishing a pick-and-roll alley-oop.

Read More: 2012 NBA Draft, 2012 NBA Draft's Potential Celtics, Dusan Catekin,
NBA Draft’s Potential Celtics: Croatian PF/C Leon Radosevic 06.17.12 at 7:50 pm ET
By   |  Comments Off

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.

LEON RADOSEVIC

Position: Power forward/center

Team: Armani Milano (Italy)

Age: 22

Height: 6-foot-10

Weight: 240 pounds

Achievements: Member of the Croatian junior national team

Key 2011-12 stats: 3.9 points, 1.9 rebounds, 59.4 FG%

What he brings: Radosevic is the ideal size for an NBA big man and possesses a good basketball IQ and offensive game that is NBA ready. He can step away from inside the paint with ease for a big man, can run the pick and roll easily also owns an array of moves under the basket.

Defensively, however, Radosevic doesn’€™t have much strength and has trouble against more physical players. He gives up far too much space and lacks the ability to cut off driving, aggressive scorers. He’€™s also not a very prolific rebounder, as he gets banged around under the basket. Radosevic is not very athletic at all and he’€™ll likely need to be more active if he wants to become a quality, role-playing big man at the next level.

Radosevic was originally an early entry candidate for the 2011 NBA draft, but he withdrew after suffering a foot injury during the Adidas Eurocamp.

Where the Celtics could get him: If Radosevic gets drafted, it’€™s expected to be late in the second round.

Notes: Radosevic participated as part of the Croatian national team in FIBA Junior Team competition from 2006-10. In 2006, his team won fourth at the U-16 European Championships. His team won bronze in the 2008 U-18 European Championships and 2009 U-19 World Championships, respectively, and in 2010 finished fourth at the U-20 European Championships.

In 2010-11, Radosevic was a major contributor with Cibona Zagreb in Croatia, averaging 12.3 points and 5.1 rebounds in Adriatic League games and 12.9 points and 6.3 rebounds in nine Euroleague games. After withdrawing from the 2011 NBA draft, he signed with Armani Milano in Italy and saw his stats substantially diminish due to Milano’€™s depth and veteran-filled roster.

Video: Here are some highlights of Radosevic that feature his mid-range jumper.

Read More: 2012 NBA Draft's Potential Celtics, Leon Radosevic, NBA Draft 2012,
NBA Draft’s Potential Celtics: Georgetown F Hollis Thompson 06.17.12 at 10:32 am ET
By   |  13 Comments
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.

HOLLIS THOMPSON

Position: Small forward

School: Georgetown

Age: 21

Height: 6-foot-8

Weight: 205 pounds

Achievements: 2012 All-Big East honorable mention, 2012 Big East leader in 3-point shooting percentage (43), career leader in school 3-point shooting percentage (, Big East Rookie of the Week (2009)

What he brings: Although he played primarily as a power forward for Georgetown in his first two seasons, Thompson was moved during his junior season to the wing, where his skill set makes more sense. Thompson is a natural athlete at 6-8 with a 6-10 wingspan, and at 205 pounds he can run and up and down the court smoothly.

Thompson’s best attribute clearly is 3-point shooting, as he ranked among the best in the NCAA and in Georgetown history. He shot 43 percent from long distance last season and has a smooth and accurate form. He is a little bit one-dimensional offensively, however, and is no more than average creating his own shot off the dribble as he lacks the necessary ball-handling skills to blow by a defender.

Scouts might look to see Thompson build some weight and strength to play more effectively on the defensive end at the next level. But he usually plays defensively on the perimeter and possesses a solid understanding of how to contest shots and stay in front of his man with the correct footwork.

Where the Celtics could get him: Had Thompson returned to Georgetown for his senior season and improved his all-around game, he’d surely be considered first-round material. As is, he’s more likely to end up going in the middle of the second round. He helped his cause with an impressive showing at the NBA draft combine in Chicago earlier this month. If Ray Allen departs Boston via free agency, Thompson’s shooting skills would be valuable for the C’s.

Notes: Thompson previously declared for the NBA draft following his sophomore season, but he ultimately decided to withdraw his name and return to Georgetown for his junior year. It turned out to be a smart decision, as he improved his game and averaged 12.8 points, second-best on the team.

Recent articles:

Washington Post: Georgetown’€™s Hollis Thompson is ‘€˜a big-time scorer’€™ lately

CasualHoya.com: Hollis Thompson and the Fog of Fandom

Video: Here’s a highlight mix of Thompson.
Read More: 2012 NBA Draft, 2012 NBA Draft's Potential Celtics, Hollis Thompson,
NBA Draft’s Potential Celtics: Missouri G Marcus Denmon 06.15.12 at 12:28 pm ET
By   |  Comments Off

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.

MARCUS DENMON

Position: Shooting guard

School: Missouri

Age: 22

Height: 6-foot-3

Weight: 188 pounds

Achievements: 2012 All-America second team (AP, Sporting News, USBWA, NABC), 2012 All-Big 12 first team, 2011 All-Big 12 first team, 2011 NABC All-District, 2011 USBWA All-District, 2010 Big 12 All-Reserve Team (media)

Key 2011-12 stats: 17.7 points, 5.0 rebounds, 40.7 3P%, 89.6 FT%

What he brings: Denmon is not only a high-volume scorer — evident from leading Missouri in scoring last season and the team to a No. 2 seed in the NCAA tournament — but he is extremely efficient in doing so. He made 40.7 percent of his 3-point attempts and was an efficient 89.6 at the free throw line, but also turned the ball over only 9 percent of his possessions, a mark further impressive due to the fact that he was Missouri’€™s No. 1 scoring option and had the ball in his hands most of the time.

There will be questions at the NBA level of his role in offenses. While he displays the ability to score at will from the perimeter, Denmon’€™s limited ball-handling skills and small size will deter him from taking his man off the dribble and creating his own shot. Still, Denmon showed that he has the will to change that and be more of an aggressive, two-dimensional player during his senior season, which should be pleasing to NBA scouts.

Denmon also has a bit of an identity crisis at the NBA level in figuring out what position he will play. He didn’€™t play point guard in college and is considered too small to play shooting guard in the NBA. He has enough quickness and athleticism to keep up with guards at the next level, but it’€™s questionable whether or not he has the size and strength to be able to guard NBA shooting guards.

With speculation of Ray Allen leaving the Celtics in free agency, Boston might be in drastic need of a knockdown 3-point shooter, which is a role that Denmon could fill.

Where the Celtics could get him: Draft experts are split on Denmon. Some predict he’ll go late in the first round, while others see him as a second-rounder or as someone who won’t get drafted at all.

Notes: Denmon participated in the 2012 State Farm College 3-point contest in March and fell in the semifinals of the competition. … Denmon’s uncle, Martinez Denmon, who helped teach Marcus the game, was a third-round draft pick (52nd overall) of the Celtics in 1973 out of Iowa State. He never played in the NBA.

Recent articles:

Big12Sports.com: Missouri Student Athlete Spotlight: Marcus Denmon

The Maneater: Marcus Denmon and his shot brand the program he leaves behind

ESPN: Marcus Denmon, grandma share bond

Video: Here’s a clip of Denmon scoring nine points — including the game-winning 3-pointer — in a span of 70 seconds to spark a comeback win over Kansas on Feb. 12. Denmon finished the game with 29 points and hit 6-of-9 treys.

Read More: 2012 NBA Draft's Potential Celtics, Marcus Denmon, Missouri, NBA Draft 2012
NBA Draft’s Potential Celtics: Buffalo PF Mitchell Watt 06.14.12 at 5:47 pm ET
By   |  6 Comments

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.

MITCHELL WATT

Position: Power forward

School: Buffalo

Age: 22

Height: 6-foot-10

Weight: 225 pounds

Achievements: 2012 Mid-American Conference Player of the Year, 2012 All-MAC first team

Key 2011-12 stats: 16.3 points, 7.5 rebounds, 2.2 blocks

What he brings: Watt is a big-time shot blocker who earned the nickname ‘€œSWatt’€ during his junior season at Buffalo. For his college career, he averaged 1.5 blocks per game and he averaged 2.2 blocks over his final two years. For his big size, Watt is very mobile, is explosive and possesses a range from having an array of low-post moves to a mid-range jumper. In fact, much of Buffalo’€™s offense last year centered around Watt and his back-to-the-basket, low-post game.

While Watt has a skilled offensive game, he could improve his rebounding, which may be a reason he isn’€™t projected to be picked higher than he is. He averaged only 7.5 rebounds per game against a considerably weak MAC and he’€™ll need to improve in that area if he wants to see time as a role-playing NBA big man.

Watt displays potential to mold into a good defensive player as well. While he did block a lot of shots, it wasn’€™t against strong competition. For the most part he’€™s very raw athletically. Watt is extremely active — on both ends of the floor — and has the right size and tools to develop into a good NBA defender under coaching. Watt overall is a work in progress who has the potential to grow at least into an effective big man off the bench.

Where the Celtics could get him: Watt is likely to go late in the second round if he is drafted at all. He helped his cause with an impressive performance at the Portsmouth (Va.) Invitational Tournament in April.

Notes: Before his sophomore season Watt was diagnosed with Guillain-Barre syndrome, a neuromuscular disorder that causes the immune system to attack itself, but he didn’€™t tell anyone until his senior season. The disease was potentially career-threatening as he suffered from double vision and pain in his head and neck and had to learn to walk and run again.

Recent articles:

NBA.com: Watt battles debilitating condition, looks to impress scouts

Video: Here are highlights from Watt’€™s 2011-12 season in which he was named MAC Player of the Year.

Read More: 2012 NBA Draft, 2012 NBA Draft's Potential Celtics, Buffalo, Mitchell Watt
NBA Draft’s Potential Celtics: Northwestern F John Shurna 06.14.12 at 6:16 am ET
By   |  Comments Off

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.

JOHN SHURNA

Position: Small forward/power forward

School: Northwestern

Age: 22

Height: 6-foot-10

Weight: 210 pounds

Achievements: 2012 AP All-America honorable mention, 2012 All-Big Ten first team, 2011 All-Big Ten second team, 2011 Sporting News Most Improved Player, finished first in Northwestern history in career points (2,038), career games played (130) and career blocked shots (136)

Key 2011-12 stats: 20.0 points, 5.4 rebounds, 44.0 3P%, 1.66 blocks, 37.3 minutes

What he brings: Shurna is the prototypical player at the NBA level who can come off screens and hit 3-pointers with regularity. Shurna was asked to be ‘€œthe man’€ at Northwestern and succeeded, leading the team in scoring year in and year out, but will no doubt take a step back at the next level. Because of the thinness of the Northwestern frontcourt, Shurna was forced into a power forward role, but he’€™ll need to bulk up a little if he wants to do that in the NBA. He’€™ll likely be used as a small forward.

In addition to putting on weight, Shurna will need to redefine his ball-handling ability if he wants to become anything more than a 3-point specialist in the NBA. He doesn’€™t possess a quick first step, and although he was able to get by defenders in college, he likely won’€™t have that same success at the next level. While his ball-handling does lack, Shurna does plenty of work off the ball through cutting to the rim and receiving passes for easy looks inside, something NBA scouts will be pleased to see.

Shurna will need to put on some weight to hold his own defensively, especially against bigger and stronger NBA athletes. His quickness is not something that can be easily improved, so he may be a liability on the defensive end, but his shot-blocking ability (first in blocks in school history) can be something to build on.

Where the Celtics could get him: Shurna expected to be picked in the middle of the second round, so he might be available when the Celtics pick at 51.

Notes: Shurna was plugged immediately into a starting role when he entered college as he started all 31 games as a true freshman. He led the team shooting 46.6 percent from the field and was second on the team with 18 blocks. … Further illustrating Shurna’€™s 3-point shooting ability, he won the 2012 College 3-Point shootout in March. He sunk nine of his final 10 shots in the final round to beat Temple guard Juan Hernandez and claim the championship. … Following his junior season, Shurna decided to leave school and enter the NBA draft, but he ultimately changed his mind and returned for his senior year.

Recent articles:

Daily Northwestern: John Shurna has NBA potential

Chicago Tribune: NU’s Shurna scores points on, off court

Video: Here’s a look at some of Shurna’€™s most memorable moments during his career at Northwestern.

Read More: 2012 NBA Draft, 2012 NBA Draft's Potential Celtics, John Shurna, Northwestern
Celtics Box Score
Celtics Schedule
Celtics Headlines
Celtics Headlines
NBA Headlines