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NBA draft prospect profile: Michigan State PG Travis Trice 06.17.15 at 7:24 am ET
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As part of WEEI.com’s coverage of the 2015 NBA draft, here is one in a series of profiles of prospective picks. The Celtics own two picks in each of the two rounds (16, 28, 33 and 45 overall).

TRAVIS TRICE

Position: Point guard

School: Michigan State

Age: 22

Height: 6-foot-0

Weight: 170 pounds

Wingspan: N/A

Key 2014-15 stats: 15.3 points, 5.1 assists, 1.8 turnovers, 36.9 3-point percentage

Scouting report: Trice is one of the best pure scorers in the draft, however, his stock is somewhat limited due to his size. A potential second-round pick, Trice excels through ball-handling and quickness, both of which he uses to create plays in the lane for himself and teammates. One of Trice’s greatest attributes is his basketball IQ, which helped him lead the Big Ten in assist-to-turnover ratio at 3.03. Though he fell below 40 percent from beyond the arc this year, he’s been one of the most consistent shooters in the NCAA throughout his career.

Although he is a good on-ball defender, Trice’s defensive viability is hurt by his size, according to scouts. Pundits say at 6 feet and 170 pounds he is simply not strong enough or tall enough to defend larger point guards in the lane. His size is expected to limit his offensive arsenal as well, making him more likely to settle for outside shots rather than driving the lane. Trice was limited by injuries and illness his first three seasons before breaking out with a stellar senior season.

According to Michigan State coach Tom Izzo, size is no reason to worry about Trice, who has a similar success story to fellow undersized guards Stephen Curry and John Lucas “Is there a place for a guy that works his tail off, that understands the game, that has improved dramatically?” Izzo asked the State News. “I look at some of the things [MSU athletic communications director Matt Larson] gave me, and to think [Trice] had more points this year than the other three years combined, it’€™s amazing.”

Notes: Trice helped lead Michigan State to the Final Four as a seventh seed in the NCAA Tournament. He earned East Regional Most Outstanding Player honors for averaging 19.8 points and 4.0 assists in four games while shooting 40.6 percent from 3-point range. Said Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski before the Final Four: “I think he’s been the best player in the tournament, of any team. I don’t think there’s a kid playing any better than that kid.”

After the regular season, Trice was voted third-team All-Big Ten and named Michigan State‘s team MVP.

Related articles:

Detroit Free Press: MSU’s Trice, Dawson proving their worth at NBA workouts

Michigan Live: Former Michigan State guard Travis Trice keeping busy with team workouts leading up to NBA draft

The Washington Post: Final Four-bound Travis Trice once wondered ‘€˜Am I dying?’€™

Read More: 2015 NBA draft, 2015 Potential Celtics, Travis Trice,
NBA draft prospect profile: Louisville PG Terry Rozier 06.16.15 at 6:21 pm ET
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As part of WEEI.com’s coverage of the 2015 NBA draft, here is one in a series of profiles of prospective picks. The Celtics own two picks in each of the two rounds (16, 28, 33 and 45 overall).

TERRY ROZIER

Position: Point guard

School: Louisville

Age: 21

Height: 6-foot-2

Weight: 190 pounds

Wingspan: 6-foot-8.25

Key 2014-15 stats: 17.1 points, 3.0 assists, 5.6 rebounds

Scouting report: Rozier is a very solid athlete and versatile point guard. He can finish at the rim and generate points offensively, both for himself and teammates. He can create for himself off the dribble and shoot off the catch. He is a very solid free throw shooter, making 79 percent of his attempts from the stripe. An explosive and quick athlete, Rozier stuffed the stat sheet in this his sophomore season at Louisville. He is a great rebounder for his size, corralling 5.6 per game.

“I think you see what a special player Terry Rozier is because when the play breaks down and things don’t go well, he, like [Dwyane] Wade his idol, he can get his shot off any which way and almost every 15- to 17-foot shot he takes, you think it’s going in,” Louisville head coach Rick Pitino said of his two-year combo guard.

His freshman year, Rozier shot well from deep and didn’t turn the ball over, but he got worse as a sophomore. His 3-point shooting fell from 37.1 percent in 2013-14 to 30.6 percent this past season, while his turnovers jumped from 0.6 per game to 2.2 per game. He needs to rein in the turnovers to succeed at the next level. His shooting efficiency also leaves a little to be desired, as he shot 41.1 percent from the field last season. Because of the evolution of basketball towards 3-point shooting, Rozier will need to be better from distance to find a consistent role. In many mock drafts, Rozier is projected to be a late first-round pick, but could also fall to the second.

Notes: Rozier led the 2014-15 Cardinals in scoring, assists and steals and was second on the team in rebounding. He was named second-team all-conference by the coaches and media as the Cardinals played their first season in the ACC. For his freshman season Rozier was named to the AAC All-Rookie team.

Related articles:

SB Nation: Terry Rozier may be a second-round pick, and that may not be bad

Sports Illustrated: Terry Rozier hopes to carry Louisville, and his family, to new heights

Read More: 2015 NBA draft, 2015 Potential Celtics, Terry Rozier,
NBA draft prospect profile: Spain PF/C Guillermo Hernangomez 06.16.15 at 2:34 pm ET
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As part of WEEI.com’€™s coverage of the 2015 NBA draft, here is one in a series of profiles of prospective picks. The Celtics own two picks in each of the two rounds (16, 28, 33 and 45 overall).

GUILLERMO HERNANGOMEZ

Position: Power forward/center

Country: Spain

Age: 21

Height: 6-foot-11

Weight: 255 pounds

Wingspan: 7-foot-2

Key 2014-15 stats: 20.6 minutes, 10.7 points, 6.0 rebounds

Scouting report: Projected to go as high as the late first round, Hernangomez brings an old-school approach to the block. He has a refined post game, highlighted by his ability to create space with his body. He also is capable of stepping out to hit the mid-range jumper. Mentally, Hernangomez is one of the strongest prospects in the draft, with an extremely high basketball IQ.

“Very skilled,” one Western Conference front office man told NBA.com’s David Aldridge. “Good around the basket. Kind of an under-the-basket guy, but very skilled.”

The biggest knock on Hernangomez is his low ceiling. Many scouts question his athleticism and whether his high basketball IQ can save him on the defensive end. Without leaping ability or lateral quickness, Hernangomez is questionable with regard to rim protection and pick-and-roll defense.

Notes: Hernangomez likely will return to his principal team, Real Madrid, for a few years following the draft in order to work on aspects of his game. He was named MVP of the Eurocup and made the all-tournament team at the 2014 FIBA Europe U-20 championship representing Spain. He played for Baloncesto Sevilla (on loan from Real Madrid), the same team as top-five projected pick Kristaps Porzingis. Hernangomez has drawn comparisons to Marc Gasol for the way he maneuvers and navigates the post on offense. Against Barcelona on Dec. 7, he dropped 29 points on 11-of-16 shooting along with 13 boards and two steals.

Related articles:

FIBA.com: Hernangomez developing in Spain’s next great big man

Prospects for the NBA draft: Scouting Kristaps Porzingis and Guillermo Hernangomez in the 2014-15 season

Read More: 2015 NBA draft, 2015 Potential Celtics, Guillermo Hernangomez,
NBA draft prospect profile: Iowa F Aaron White 06.16.15 at 11:40 am ET
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As part of WEEI.com’s coverage of the 2015 NBA draft, here is one in a series of profiles of prospective picks. The Celtics own two picks in each of the two rounds (16, 28, 33 and 45 overall).

AARON WHITE

Position: Power forward

School: Iowa

Age: 22 (turns 23 on Sept. 10)

Height: 6-foot-9

Weight: 220 pounds

Wingspan: 6-foot-11.5

Key 2014-15 stats: 16.4 points, 7.3 rebounds, 1.3 steals, 55.8 field goal percentage

Scouting report: White was not highly recruited coming out of high school in Ohio — at least not by the big-time Division 1 programs. However, he proved to be a perfect fit at Iowa, where he led the team in rebounding all four seasons and became the only player in school history to record 1,800 points and 900 rebounds. Last season he earned All-Big Ten first-team honors after being the only Division 1 player to average at least 16 points and seven rebounds while shooting better than 50 percent from the field and 80 percent from the free throw line. He led the Hawkeyes in points, rebounds and steals, and in Iowa’s NCAA Tournament opener he dominated in an 83-52 victory over Davidson, hitting 11-of-14 shots en route to a game-high 26 points.

White, projected to go in the middle of the second round, acknowledges he doesn’t look like a typical NBA prospect, and he might struggle to defend at the next level, but he is lauded for his work ethic, offensive efficiency and ability to contribute everywhere on the court. “I don’t fit the mold,” White told NBA.com. “I don’t look as athletic as I probably play.”

Said Iowa coach Fran McCaffery: “His numbers are astronomical. We didn’t run many plays for him. He just scores. He steals the ball and gets a run-out breakaway. He’s a great motion player on back cuts and curl cuts. He can rip and one-dribble dunk from the 3-point line. We did post him up periodically, but a lot of what he accomplished, he did with his skill set.”

Notes: White set Iowa career records for games played (140), free throws made (618) and free throw attempts (800), and ranks second in points (1,859), third in rebounds (901) and 14th in double-doubles (16). He compares himself to Chandler Parsons and Andrei Kirilenko: “Guys that are my size, obviously versatile guys,” White told the Des Moines Register. “They know the game well and know how to help their team win.” White and his longtime girlfriend, former Iowa volleyball player Grace Burns, are expecting their first child in August.

Related articles:

NBA.com: More than numbers when it comes to hard-working White

Des Moines Register: Notable NBA names fit Aaron White’s pro blueprint

Des Moines Register: Aaron White on becoming a father: ‘Great time in my life’

Read More: 2015 NBA draft, 2015 Potential Celtics, Aaron White,
NBA draft prospect profile: Syracuse PF/C Rakeem Christmas 06.16.15 at 8:36 am ET
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As part of WEEI.com’s coverage of the 2015 NBA draft, here is one in a series of profiles of prospective picks. The Celtics own two picks in each of the two rounds (16, 28, 33 and 45 overall).

RAKEEM CHRISTMAS

Position: Power forward/center

School: Syracuse

Age: 23

Height: 6-foot-10

Weight: 243 pounds

Wingspan: 7-foot-5

Key 2014-15 stats: 17.5 points, 9.1 rebounds, 55.2 field goal percentage

Scouting report: A projected early second-rounder who helped his stock with a solid performance at the NBA combine, Christmas possesses a rare combination of size, strength and athleticism. He’s long, with a 7-foot-3 wingspan, and can run the floor in transition, both offensively and defensively. His length helps him at both ends of the floor, especially on the glass. His size helps him work the low post, and he has great touch around the basket. He uses his size to his advantage when defending the low post, affecting shots and protecting the rim.

“I think he’s really helped himself,” Steven Pina, Christmas’ representative with ASM Sports, told Syracuse.com after Christmas shined during the combine scrimmages. “I think that’s apparent in the number of teams that want him to come in and where they’re picking in the draft.”

The biggest knock on Christmas is his size. While he uses it to his advantage in the post, it will not translate to the NBA if he intends to keep his traditional position as center, according to many pundits. Another facet of his game which needs improvement is his passing. Experts believe he tends to panic when passing out of the post, leading to bad turnovers.

Notes: Christmas earned first-team All-ACC honors in 2014-15, along with All-ACC Defensive Team merits as well. He also was named a third-team All-American. After raising his scoring average from 5.8 to 17.5 from his junior year to his senior year, he was chosen as the conference’s Most Improved Player. Christmas grew up in St. Croix, Virgin Islands, but attended high school in Philadelphia. He got his degree at Syracuse (a B.S. in communications and rhetorical studies) in three years, playing last season as a grad student.

Related articles:

Bleacher Report: Syracuse forward Rakeem Christmas shows why college development is crucial

SB Nation: Rakeem Christmas may have what the Celtics are looking for

Inquisitr: Rakeem Christmas sees draft stock rising after impressive performance at NBA combine

Read More: 2015 NBA draft, 2015 Potential Celtics, Rakeem Christmas,
NBA draft prospect profile: D’Angelo Russell 06.15.15 at 6:32 pm ET
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As part of WEEI.com’s coverage of the 2015 NBA draft, here is one in a series of profiles of prospective picks. The Celtics own two picks in each of the two rounds (16, 28, 33 and 45 overall).

D’ANGELO RUSSELL

Position: Point guard

School: Ohio State

Age: 19

Height: 6-foot-5

Weight: 195 pounds

Wingspan: 6-foot-9.75

Key 2014-2015 stats: 19.3 points, 5.7 rebounds, 5.0 assists, 44.9 field goal percentage, 41.1 3-point percentage

Scouting report: Russell is advertised as a smart, cerebral point guard who can read the floor and make the tough passes to give teammates open looks. He most often gets compared to Brandon Roy, another savvy combo guard who could get to rim and make plays for teammates. Though he doesn’t showcase elite athleticism, Russell has the size and developing strength to potentially dominate the point guard position on offense and defense. His length is especially valuable on defense, as it allows him to blow up passing lanes and contest shots. His 3-point shooting has been a surprise, and with a field goal percentage of just under 45, he has proven himself a more than capable shooter. His ball-handling ability helps him navigate the pick and roll and either drive and dish or take the mid-range jumper. Russell’s decision-making is much more developed than one would expect out of a freshman, a trait that has helped him develop into a top-five projected pick.

According to former coach Thad Matta, Russell is everything a team can hope for in terms of character. “From the first time I began recruiting him, meeting him, then getting him to campus, he’s a very mature young man,” Matta said. “I think from the standpoint of how he views things, you know, the success that he’s had this year, he didn’t see it coming. We thought for sure kind of a two-year type guy. But I think that’s why he’s been so successful, because he doesn’t let that get in his head. He’s been a very committed teammate. He’s been very committed to Ohio State. He’€™s a pleasure to coach.”

Notes: Russell was a consensus first-team All-American and first-team All-Big Ten selection, and he also took home Big Ten Freshman of the Year honors. Russell set an Ohio State freshman record by scoring 675 points, and his 19.3 ppg led all Division 1 freshmen.

Related articles:

NBA.com: Regardless of position, Ohio State’s Russell could go No. 1

NBA.com: Guard Russell is a realistic option for Lakers at No. 2

Grantland: Who’s that guy? Ohio State’s D’Angelo Russell!

Read More: 2015 NBA draft, 2015 Potential Celtics, D'Angelo Russell,
NBA draft prospect profile: Utah PG Delon Wright 06.15.15 at 2:11 pm ET
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As part of WEEI.com’s coverage of the 2015 NBA draft, here is one in a series of profiles of prospective picks. The Celtics own two picks in each of the two rounds (16, 28, 33 and 45 overall).

DELON WRIGHT

Position: Point guard

School: Utah

Age: 23

Height: 6-foot-5

Weight: 180 pounds

Wingspan: 6-foot-8

Key 2014-15 stats: 14.5 points, 4.9 rebounds, 5.0 assists, 2.1 steals, 50.9 field goal percentage

Scouting report: Wright is a technically gifted point guard with the ability to affect the game significantly on both ends of the floor. He has the size and length to dominate smaller point guards on defense and attack them on offense. He has a well-developed instinct for the tempo and feel of the game, making smart decisions on the fast break and creating open shots for himself and teammates when the game slows down. He is efficient in all facets of the game, especially passing and rebounding, generating a 29.7 PER during his senior season.

A potential first-rounder, Wright will have to bulk up and work on his lateral agility according to some scouts. His 3-point shot also needs attention, as he nailed just .356 percent of his treys last season.

Utah coach Larry Krystkowiak lauds Wright’s all-around approach to the game that led the Utes to the Sweet 16 in 2015. “I said when he was coming to us that he was an absolute stat sheet stuffer,” Krystkowiak told NBA.com, “but I think that’€™s pretty impressive when you look at Andrew Bogut and Andre Miller that played here more than two years, to put up those kind of numbers [1,000 points, 350 rebounds, 350 assists, 150 steals, 70 blocks].”

Notes: Wright became the Pac-12’s first player to win the Bob Cousy Award, given to the nation’s top point guard. He was voted a consensus first-team All-American. Wright is the second player in Utah history to record more than 1,000 points, 350 rebounds, 350 assists, 150 steals and 70 blocks, and he did it in just two years. He is the younger brother of Trail Blazers small forward Dorell Wright.

Related articles:

NBA.com: Utah’s Wright decision to stay for senior year pays off

Bleacher Report: Better point guard prospect, Delon Wright or Jerian Grant?

Read More: 2015 NBA draft, 2015 Potential Celtics, Delon Wright,
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