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NBA draft prospect profile: Iowa SF/PF Jarrod Uthoff 06.13.16 at 3:55 pm ET
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As part of WEEI.com’s coverage of the 2016 NBA draft, here is one in a series of profiles of prospective picks. The Celtics have amassed eight picks: 3, 16, 23, 31, 35, 45, 51, 58. The draft will be held June 23 at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center.

JARROD UTHOFF

Position: Small forward/power forward

School: Iowa

Age: 23

Height: 6-foot-10

Weight: 214 pounds

Wingspan: 6-foot-11

Key 2015-16 stats: 18.9 points, 6.4 rebounds, 1.1 assists

Scouting report: Uthoff’s name started getting mentioned in NBA draft talk after a strong senior season, in which he helped guide Iowa to its highest national ranking in almost 30 years (No. 3) and a third consecutive NCAA tournament berth. Some scouts attribute Uthoff’s success to Iowa’s system, but many believe his shooting ability will transfer to the NBA. Playing primarily small forward opposed to power forward allowed Uthoff to shoot more. This past season Uthoff shot 44.8 percent from the field and 38.2 percent from the 3-point line. Uthoff isn’t known for his defense, but he is still able to make an impact on that side of the court.

“He is a bit of a savant when it comes to contesting shots, showing impressive anticipation and a knack for getting his hand on the ball cleanly just as the opposing shooter is releasing it at and away from the rim,” noted DraftExpress.com.

Uthoff is predicted to go late in the second round or undrafted. Whichever team does pick him up most likely will use him as a rotation shooter.

Notes: Uthoff was named second-team All-America and first-team All-Big Ten and earned a spot on the Big Ten All-Defensive team. … Uthoff originally committed to play for Wisconsin but transferred after redshirting his freshman year. Uthoff’s transfer was complicated situation because Wisconsin coach Bo Ryan wouldn’t OK a transfer in the Big Ten. Uthoff ended up at Iowa because he elected to pay his own way at Iowa for a season.

Related articles:

NBA.com: Iowa’s Uthoff showed total package — once he got selfish

Scout.com: Is Jarrod Uthoff an NBA talent?

Read More: 2016 NBA draft, 2016 potential celtics, Jarrod Uthoff,
NBA draft prospect profile: Providence PG Kris Dunn 06.13.16 at 12:29 pm ET
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As part of WEEI.com’s coverage of the 2016 NBA draft, here is one in a series of profiles of prospective picks. The Celtics have amassed eight picks: 3, 16, 23, 31, 35, 45, 51, 58. The draft will be held June 23 at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center.

KRIS DUNN

Position: Point guard

School: Providence

Age: 22

Height: 6-foot-4

Weight: 205 pounds

Wingspan: 6-foot-10

Key 2015-16 stats: 16.4 points, 5.3 rebounds, 6.2 assists, 2.5 steals

Scouting report: Dunn has the physical characteristics necessary to keep up in the NBA, and according to DraftExpress.com, he has “elite quickness and leaping ability that place him in rarefied air by even NBA standards.” Possibly the best point guard in the draft, Dunn has the quickness to attack the basket and the passing ability to find the open man and create shots for others. The point guard believes his skill set is already similar to one NBA star’s.

“A lot of people say John Wall, and I’m starting to see it more and more,” Dunn said at the NBA draft combine. “We’re both fast, we both can attack at the rim, that’s one of our greatest strengths. We definitely get people involved. That’s what I like to do, I like to get people other shots, get them good shots, and John Wall, he’s not a bad defender. He definitely works hard at the defensive end, and that’s one of my greatest strengths.”

If Dunn wants to shine at the next level, he will have to become more consistent with his jump shot. He did shoot 37.2 percent from deep last season, yet it’s easy to see that the mechanics on his jump shot need work. Also, Dunn does have a bit of an injury history, playing only 29 games in his first two years at Providence due to a shoulder injury.

Notes: Dunn is a consensus second-team All-American and a two-time recipient of Big East Player of the Year and Big East Defensive Player of the Year. A product of New London, Connecticut, he scored 16 points and dished out four assists in the Friars’ 70-69 win over USC in the first round of the 2016 NCAA Tournament. He then had 29 points, three rebounds, three assists and two steals as Providence lost to top-seeded North Carolina in the second round.

Related articles:

The Philadelphia Inquirer: What is Kris Dunn thinking?

USA Today: Kris Dunn could fall in draft after lottery

The Big Lead: Kris Dunn doesn’t want to be drafted by the Suns or Celtics

Read More: 2016 NBA draft, 2016 potential celtics, Kris Dunn,
Celtics reportedly ‘trying to be as aggressive as possible’ in trading No. 3 overall pick 06.13.16 at 9:51 am ET
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The NBA draft is left than two weeks away and the rumors have already began.

According to CSNNE’s A. Sherrod Blakely, the Celtics are trying to deal the No. 3 overall pick.

Appearing on Comcast’s Sports Sunday show on Sunday night, Blakely said (via Celtics Blog): “I’m hearing that number 3 pick overall is the one that they are really shopping, trying to be as aggressive as possible in trying to move that pick because they want to get a difference making impact player right now and they believe using that number 3 pick and maybe some other players and or picks might be the best way to make that happen.”

It is anyone’s guess as to who the potential impact player would be, but certainly this won’t be the last rumor between now and the draft.

For more Celtics news, visit weei.com/celtics.

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NBA draft prospect profile: Wichita State SG Ron Baker 06.13.16 at 9:34 am ET
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As part of WEEI.com’s coverage of the 2016 NBA draft, here is one in a series of profiles of prospective picks. The Celtics have amassed eight picks: 3, 16, 23, 31, 35, 45, 51, 58. The draft will be held June 23 at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center.

RON BAKER

Position: Shooting guard

School: Wichita State

Age: 23

Height: 6-foot-4

Weight: 212 pounds

Wingspan: 6-foot-9

Key 2015-16 stats: 13.8 points, 4.8 rebounds, 3.2 assists

Scouting report: Baker is known for having a high motor and showing toughness and grittiness on the court. At Wichita State, Baker was a career 36.9 percent 3-point shooter, but that will need to improve for him to stick around in the NBA. Baker does have the ability to shoot a variety of different shots and found success shooting off of screens. He doesn’t possess great athleticism or size, and while he does many things well, a knock on him is that he doesn’t stand out at any one thing.

Baker, projected to go late in the second round, said he envisions himself like a Kirk Hinrich or Matthew Dellavadova, backup players known in part for their toughness.

“For me, probably a Kirk Hinrich or a Dellavadova,” he said when asked for an NBA comparison. “A guy that comes in, knows his role, does all the little stuff on the court. Makes himself accountable and is a good teammate. Just the little assets that build your resume as a player. Those are the kinds of things at the next level that I’m looking to do.”

Defying the odds is something that Baker is used to doing, as he walked on to Wichita State’s team and ended up helping the Shockers reach the Final Four in 2013, take a perfect record into the NCAA Tournament a year later (finishing 35-1), reaching the Sweet 16 in 2015 (upsetting in-state rival Kansas along the way), and winning a third straight Missouri Valley Conference title this past season en route to another NCAA Tournament appearance.

Notes: Baker was on Team USA for the 2015 Pan America Games. He played in all five games, averaging 8.2 points on 13-of-26 shooting, including 5-of-14 from the 3-point line. In the bronze medal game Baker finished with 11 points. … For a stretch in his junior year Baker hit a 3-pointer in 27 straight games, a school record. 

Related articles:

The Wichita Eagle: Fraschilla: Ron Baker did all the usual Ron Baker things in NBA draft combine

Bleacher Report: The ultimate Shocker: How Ron Baker went from walk-on to NBA prospect

Deseret News: Wichita State’s Ron Baker discusses friendship with Runnin’ Ute Jakob Poeltl at workout

Read More: 2016 NBA draft, 2016 potential celtics, Ron Baker,
Draymond Green assessed Flagrant 1 from Game 4, suspended for Game 5 Monday 06.12.16 at 2:24 pm ET
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Jun 10, 2016; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James (23) exchanges words with Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green (23) during the fourth quarter in game four of the NBA Finals at Quicken Loans Arena. The Warriors won 108-97. Mandatory Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

LeBron James exchanges words with Warriors forward Draymond Green (23) during the fourth quarter of Game 4 Friday night. (David Richard/USA Today Sports)

This time, Draymond Green went too far. 

The Golden State bad-boy forward was assessed a Flagrant Foul 1 on Sunday for his entanglement and swipe to the groin of LeBron James with under three minutes left in Game 4 Friday night in Cleveland. The announcement was made Sunday by Kiki VanDeWeghe, Executive Vice President, Basketball Operations.

“The incident occurred when Green made unnecessary contact with a retaliatory swipe of his hand to the groin of Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James with 2:48 remaining in the fourth quarter of the Warriors’ 108-97 win in Game 4 of The Finals at Quicken Loans Arena,” the league said in its press release. 

“In accordance with NBA rules, Green will serve a one-game suspension without pay for accruing his fourth Flagrant Foul point of the 2016 postseason.  He will serve his suspension Monday, June 13 during Game 5 of The Finals at Oracle Arena.”

The video clearly shows Green setting a high screen on James. When Green fell to the ground, James appeared to deliberately straddle Green’s head in an effort to draw the confrontation. By the decision handed out from the NBA Sunday, it worked. 

The Warriors, who took a 3 games to 1 lead with a win Friday night in Cleveland, have a chance to clinch their second straight NBA title Monday night. But now they will have to do so without their best rebounder and best low-post defender. 

Green, after run-ins with the likes of Oklahoma City’s Steven Adams in Game 3 of the Western finals, has built up negative points with the league during the Warriors’ playoff run, and it culminated with discipline on Sunday. 

 Under league rules, any player who accumulates four flagrant foul points over the course of the playoffs will be automatically suspended for one game, and every additional flagrant foul will result in either a one-game suspension (for a Flagrant Foul 1) or a two-game suspension (for a Flagrant Foul 2). 

 “The cumulative points system is designed to deter flagrant fouls in our game” said VanDeWeghe in the league statement.  “While Draymond Green’s actions in Game 4 do not merit a suspension as a standalone act, the number of flagrant points he has earned triggers a suspension for Game 5.”

James was also assessed a technical foul upon league office review for his role in the altercation, which included a physical taunt.

To view the play, click on the following link:

http://www.nba.com/video/channels/originals/2016/06/12/bbops-draymond-green-groin-contact-061016-pr-v2.nba/

Meanwhile, the league also docked Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue $25,000 for criticism of the officials after Friday’s game. Lue went off when asked how LeBron James is being officiated during the series. 

“He never gets calls. I mean, he attacks. Outside of Russell Westbrook, he’s one of the guys that attacks the paint every single play. And he doesn’t get a fair whistle all the time because of his strength and because of his power and guys bounce off of him,” Lue said. “But those are still fouls and we weren’t able to get them. But we’ve got to play through officiating.”

Read More: 2016 NBA Finals, Cleveland Cavaliers, Draymond Green, Golden State Warriors
NBA draft prospect profile: Croatia C Ante Zizic 06.12.16 at 12:23 pm ET
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As part of WEEI.com’s coverage of the 2016 NBA draft, here is one in a series of profiles of prospective picks. The Celtics have amassed eight picks: 3,16, 23, 31, 35, 45, 51, 58. The draft will be held June 23 at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center.

ANTE ZIZIC

Position: Center

Country: Croatia (Cibona)

Age: 19

Height: 6-foot-11

Weight: 254 pounds

Wingspan: 7-foot-3

Key 2015-16 stats: 13.4 points, 8 rebounds, 1.4 blocks

Scouting report: A big body in the paint for Cibona in the Adriatic League, the 19-year-old Zizic broke into professional basketball in Croatia at just 16 years old. His body is of ample size to play in the paint in the NBA, but at the same time he is somewhat limited in versatility as he can only play the center position. He has great positioning around the rim, making him an above-average player at grabbing rebounds, a statistic in which he lead the league. He is not afraid to play hard in the paint on both ends of the floor, and is more than capable of playing very low in the post.

“I am a type of modern center,” Zizic said (via Draft Express). “I run the floor very well. I can finish with strong dunks. In defense I can close down the paint. I have the ability to block shots, collect rebounds. Effort is something you must have. It’s like other basketball skills. It is something natural. I was born with it.”

Though his shooting ability does not stretch much further than a mid-range jumper, he is a solid free throw shooter, shooting 70 percent from the line this season. That said, his offensive strength is finishing above the rim with good timing as a result of his ability to create space for himself. He is projected to be selected late in the first round.

Notes: Zizic’s older brother by 17 years, Andrija, has made his mark in European basketball, playing with Olympiakos and Barcelona, among others. Andrija also played for Croatia at the national level, and currently plays alongside Ante (usually coming off the bench backing him up) for Cibona. … Zizic is part of a “Golden Generation” of 1997-Croatian-born prospects, the likes of which includes Dragan Bender.

Related articles:

Yahoo! Sports: Getting to know Ante Zizic

Bleacher Report: Celtics draft may have foreign flavor

Read More: 2016 NBA draft, 2016 potential celtics, Ante Zizic,
NBA draft prospect profile: Oklahoma SG Isaiah Cousins 06.12.16 at 9:27 am ET
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As part of WEEI.com’s coverage of the 2016 NBA draft, here is one in a series of profiles of prospective picks. The Celtics have amassed eight picks: 3, 16, 23, 31, 35, 45, 51, 58. The draft will be held June 23 at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center.

ISAIAH COUSINS

Position: Shooting guard

School: Oklahoma

Age: 22

Height: 6-foot-6

Weight: 191 pounds

Wingspan: 6-foot-6

Key 2015-16 stats: 12.6 points, 4.5 assists, 4.5 rebounds

Scouting report: Cousins improved his draft stock after a strong performance at the NBA combine scrimmages, and he is projected to go in the middle to latter part of the second round to a team looking for a backup who can play either guard spot. Over his college career Cousins improved his shooting ability, and in his senior year he converted 41 percent of his 3-pointers — his third straight season shooting over 40 percent from 3. Cousins also has been praised for his toughness that has allowed him to be a solid defender and aggressive with the ball.

“He enjoys beating people up when he has the basketball better than any player I ever coached,” said Mount Vernon High School coach Bob Cimmino. “A lot of other players will avoid contact. He wants to go at you, hurt you, make you say, ‘Damn, you beat the crap out of me,’ and score.”

Cousins, who started every game his last three seasons, will need to improve his decision-making. At times last season he took bad shots early in the shot clock. He would tried to do too much when dribbling the ball.

Notes: Cousins was named All-Big 12 third team this year, after being All-Big 12 honorable mention in 2015. He finished his career with 1,326 career points, which makes him No. 20 on Oklahoma’s all-time list. He ranks fifth on OU’s career list with 40.7 percent shooting from 3-point range and eighth in 3-pointers made (176), and he’s ninth all-time in steals (157). … In Oklahoma’s run to the Final Four, Cousins averaged 10.4 points, 3.4 rebounds and 4.4 assists. … Cousins was wounded in the back of the shoulder by an errant bullet during a visit to his hometown of Mount Vernon, New York, in May 2014. Police said he was an innocent bystander victimized when rival street gangs began shooting a block away.

Related articles:

The Oklahoma Daily: Former OU guard Isaiah Cousins turning heads at NBA combine

The Oklahoman: Isaiah Cousins considers himself lucky to be playing basketball

The Journal News: Ex-Mount Vernon basketball star shot; police blame gangs

Read More: 2016 NBA draft, 2016 potential celtics, Isaiah Cousins,
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