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NBA Draft’s Potential Celtics: Greek SF Giannis Adetokunbo 06.16.13 at 11:39 am ET
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As part of WEEI.com’s coverage of the 2013 NBA draft, here is one in a series of profiles of players who could be available to the Celtics when they make their lone selection at No. 16.

Giannis Adetokunbo

Giannis Adetokunbo has a contract with a Spanish team but reportedly has an affordable buyout.

GIANNIS ADETOKUNBO

Position: Guard/forward

2012-13 team: Filathlitikos (Greece)

Age: 18

Height: 6-foot-9

Weight: 196 pounds

Achievements: Greek League All-Star (2013)

Key 2012-13 stats: 9.5 points, 5.0 rebounds, 1.0 blocks

What he brings: Adetokunbo can play any position on the floor and is extremely versatile and an explosive athlete. He is a smooth ballhandler and a smart passer who gets his teammates involved. While he is not a bad outside shooter — he shot 34 percent from 3-point range last season — he is better at getting to the basket and using his length and quickness to score from in close.

Defensively, he shows great potential, but he is not refined yet, according to Draft Express’ scouting report. Due to his lack of experience with top-level competition, he is raw defensively and needs to be more physical. However, he is a good defensive rebounder and uses his length to disrupt offenses.

Notes: Adetokunbo, whose parents fled Nigeria in 1992 for Greece, began playing basketball with his brother Thanasis in 2003. The two were spotted by Spyros Veliniatis, coach of Filathlitikos, who invited them to play for his academy after watching them play a casual game on a local court. He and his brother — who is a 6-foot-7 small forward — helped the academy get promoted six times in 10 seasons all the way up to the second-tier A2 League. The team finished one spot away from being promoted to the top-tier Greek Basket League this past season. … Adetokunbo has signed a four-year contract with Zaragoza of the Spanish league but reportedly has an affordable NBA buyout clause.

Recent articles:

Sheridan Hoops: Greek freak prospect draws Danny Ainge to Greece

HoopsWorld: Giannis Adetokunbo not ready for NBA play?

Video: Here’s a highlight mix of Adetokunbo.

Read More: 2013 NBA draft, 2013 NBA Draft's Potential Celtics, Giannis Adetokunbo,
Report: Celtics ‘deep in discussions’ about trading Kevin Garnett, Doc Rivers to Clippers 06.15.13 at 4:57 pm ET
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Kevin Garnett

Kevin Garnett

The Celtics and Clippers are “deep in discussions” about a trade that would send coach Doc Rivers and surefire Hall of Famer Kevin Garnett to Los Angeles, according to Yahoo! Sports columnist Adrian Wojnarowksi.

Garnett would waive his no-trade clause to join Rivers in L.A., according to the report, but the C’s insistence on acquiring Eric Bledsoe in addition to the current Clippers package of DeAndre Jordan and a pair of first-round draft picks could be the last remaining hurdle of a blockbuster deal.

A swap of Garnett for Jordan and Bledsoe works under the salary cap, and the draft picks would reportedly be enough to entice the Celtics into allowing Rivers to walk from the three years and $21 million remaining on his contract and take assistant coach Tyronn Lue with him to Los Angeles.

On Saturday, Rivers and Chris Paul may discuss the All-Star point guard’s plan to re-sign with the Clippers should Garnett join him, Wojnarowski reported, but both the Celtics and their coach are willing to walk away should the deal not be finalized in the next couple days.

Read More: Boston Celtics, DeAndre Jordan, Doc Rivers, Eric Bledsoe
NBA Draft’s Potential Celtics: Louisville C Gorgui Dieng 06.15.13 at 11:46 am ET
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As part of WEEI.com’s coverage of the 2013 NBA draft, here is one in a series of profiles of players who could be available to the Celtics when they make their lone selection at No. 16.

Gorgui Dieng helped Louisville win the national championship. (AP)

Gorgui Dieng was named Big East Defensive Player of the Year and helped Louisville win a national title. (AP)

GORGUI DIENG

Position: Center

School: Louisville

Age: 23

Height: 6-foot-11

Weight: 230 pounds

Achievements: All-Big East first team (2013), Big East Defensive Player of the Year (2013), Big East All-Tournament Team (2012)

Key 2012-13 stats: 9.8 points, 9.4 rebounds, 2.5 blocks

What he brings: Dieng has the size to be a strong defender at the NBA level. With his 7-foot-4 wingspan, he is a blocking machine who averaged 3.2 blocks per game his sophomore year of 2011-12 at Louisville. As a defender, the main thing he needs to improve on is his strength, while he could improve his defensive discipline as well.

Offensively, Dieng is an excellent passer for a big man, averaging 2.5 assists per 40 minutes last season. He is strong around the rim, converting 66 percent of shots from in close last season. However, he is not a great shooter, hitting just 28 percent of his shots from the post last season.

At 23 years old, Dieng is among the oldest players who are expected to be taken in the 2013 NBA draft. While he is more likely have an immediate impact than some players slated to be taken in the first round, his potential for growth is a bit limited.

Notes: Dieng was named MVP of the 2009 Basketball without Borders event in South Africa before enrolling in Covenant Christian Academy in Georgia. … The Senegal native missed the draft combine due to a sprained ankle.

Recent articles:

NewsOK.com: Louisville’s Gorgui Deng getting more familiar with English language, basketball

Sporting News: Louisville center Gorgui Dieng enjoying basketball, life with Cardinals

Video: Here’s a highlight video of Dieng in the national championship game.

Read More: 2013 NBA draft, 2013 NBA Draft's Potential Celtics, Gorgui Dieng,
NBA Draft’s Potential Celtics: Pittsburgh C Steven Adams 06.14.13 at 3:28 pm ET
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As part of WEEI.com’s coverage of the 2013 NBA draft, here is one in a series of profiles of players who could be available to the Celtics when they make their lone selection at No. 16.

Steven Adams (AP)

Steven Adams’ offensive skills are a work a progress, but the 7-foot New Zealander is a presence on defense. (AP)

STEVEN ADAMS

Position: Center

School: Pittsburgh

Age: 19

Height: 7 feet

Weight: 255 pounds

Achievements: Big East All-Rookie team (2013)

Key 2012-13 stats: 7.2 points, 6.3 rebounds, 2.0 blocks

What he brings: Adams is an athletic big man who runs the floor well. While he is not a big offensive threat at this point — he only averaged 12.3 points per 40 minutes — his primary value comes as a rebounder and a defender. Adams averaged 10.8 rebounds and 3.7 blocks per 40 minutes while showing the quickness to guard screens and defend against the pick and roll.

However, Adams struggles at the free throw line (44 percent) and was not used offensively much as a freshman. He does not have a good shooting stroke and struggles when he steps away from the basket. While he may never develop into a star offensively, he has the potential to be a highly effective defensive player.

Notes: A native of New Zealand, Adams shined at the 2012 Adidas Nations camp, drawing attention as a potential top-five pick. He played at Scots College high school in New Zealand before transferring to Fitchburg’s Notre Dame Prep in November of 2011 in order to be eligible to play at Pittsburgh. Due to his lack of American basketball experience, he is still adjusting to playing at a high level of competition.

Recent articles:

SB Nation: Steven Adams impresses Celtics in workout

Pro Basketball Talk: Pitt’s Steven Adams helped his cause

Video: Here’s a look at Adams in action from his lone season at Pittsburgh.

Read More: 2013 NBA draft, 2013 NBA Draft's Potential Celtics, Steven Adams,
NBA Draft’s Potential Celtics: San Diego State SG Jamaal Franklin 06.14.13 at 12:07 pm ET
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As part of WEEI.com’s coverage of the 2013 NBA draft, here is one in a series of profiles of players who could be available to the Celtics when they make their lone selection at No. 16.

Jamaal Franklin (AP)

Jamaal Franklin uses his size and athleticism to get to the rim, but his shooting is a question mark. (AP)

JAMAAL FRANKLIN

Position: Shooting guard

School: San Diego State

Age: 21

Height: 6-foot-5

Weight: 205 pounds

Achievements: Mountain West All-Conference first team (2013, 2012), Mountain West Player of the Year (2012), AP All-America honorable mention (2012) Mountain West All-Tournament Team (2012)

Key 2012-13 stats: 16.6 points, 9.4 rebounds, 3.3 assists, 1.6 steals

What he brings: Franklin has good size for an NBA shooting guard and uses that and his athleticism to get to the rim and draw fouls. He averaged 8.2 free throw attempts per 40 minutes last season and was aggressive in transition. He improved significantly at his passing in his junior season, as he improved from 1.9 assists per to 4.0 assists per 40 minutes. However, he is not a great perimeter shooter, making only 23.7 percent of his shots in catch-and-shoot situations.

On the defensive end, Franklin is uses his good motor to make plays. He recorded 2.0 steals per 40 minutes last season and used his quickness to jump into passing lanes. However, he gets overaggressive at times and can get beat off the dribble. His biggest impact comes on the defensive glass, as he averaged 9.4 defensive rebounds per 40 minutes, which puts him among the top rebounding shooting guards in the class.

Notes: Franklin, who declared for the draft after his junior season, missed the draft combine due to a sprained ankle. He was scheduled to visit with the Celtics but a workout was in question. … As a freshman, Franklin was a bit player on a team that went 34-3 and received a No. 2 seed in the NCAA tournament, advancing to the Sweet 16 before losing to eventual national champion UConn. He became a starter as a sophomore and led the Aztecs back to the NCAAs the last two seasons, although they were not able to get past the opening weekend.

Recent articles:

Pro Basketball Talk: Jamaal Franklin can dunk, but can he shoot?

SB Nation: Jamaal Franklin scouting report

Video: Here’s a highlight package from Franklin’s 2012-13 season.

Read More: 2013 NBA draft, 2013 NBA Draft's Potential Celtics, Jamaal Franklin,
Report: ‘Strong mutual interest’ between Doc Rivers, Clippers 06.13.13 at 6:25 pm ET
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ESPN.com is reporting that, while the Clippers have not requested permission to talk with Celtics coach Doc Rivers,

Doc Rivers

Doc Rivers

there is “strong mutual interest” between Rivers and the Clippers. The report cites “sources close to the situation.”

The report suggests that the Celtics “are determined to prevent [Rivers] from coaching another NBA team next season since he has three years and $21 million left on his contract. But sources added that Boston could be moved to let Rivers out of his contract depending on the level of compensation they get from the Clippers, whether that’s a veteran player or future draft picks. The thought in coaching circles is that the close relationship between Ainge and Rivers might help the coach get out of his obligation.”

Meanwhile, Rivers would be the top candidate to succeed fired coach Vinny Del Negro, the report says that the Clippers would be leery of “[mortgaging] their future by giving up an exorbitant amount of assets to get him.”

Rivers is two years into a five-year, $35 million deal he signed with the Celtics after the 2010-11 season. He has a 416-265 record (.533) in nine seasons in Boston, a stretch that includes a championship in 2007-08 and a 59-47 record (.557) in the playoffs.

NBA Draft’s Potential Celtics: Kansas C Jeff Withey 06.13.13 at 9:40 am ET
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As part of WEEI.com’s coverage of the 2013 NBA draft, here is one in a series of profiles of players who could be available to the Celtics when they make their lone selection at No. 16.

Jeff Withey

Jeff Withey, a 7-footer from Kansas, scored 13.7 points and averaged 3.9 blocks per game this past season. (AP)

JEFF WITHEY

Position: Center

School: Kansas

Age: 23

Height: 7 feet

Weight: 235 pounds

Achievements: All-Big 12 first team (2013), Consensus All-America second team (2013), NABC Defensive Player of the Year (2013), Big 12 Tournament Most Outstanding Player (2013), Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year (2013, 2012), Big 12 All-Defensive Team (2013, 2012)

Key 2012-13 stats: 13.7 points, 8.5 rebounds, 3.9 blocks

What he brings: Offensively, Withey is most effective when working without the ball, and scores most of his points following a pick and roll or a drive from a guard. According to Draft Express’ scouting report, Withey was the top player in college basketball at scoring efficiency in non-post up situations, with a 79 percent field goal percentage around the basket.

On the defensive end, Withey shines as a shot blocker, swatting 4.9 shots per 40 minutes during the 2012-13 season. However, he has to gain some weight and get stronger in preparation for facing up with the big men in the NBA.

Notes: Withey is a former volleyball player, which has helped him with timing his shot blocks. He was originally committed to Louisville, but switched his commitment to Arizona. When he didn’t see any playing time during his freshman season, he transferred to Kansas and took over as a starter once twin brothers Markieff and Marcus Morris left for the NBA.

Recent articles:

Newsday: Jeff Withey, Allen Crabbe work out for Knicks

NJ.com: Knicks draft watch: Both Knicks, Nets interested in Louisville’s Gorgui Dieng, Kansas’ Jeff Withey?

Kansas City Star: Withey’s volleyball background was a building block 

Video: Here’s a package of highlights from Withey’s 2012-13 season.

Read More: 2013 NBA draft, 2013 NBA Draft's Potential Celtics, Jeff Withey,
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