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NBA Draft’s Potential Celtics: BYU G Jimmer Fredette 06.21.11 at 11:54 am ET
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WEEI.com continues to provide daily insight and analysis on the 2011 NBA draft. This is one in a series of profiles of players who might be available for the Celtics to select with one of their two picks (25th and 55th overall).

Jimmer Fredette

Position: Point Guard

Team: BYU

Height: 6-foot-2

Weight: 195 pounds

Stats: 28.9 ppg, 4.3 apg, 3.4 rpg

What he brings: Holed up in his hideout with no Internet connection before he got shot in the face, even Osama bin Laden had probably heard of Fredette. When your first name is entered into Urban Dictionary as a verb (Jimmered: “to be repeatedly scored upon with a variety of off-balance 3-point shots, off-balance drives and amazing long shots”), you know you’ve arrived.

If Matt Christopher wrote a book about Jimmer, it’d be called “The Kid With Unlimited Range.” College basketball’s leading scorer, Fredette could put up points from anywhere on the floor — contested or uncontested, from mid-range to long-range, off the dribble or off screens, off-balance in the lane or squared up at the free-throw line. Didn’t matter, as evidenced by his 59.4 percent true shooting percentage despite defenses designed to stop him.

There’s no questioning his shooting ability, but there are serious doubts about how well Fredette’s game will translate to the next level. Despite a lightning-quick release and impressive passing ability, he’s undersized and unathletic (by NBA standards), so legitimate concerns exist about Fredette’s ability to get open looks on the perimeter and score at the rim.

And then there’s the issue of Fredette’s defense. Considering he wasn’t a great — or even good — defender at the collegiate level, it’s hard to imagine him stopping many guys in the association. How far Fredette falls in the first round will indicate the number of naysayers about his NBA potential, but at some point that shooting stroke will be too hard for any team looking for scoring punch off the bench to ignore.

Where the Celtics could get him: First round.

What they’re saying: “Jimmer is really a fun guy to watch. Jimmer’€™s a blast to watch. Jimmer is a terrific offensive player. He shoots deep. He scores in a variety of ways. He’€™s a really fun guy to watch play, because he’€™s a throwback. I don’€™t know who to compare him to. I haven’€™t really seen a player like Jimmer.” Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge

Notes: Most NBA mock drafts have Fredette slotted to go to the Suns at No. 13, so it’s unlikely he could fall all the way to the Celtics at No. 25. … If he should drop a la Brady Quinn, there are the obvious BYU ties between Fredette and Ainge, as the former surpassed the latter’s school scoring record. … A fellow USA Basketball participant, Kevin Durant once tweeted: “Jimmer Fredette is the best scorer in the world.” … This profile of Fredette by Sports Illustrated’s Chris Mannix — in which Jimmer compares himself to Steve Nash and Deron Williams — is probably the best out there.

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NBA Draft’s Potential Celtics: San Diego State F Malcolm Thomas at 7:53 am ET
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WEEI.com continues to provide daily insight and analysis on the 2011 NBA draft. This is one in a series of profiles of players who might be available for the Celtics to select with one of their two picks (25th and 55th overall).

Malcolm Thomas

Position: Forward

School: San Diego State

Height: 6-foot-9

Weight: 220 pounds

Stats: 11.4 ppg, 8.1 rpg, 2 bpg

What he brings: At 220 pounds, Thomas is a little scrawny to be a pure power forward. Glen Davis is as tall as Thomas but outweighs him by nearly 80 pounds. Even the taller Kevin Garnett has a 40-pound advantage. But Thomas uses his lighter body and long arms to block shots with incredible effectiveness. His mobility makes him a very active presence in the paint, as he’s able to shoot and pass from the post, maneuver around defenders to the basket and rebound. He has the shooting form to develop a complementary jump shot, and on defense he can box out and move laterally.

Where the Celtics could get him: Second round

What they’€™re saying: “He’s long enough to play the 4. He can play in the high-post area, too. He can really pass it up there. He can put it on the floor from up there.” ‘€” Former San Diego State (now UNLV) assistant coach Justin Hutson

Notes: Thomas finished his senior year ranked second in rebounding, second in blocked shots, second in offensive rebounding, fourth in defensive rebounding and 16th in scoring in the Mountain West Conference.

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NBA Draft’s potential Celtics: Florida F Chandler Parsons 06.20.11 at 1:42 pm ET
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WEEI.com continues to provide daily insight and analysis on the 2011 NBA draft. This is one in a series of profiles of players who might be available for the Celtics to select with one of their two picks (25th and 55th overall).

Chandler Parsons

Position: Forward

School: Florida

Height: 6-foot-10

Weight: 221 pounds

Stats: 11.3 ppg, 7.8 rpg

What he brings: Parsons has an NBA build and an excellent midrange game. He knows how to use screens, has impressive court vision for a forward and is an unselfish player, almost to a fault at times. At times he served as a “point forward” for coach Billy Donovan. The former Gator also rebounds very well for his position.

Parsons is one of the better pressure players in this year’s draft class.  His most notable late-game shot came against North Carolina State on Jan. 3, 2010, when he netted a 75-foot 3-pointer to beat the Wolfpack in overtime.

Defensively, he has mediocre foot speed and will have trouble staying in front of some of the quicker 3s in the league. He also is a poor free throw shooter. He shot just 55.7 percent from the foul line his senior year.

Where the Celtics could get him: Second round

What they’re saying: “Parsons should receive major first-round consideration after pre-draft workouts. At the Chicago Combine, the Florida small forward measured just under 6-10 and tipped the scales at 220 pounds. He owns high basketball IQ, all-around skills, deep range on his jumper, and adheres to the team concept. These attributes were clearly on display Tuesday morning where Parsons enjoyed a solid workout and could move up draft boards as the June 23 draft approaches.”  ‘€” Timberwolves beat writer Jonah Ballow.

Notes: Parsons was named the 2011 SEC Player of the Year.

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NBA Draft’s Potential Celtics: Michigan G Darius Morris at 11:03 am ET
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WEEI.com continues to provide daily insight and analysis on the 2011 NBA draft. This is one in a series of profiles of players who might be available for the Celtics to select with one of their two picks (25th and 55th overall).

Darius Morris

Position: Guard

School: Michigan

Height: 6-foot-4

Weight: 190 pounds

Stats: 15.0 ppg, 4.0 rpg, 6.7 rpg

What he brings: Morris was one of the nation’s most improved players last season, leading a young team to within three points of knocking off top-seeded Duke in the third round of the NCAA tournament. The long, athletic point guard averaged over 10 points more than he did his freshman year and nearly tripled his assist total. Scouts have compared Morris to Tyreke Evans because of his ability to overpower defenders and get to the rim. Others say he has the potential to become a more athletic Andre Miller, though doubts have arisen over his quickness and whether or not he’ll be able to stay in front of NBA guards. Morris also had 103 turnovers last year, which led the Wolverines by far.

Like fellow prospect Iman Shumpert, Morris benefits from his size at the point guard position. Unlike Shumpert, however, Morris is more of a pure point guard with a pass-first, playmaking mentality. His jump shot and range could use some work, but if Morris’ decision-making improves as much as it did last year, the Los Angeles native could step into a backup role as early as next season.

Where the Celtics could get him: First or second round

What they’re saying: “He can go into a crowd and see over everybody, and a lot of guards can’t do that. He’s seeing corner-to-corner when he comes up the floor, and he’s got great quickness and handle.” ‘€” Michigan coach John Beilein

Notes: Morris’ decision to declare for the NBA draft after his sophomore season may have been influenced by the “Manny Harris example.” Harris, a former Michigan guard, stayed for his junior year in 2010 and watched his draft stock plummet as he injured his hamstring and gave scouts another season to critique his skill set. As a sophomore last season, Morris recorded the third triple-double in program history with 12 points, 10 rebounds, and 11 assists in a win against Iowa on Jan. 31. The game is featured in the video below.

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NBA Draft’s Potential Celtics: Illinois G/F Jereme Richmond at 8:52 am ET
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WEEI.com continues to provide daily insight and analysis on the 2011 NBA draft. This is one in a series of profiles of players who might be available for the Celtics to select with one of their two picks (25th and 55th overall).

Jereme Richmond

Position: Guard/forward

School: Illinois

Height: 6-foot-7

Weight: 205 pounds

Stats: 7.6 ppg, 5 rpg, 1.8 rpg

What he brings: In just one year of college, Richmond showed the kind of athleticism and raw talent that could lead to success in the NBA. He also showed some maturity issues that likely will scare some teams away. Richmond has a scorer’€™s mentality, 10 times putting up double-digit points his freshman year. He’€™s 6-foot-7 with long arms, which will help him both shoot over defenses and deflect passes. And he’€™s strong under the basket, 14 times grabbing multiple offensive rebounds in a game.

Where the Celtics could get him: First or second round

What they’€™re saying: ‘€œJereme is an extremely talented player who helped us at nearly every position. His versatility and ability to impact the game in a number of different areas are skills that will help him greatly as he pursues his dream of playing professional basketball.’€ ‘€” Illinois coach Bruce Weber

Notes: Richmond missed Illinois’ two NCAA tournament games in March due to an athletic code violation. Last June he was a member of the USA Basketball U-18 national team that won a gold medal at the 2010 FIBA Americas Championship.

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NBA Draft’s Potential Celtics: Texas G Cory Joseph 06.19.11 at 9:42 pm ET
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WEEI.com continues to provide daily insight and analysis on the 2011 NBA draft. This is one in a series of profiles of players who might be available for the Celtics to select with one of their two picks (25th and 55th overall).

Cory Joseph

Position: Guard

School: Texas

Height: 6-foot-3

Weight: 185 pounds

Stats: 10.4 ppg, 3.6 rpg, 3 apg

What he brings: Joseph is a guard built the same way as Rajon Rondo. He runs an offense through his passing, not his shooting, although he has demonstrated a shooter’€™s touch on occasion. He drained four or more 3-pointers three times as a freshman for Texas, and drained three in four other games. His defense is also similar to Rondo’€™s, in that both are very good at stealing. These similarities mean Joseph would have an excellent role model to learn from and emulate. Unlike Rondo, Joseph also is great at applying full-court pressure.

Where the Celtics could get him: Second round

What they’€™re saying: “Cory Joseph allows all the other pieces to fit. He allows [Dogus] Balbay to be Balby and Jordan [Hamilton] to be Jordan and J’Covan [Brown] to be J’Covan. He’s the one piece that’s there because he can stretch it, he can play the point, because he can guard a point guard or a 2. He’s big enough and strong enough to do a lot of things.” ‘€” Kansas coach Bill Self

Notes: Led the Longhorns in assists, 3-point percentage and steals as a freshman

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NBA Draft’s Potential Celtics: Washington F Justin Holiday at 9:33 pm ET
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WEEI.com continues to provide daily insight and analysis on the 2011 NBA draft. This is one in a series of profiles of players who might be available for the Celtics to select with one of their two picks (25th and 55th overall).

Justin Holiday

Position: Forward

School: Washington

Height: 6-foot-6

Weight: 185 pounds

Stats: 10.5 ppg, 2.1 apg, 5.2 rpg

What he brings: The long and athletic swingman is known mostly for his defense, and he was named Pac-10 Defensive Player of the Year. His toughness and his aggressiveness also help him on the boards. Holiday has improved a great deal over his college career on the offensive end of the court, as he has developed a good outside shot, especially for a guy his size. He also is a pretty good passer for a forward.

Where the Celtics could get him: First round (or second)

What they’re saying: ‘€œHe can play the 3 or the 4 and tends to gives people fits with his athleticism. Nothing has changed since I had him. I think his versatility is what separates him from the others and makes him attractive to minds in the NBA.’€ ‘€” Terry Kelly, Holiday’€™s high school coach

Notes: Holiday was nicknamed “The Fireman” by his teammates for his defensive intensity and rebounding. His brother, Jrue Holiday, starts at point guard for the 76ers.

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