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NBA Draft’s Potential Celtics: Mississippi State PF/C Arnett Moultrie 06.15.12 at 7:35 pm ET
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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.

ARNETT MOULTRIE

Position: Power forward/center

School: Mississippi State

Age: 21

Height: 6-foot-11

Weight: 233 pounds

Achievements: 2012 All-Big Ten honorable mention

Key 2011-12 stats: 16.4 points, 10.5 rebounds, 55 FG%, 78 FT%

What he brings: Moultrie’€™s most impressive feature is his jumping ability. After a recent pre-draft workout, ESPN’€™s Chad Ford wrote Moultrie ‘€œgets off the floor as fast as any big man I’ve seen this year, and during several drills he was getting his head above the rim.’€

On the offensive end, Moultrie, who transferred to Mississippi State after his sophomore year at UTEP, is at his best working off the ball on cuts to the basket for alley oops and offensive rebounds. He is far less effective with his back to the basket but is an impressive perimeter shooter and has made tremendous strides in his free throw shooting, draining 78 percent from the line last season, compared to 65 percent as a sophomore and 54 percent as a freshman.

Moultrie is a capable defender both in the paint and on the perimeter but needs to get stronger and improve his shot-blocking to be effective at the next level.

His rebounding prowess probably remains Moultrie’s strongest selling point as he, not Anthony Davis, led the SEC in rebounds last season.

Where the Celtics could get him: Moultrie is projected to be a mid-first-round pick, so the C’s likely would need to move up to get in position to select him.

Notes: Moultrie recently told Vincent Goodwill of the Detroit News he thinks the Pistons (who own the ninth overall pick) would be the best landing place for him. “I know they need a big, someone to play alongside Greg Monroe,” Moultrie said. “He had a pretty good year. I think it’s a perfect fit. He’s more of a skill guy. I can block shots, rebound, run the floor.”

Recent articles:

The Detroit News: Mississippi St. forward Arnett Moultrie thinks he’s perfect fit for Pistons

Slam Online: NBA Pre-Draft Tour: Arnett Moultrie

Video: Here’s a highlight mix of Moultrie.

Read More: 2012 NBA Draft, 2012 NBA Draft's Potential Celtics, Arnett Moultrie,
NBA Draft’s Potential Celtics: Georgetown PF/C Henry Sims at 3:10 pm ET
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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.

HENRY SIMS

Position: Power forward/center

School: Georgetown

Age: 22

Height: 6-foot-11

Weight: 250 pounds

Achievements: 2012 All-Big East third team

Key 2011-12 stats: 11.6 points, 6.0 rebounds, 3.5 assists, 46.2 FG%, 27.5 minutes

What he brings: Sims is an athletic big man who uses his lanky frame well. He can run the floor well for his size and has a great pair of hands. Offensively, his game doesn’t stretch past the 15-foot range but his post play is pretty solid.

The biggest problem with Sims is that he didn’t come on until later in his college career. He averaged less than 15 minutes a game until his senior season, where he filled a larger role playing more than 27 minutes a game. The Georgetown product also isn’t the most sound rebounder.

Since Sims didn’t start receiving significant time until his senior year he is still considered a major project. However his height and long frame are always things NBA scouts look for. He could become a solid body off the bench for the Celtics in years to come.

Where the Celtics could get him: Sims should still be available when the Celtics pick in Round 2, or he might be an undrafted free agent.

Notes: Sims had only started one game before his senior year. As a junior, he led the team by shooting 57.8 percent of his field goals.

Recent articles:

Casual Hoya: The education of Henry Sims

Ballin’ is a habit: The maturation of Henry Sims

Washington Times: Henry Sims ready to pen final chapter of an up-and-down Hoyas career

Video: Here are some highlights of Sims from two games this past season.

Read More: 2012 NBA Draft, 2012 NBA Draft's Potential Celtics, Henry Sims,
NBA Draft’s Potential Celtics: Illinois C Meyers Leonard at 9:45 am ET
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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.

MEYERS LEONARD

Position: Center

School: Illinois

Age: 20

Height: 7-foot-1

Weight: 250 pounds

Achievements: 2012 All-Big Ten honorable mention (coaches, media)

Key 2011-12 stats: 13.6 points, 8.2 rebounds, 1.9 blocks, 73.2% FT

What he brings: At 7 feet tall, with a long wingspan and a developing frame that he should continue to fill out, Leonard is an athletic big man who runs the floor well and shows promise that he will become an above-average NBA center.

Leonard showed a decent — and improving — offensive touch in his sophomore season at Illinois in 2011-12 and is an imposing defensive presence with his length and tremendous quickness and mobility.

The knock on Leonard is that he’€™s very much a work in progress. Physically, his conditioning could improve and he is still working on his understanding and getting a feel for the game.

Where the Celtics could get him: Leonard’s stock has been rising and he is projected to be a late lottery pick, so the C’s would need to trade up to have a shot at him.

Notes: Leonard is arguably the second-best center prospect in the draft, behind UConn’€™s Andre Drummond, though UNC’€™s Tyler Zeller might get drafted ahead of Leonard. With four years of experience at the college level, Zeller is considered a much more NBA-ready player while Leonard is regarded as a two- or three-year project.

Recent articles:

The Big Lead: Meyers Leonard is now being strongly considered in the top 10 of the NBA draft

Chicago Tribune: Leonard: ‘I’ve matured’

Michigan Live: Illinois 7-footer Meyers Leonard is considered raw project with tremendous potential

Video: Here’s a nice package of Leonard highlights, mainly focusing on his passing and low-post ability.

Read More: 2012 NBA Draft, 2012 NBA Draft's Potential Celtics, Meyers Leonard,
NBA Draft’s Potential Celtics: Wisconsin PG Jordan Taylor at 6:12 am ET
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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.

JORDAN TAYLOR

Position: Point guard

School: Wisconsin

Age: 22

Height: 6-foot-2

Weight: 195 pounds

Key 2011-12 stats: 14.8 points, 4.1 assists, 3.8 rebounds, 40.2 FG%, 36.0 minutes

Achievements: 2012 All-Big Ten first team (coaches), 2011 All-America second team (AP, Sporting News), 2011 All-Big Ten first team (coaches, media), 2011 Big Ten All-Defensive team

What he brings: Taylor is strong, physical point guard who has an extremely high basketball IQ. The senior doesn’t make many mistakes and brings his awareness to both sides of the ball. In terms of executing coach Bo Ryan‘s offense, he was excellent and at times he added a solid degree of 3-point shooting. He is a strong defender who uses his physicality, active hands and awareness to make up for his lack of size and quickness.

The biggest issue with Taylor is his undersized body and lack of explosiveness to defend at the NBA level. He rarely gets to the basket and is a non-threat in the isolation game. He was on track to be a serious NBA prospect after his junior year, but a subpar senior season downgraded his prospect status.

Where the Celtics could get him: Taylor is expected to go late in the second round if he’s drafted at all.

Notes: During his junior season Taylor averaged a nation-best 3.83 assist-to-turnover ratio. His career 3.01 assist-to-turnover ratio is an NCAA record.

Recent articles:

Fox Sports North: Next step will be toughest for Taylor

Minneapolis Star Tribune: Former Benilde star Taylor working for a shot at NBA

Video: Here’s a nice package of clips showing Taylor’s offensive skills.

Read More: 2012 NBA Draft, 2012 NBA Draft's Potential Celtics, Jordan Taylor,
NBA Draft’s Potential Celtics: Kentucky PF Anthony Davis 06.14.12 at 9:12 pm ET
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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.

ANTHONY DAVIS

Position: Power forward

School: Kentucky

Age: 19

Height: 6-foot-10

Weight: 220 pounds

Achievements: 2012 National Player of the Year (AP, Sporting News, Naismith, Wooden), 2012 Final Four Most Outstanding Player, 2012 Defensive Player of the Year (NABC)

Key 2011-12 stats: 14.2 points, 10.4 rebounds, 4.7 blocks, 62.3 FG%, 32.0 minutes

What he brings: Davis is widely considered to be the premier prospect in this year’s draft. The 19-year-old is freakishly athletic with a long frame and the ability to run the floor like a guard. On offense Davis is extremely efficient, shooting 65 percent this past season. His length and athleticism allow him to be an alley-oop threat as almost every pass is in reach. He has also shown some guard-like ability on offense by averaging less than one turnover a game.

On defense, Davis brings a wide array of skills. His best skill is his shot-blocking, but he also is great at recovering, can guard on the perimeter, has a high defensive basketball IQ and gives full effort at all times. Despite his attacking-style defense, Davis keeps his foul count low. Scouts see his defense as the most ready aspect of his game.

The only knock on Davis’ game is that he appears weak at times, but he hides his lack of strength with his great athleticism.

Where the Celtics could get him: They have virtually no chance. It would be a major surprise if Davis is not the first overall pick.

Notes: Davis won a national championship with Kentucky this year as a freshman, tying an NCAA record for the title game with six blocked shots. … Davis set the Kentucky and SEC single-season record for blocks (186). … He was almost the consensus National Player of the Year, but the National Association of Basketball Coaches chose Michigan State’s Draymond Green.

Recent articles:

USA Today: How does Anthony Davis fit on each NBA lottery team?

Los Angeles Times: Anthony Davis can’t wait to shut down Kobe Bryant

College Basketball Talk: Anthony Davis headed back to where he helped UK win a title

Video: Here’s a highlight video of Davis’ 2011-12 season.

Read More: 2012 NBA Draft, 2012 NBA Draft's Potential Celtics, Anthony Davis,
NBA Draft’s Potential Celtics: Buffalo PF Mitchell Watt at 5:47 pm ET
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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: Xavier PG Tu Holloway at 1:45 pm ET
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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.

TU HOLLOWAY

Position: Point guard

School: Xavier

Age: 22

Height: 5-foot-11

Weight: 195 pounds

Achievements: 2012 All-Atlantic 10 first team, 2012 NABC All-District 4 first team, 2012 All-America third team (AP, Sporting News), 2011 Atlantic 10 Player of the Year

What he brings: Holloway almost entered the draft as a junior, but he decided to spend one more year at Xavier because he wasn’t ready. His last season at the school improved his shooting reputation, as the point guard averaged 17.5 points per game, leading the team in that category.

Holloway can score, and he has the ability to draw fouls and convert his free throws. He hit 85.2 percent of his free throws through his career as a Musketeer. As a senior he finished with a conversion rate of 86.2 percent, drawing 253 opportunities. He ranks sixth on Xavier’s all-time list for scoring, third for assists and first for free throw percentage

Not only can Holloway score, but he can be an instrumental leader. He led the Musketeers to 100 wins, four trips to the NCAA tournament and three appearances in the Sweet 16. His coach, Chris Mack, called Holloway a “fireplug” and the “Mariano Rivera of college basketball” because of his ability to play well late in games. Against Purdue in December, Holloway sank two 3-pointers down the stretch to vault Xavier to a win, and against Notre Dame in the NCAA tournament, Holloway scored 17 second-half points to help his team rally from a 10-point deficit with 12 minutes remaining to advance to the Sweet 16.

Where the Celtics could get him: If they decide they want to improve their depth at point guard, the C’s likely could grab Holloway in the second round.

Notes: There are two major concerns with Holloway. One is his size, and the other is potential behavioral problems. In his senior year at Xavier, Holloway was one of the players involved in a brawl with Cincinnati. He didn’t make the situation better when he referred to his teammates and himself as gangsters at the postgame press conference.

Recent articles:

CBS New York: Rising Star: Xavier’s Tu Holloway

Newsday: Tu be or not to be for Holloway in NBA

Video: Here are some of Holloway’s best plays, starting with his back-to-back 3-pointers against Purdue.

Read More: 2012 NBA Draft, 2012 NBA Draft's Potential Celtics, Tu Holloway,
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