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NBA Draft’s Potential Celtics: Kentucky PG Marquis Teague 06.14.12 at 9:40 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.

Marquis Teague looks to follow in the footsteps of his brother, Jeff, who has developed into a solid NBA point guard for the Hawks. (AP)

MARQUIS TEAGUE

Position: Point guard

School: Kentucky

Age: 19

Height: 6-foot-2

Weight: 180 pounds

Achievements: One of five finalists for the Naismith Award as the national high school player of the year, 2011 McDonald’s High School All-American

Key 2011-12 stats: 10 points, 4.8 assists, 41.2 FG%, 32.5 3P%, 71.4 FT%

What he brings: Teague is a lightning-quick point guard with an excellent first step and an ability to attack and finish at the rim. He likes to push the tempo and excels in transition offense. As the season progressed, Teague also showed improvement in his ability to set up teammates.

Just 19 years old, Teague has yet to develop a consistent perimeter shot and struggles with decision-making, particularly in the halfcourt offense. He has all the tools to be an excellent defender but needs to work on his fundamentals to succeed at the next level, where he will not be able to rely as much on his natural athleticism.

Overall, Teague shows promise as a score-first point guard who also can set up teammates.

Where the Celtics could get him: Teague is projected to be drafted in the middle of the first round. Even if he should slide, it’s unlikely the Celtics would be interested in him given their backcourt combination of Rajon Rondo and Avery Bradley.

Notes: Teague’s older brother, Jeff Teague, who plays point guard for the Hawks, was a huge reason Atlanta gave the Celtics such a hard time in the first round of the playoffs. Marquis’s game is similar to that of his older brother. His father, Shawn Teague, played at Boston University under Rick Pitino.

Recent articles:

Hoops World: Marquis Teague says he can shoot, too

Sports Illustrated: After rocky start, Marquis Teague evolves into Kentucky standout

Video: Here’s a mix of Teague highlights.

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NBA Draft’s Potential Celtics: Northwestern F John Shurna at 6:16 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.

John Shurna departs Northwestern as the school's all-time leader in points and blocked shots. (AP)

JOHN SHURNA

Position: Small forward/power forward

School: Northwestern

Age: 22

Height: 6-foot-10

Weight: 210 pounds

Achievements: 2012 AP All-America honorable mention, 2012 All-Big Ten first team, 2011 All-Big Ten second team, 2011 Sporting News Most Improved Player, finished first in Northwestern history in career points (2,038), career games played (130) and career blocked shots (136)

Key 2011-12 stats: 20.0 points, 5.4 rebounds, 44.0 3P%, 1.66 blocks, 37.3 minutes

What he brings: Shurna is the prototypical player at the NBA level who can come off screens and hit 3-pointers with regularity. Shurna was asked to be “the man” at Northwestern and succeeded, leading the team in scoring year in and year out, but will no doubt take a step back at the next level. Because of the thinness of the Northwestern frontcourt, Shurna was forced into a power forward role, but he’ll need to bulk up a little if he wants to do that in the NBA. He’ll likely be used as a small forward.

In addition to putting on weight, Shurna will need to redefine his ball-handling ability if he wants to become anything more than a 3-point specialist in the NBA. He doesn’t possess a quick first step, and although he was able to get by defenders in college, he likely won’t have that same success at the next level. While his ball-handling does lack, Shurna does plenty of work off the ball through cutting to the rim and receiving passes for easy looks inside, something NBA scouts will be pleased to see.

Shurna will need to put on some weight to hold his own defensively, especially against bigger and stronger NBA athletes. His quickness is not something that can be easily improved, so he may be a liability on the defensive end, but his shot-blocking ability (first in blocks in school history) can be something to build on.

Where the Celtics could get him: Shurna expected to be picked in the middle of the second round, so he might be available when the Celtics pick at 51.

Notes: Shurna was plugged immediately into a starting role when he entered college as he started all 31 games as a true freshman. He led the team shooting 46.6 percent from the field and was second on the team with 18 blocks. … Further illustrating Shurna’s 3-point shooting ability, he won the 2012 College 3-Point shootout in March. He sunk nine of his final 10 shots in the final round to beat Temple guard Juan Hernandez and claim the championship. … Following his junior season, Shurna decided to leave school and enter the NBA draft, but he ultimately changed his mind and returned for his senior year.

Recent articles:

Daily Northwestern: John Shurna has NBA potential

Chicago Tribune: NU’s Shurna scores points on, off court

Video: Here’s a look at some of Shurna’s most memorable moments during his career at Northwestern.

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NBA Draft’s Potential Celtics: Kentucky SF Michael Kidd-Gilchrist 06.13.12 at 9:18 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.

Michael Kidd-Gilchrist won a national championship in his lone season at Kentucky. (AP)

MICHAEL KIDD-GILCHRIST

Position: Small forward

School: Kentucky

Age: 18

Height: 6-foot-7

Weight: 228 pounds

Achievements: 2012 All-America second team, 2012 All-SEC first team

Key 2011-12 stats: 11.9 points, 7.4 rebounds, 1.9 assists, 49.1 FG%, 31.1 minutes

What he brings: Kidd-Gilchrist is a strong, athletic forward who uses his speed and leaping ability to finish at the rim with authority. Though he isn’t an elite jump shooter, he has a solid ability to beat his defender off the dribble and get to the rim. He also is a great off-the-ball offensive player. Kidd-Gilchrist has potential to be a lockdown defender at both the forward positions thanks to his length, supreme athleticism and relentless motor.

The 18-year-old one-and-done Wildcat is an all-around player, but he doesn’t necessarily excel in any particular department. His skill set is wide but not deep. Kidd-Gilchrist also is undersized for the NBA game and it may be difficult for him to be as effective in his attack-the-rim offensive style. He will need to improve his jump shot if he wants to be an effective scorer at the next level.

Despite not having a particularly elite skill, Kidd-Gilchrist brings an intense work ethic and style of play that could help any team in the NBA. He isn’t a project since he possess a solid two-way game, but NBA coaches could definitely help improve some aspects of his game.

Where the Celtics could get him: Kidd-Gilchrist is a certain top-five pick and could go as high as second. The Celtics would need to make a huge trade to move up that far.

Notes: Kidd-Gilchrist helped Kentucky win the national championship this year. In high school he was a 2011 McDonald’s All-American and a finalist for the Naismith Award for the nation’s best high school player.

Recent articles:

San Francisco Chronicle: Michael Kidd-Gilchrist loves getting lost in a gym

The Washington Post: Kentucky’s Michael Kidd-Gilchrist ‘not worried about my age’

Video: Here are highlights of Kidd-Gilchrist’s lone season at Kentucky.

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NBA Draft’s Potential Celtics: Missouri PF Ricardo Ratliffe at 5:10 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.

Missouri forward Ricardo Ratliffe will need to use his strength and toughness to make up for a lack of size and quickness at the NBA level. (AP)

RICARDO RATLIFFE

Position: Power forward

School: Missouri

Age: 23

Height: 6-foot-8

Weight: 250 pounds

Achievements: 2012 All-Big 12 second team, 2011 Big 12 Newcomer of the Year, 2011 All-Big 12 honorable mention, 2011 Big 12 All-Rookie team

Key 2011-12 stats: 13.9 points, 7.5 rebounds, 69.3 FG%

What he brings: Ratliffe is very strong and brings toughness and aggressiveness under the basket. He’s undersized at 6-foot-8, which likely positions him as a power forward at the next level, but his athleticism and ability more than makes up for it. His production as a senior at Missouri was particularly impressive considering he only played 26 minutes per game.

Ratliffe is an extremely good finisher in the paint, making his presence felt by cleaning up misses and using his soft and reliable hands to receive passes and convert easy makes under the basket. Ratliffe’s offense really only revolves around the rim and he rarely steps out of the paint to take jumpers, which could hurt his NBA stock. He doesn’t have an array of post moves but does possess basic ones. Still, he thrives on others creating baskets for him, whether it’s on pick and rolls or second-chance opportunities.

Rebounding-wise, Ratliffe has improved over his college career and has the skills necessary in that area to make it at the next level. He uses his tools and size to excel both on the offensive and defensive glass, which will no doubt please NBA scouts. Defensively, Ratliffe might find trouble finding his identity. His 6-foot-8 frame makes him too small to defend centers and he isn’t quick enough to guard power forwards, but he does have the capability and size to develop into a good defender.

Where the Celtics could get him: If Ratliffe gets drafted, it’s likely to be late in the second round.

Notes: Ratliffe spent two years at Central Florida Community College prior to going to Missouri because he didn’t meet the NCAA’s academic standards coming out of high school. He was a highly touted JUCO player and ranked as the No. 1 incoming junior in the country upon his commitment to the Tigers.

Recent articles:

stltoday.com: Mizzou’s Ratliffe is right on target

ESPN.com: Ricardo Ratliffe’s season for the ages

Columbia Missourian: Missouri’s Ricardo Ratliffe puts artistic side on hold to focus on basketball

Video: Ratliffe shows how he has been preparing for the draft.

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NBA Draft’s Potential Celtics: Syracuse SG Dion Waiters at 1:30 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.

Dion Waiters helped Syracuse reach the regional championship game in this year's NCAA tournament. (AP)

DION WAITERS

Position: Shooting guard

School: Syracuse

Age: 20

Height: 6-foot-4

Weight: 210 pounds

Achievements: 2012 All-Big East third team, 2012 AP All-America honorable mention

Key 2011-12 stats: 12.6 points, 2.3 rebounds, 2.5 assists, 47.6 FG%, 72.9 FT%, 36.3 3P%

What he brings: Ranked by many scouts as the fourth-best shooting guard in the draft, Waiters is generally considered one of the draft’s best scorers and a guy who can get to the rim at will.

Waiters has been compared to Tyreke Evans. He’s a bit undersized for his position, given his lack of elite leaping ability, and could improve his outside shooting consistency, but he has the body, athletic ability and willingness to score at the next level. In his recently concluded sophomore season he also showcased an impressive ability to distribute the ball.

The biggest concerns, and the ones Waiters has made great strides to improve, are his character and his defense. Waiters came to Syracuse as one of the top high school recruits in the country but his reputation took a hit when he clashed with coach Jim Boeheim and publicly questioned whether the two could coexist after averaging only 16 minutes per game in his freshman season. Waiters showed up his sophomore year in excellent shape, agreed to come off the bench as the team’s sixth man, and played much more aggressive defense.

Where he ends up going in the draft depends largely on how effectively his performance has addressed team’s concerns about his defense and personality, because his talent is unquestioned.

Where the Celtics could get him: Waiters is expected to be a mid-to-late lottery pick, so the Celtics would have to make a sizable jump to have a shot.

Notes: There were reports this week that Waiters canceled all pre-draft workouts and interviews, often an indication that a prospect has a promise from a team to take him.

Recent articles:

CBSSports.com: Boeheim: Dion Waiters more ready for NBA than any guard I’ve ever had

MLive.com: Character issues surround shooting guard Dion Waiters of Syracuse

The Charlotte Observer: Waiters may have lottery pick promise

Video: Here are highlights of Waiters against Villanova and Marquette.

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NBA Draft’s Potential Celtics: LSU C Justin Hamilton at 9:51 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.

Justin Hamilton honed his skills for one season at LSU after transferring from Iowa State. (AP)

JUSTIN HAMILTON

Position: Center

School: LSU

Age: 22

Height: 6-foot-11

Weight: 260 pounds

Achievements: 2012 All-SEC second team, 2012 first-team All-District (USBWA)

Key 2011-12 stats: 12.9 points, 7.2 rebounds, 1.3 blocks, 49.4 FG%, 30.0 minutes

What he brings: Hamilton is a legitimate big man with size and ability to run the floor. His most deadly post move is a right hook. As a jump shooter, Hamilton can hit the 18-footer with regularity and is a 78 percent free throw shooter. Defensively, his awareness is apparent and his lateral movement is fairly strong.

Even though he has appropriate size for an NBA big man, he could put on more muscle. Because of his lack of weight he can get pushed around in the paint by a stronger offensive presence. He also hasn’t shown a knack for grabbing rebounds and his toughness is questioned at times. While he possesses that strong right hook move, the rest of his post offense is relatively unimpressive.

Hamilton won’t be an instant-impact player in the NBA, but if he can add strength he can be a serviceable player. If he can improve on his shooting he could provide a bit of an offensive spark off the bench, but he won’t be much more than a role player for a team such as the Celtics.

Where the Celtics could get him: Hamilton is likely to go in the second round or possibly be available as an undrafted free agent.

Notes: Hamilton transferred from Iowa State after his sophomore season and had to sit out a year. He only played one year at LSU. … His father, Larry Hamilton, started at defensive tackle on the 1984 national championship BYU football team and also wrestled. His mother, the former Tami Senkovich, was a two-time all-conference volleyball player at BYU.

Recent Articles:

NBC Sports: Justin Hamilton to leave LSU when he graduates

Video: Here’s a closer look at Hamilton from LSU’s student TV station.

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NBA Draft’s Potential Celtics: St. John’s SF Moe Harkless at 6:13 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.

Moe Harkless leaves St. John's after one season in which he was named Big East Rookie of the Year. (AP)

MOE HARKLESS

Position: Small forward

School: St. John’s

Age: 19

Height: 6-foot-8

Weight: 208 pounds

Achievements: 2012 Big East Rookie of the Year

Key 2011-12 stats: 15.5 points, 8.6 rebounds, 1.5 assists, 1.4 blocks, 1.6 steals, 45.2 FG%, 36.1 minutes

What he brings: Harkless is a long, athletic forward who runs the floor well. He has a great first step and, thanks to his solid ball-handling, footwork and agility, he attacks the rim well. The 19-year-old also has a solid mid-range jumper, and while he isn’t a terrific 3-point shooter, he has quality shooting mechanics that may allow him to be a solid 3-point shooter with some coaching. He reads the passing lanes well on defense and forces a lot of deflections and blocks.

While Harkless can get to the rim, he really can’t create his own shot, and his pull-up isn’t great. He also needs to add muscle in order to be a more effective forward. The St. John’s product is also stuck between the 3 and 4 positions, because he’s not a good enough shooter for the small forward position and not strong enough for power forward.

Harkless still has major potential and could be a great NBA player if he develops properly.

Where the Celtics could get him: Harkless is projected as a mid-to-late first-round pick. ESPN’s Chad Ford predicts Harkless to the Celtics with the 21st pick in his mock draft 6.0.

Notes: Harkless won the Daily News Queens High School Player of the Year award as a junior. He transferred to the South Kent school in Connecticut for his senior year.

Recent articles:

ESPN: Moe Harkless leaving St. John’s early for NBA draft

Video: Here’s a highlight mix of Harkless.

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