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NBA Draft’s Potential Celtics: UNC PG Kendall Marshall 06.12.12 at 8:39 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.

KENDALL MARSHALL

Position: Point guard

School: North Carolina

Age: 20

Height: 6-foot-4

Weight: 198 pounds

Achievements: 2012 Bob Cousy Award (nation’s top point guard), 2012 All-America third team (AP), 2012 All-ACC second team, 2011 All-ACC third team, 2011 first-team Freshman All-America (Sporting News)

Key 2011-12 stats: 8.1 points, 9.8 assists, 2.6 rebounds, 46.7 FG%, 33.0 minutes

What he brings: Marshall, who leaves UNC after his sophomore season, is a taller point guard, and his height allows him to see the floor more easily. Add that height to his supreme offensive awareness and you have a point guard who can really control his team. He is a phenomenal passer who has great timing and a solid amount of creativity without turning the ball over often. Marshall handles the ball well and can penetrate and kick out with the best of them.

Despite having great offensive awareness, Marshall struggles to create for himself and is not a scorer at all. Because he is slow-footed, Marshall isn’t a great defender and doesn’t have much of a defensive ceiling despite his size.

Marshall’s high basketball IQ will be very attractive to teams looking for a point guard to simply run an offense, but his lack of foot speed will force him to adjust immediately in the faster NBA game.

Where the Celtics could get him: It seems unlikely the C’s would tab Marshall, considering they already have Rajon Rondo and Avery Bradley. Marshall also is regarded as a top-20 pick, so he’d need to slide a little for the C’s to have a shot at him.

Notes: Marshall fractured his wrist falling to the floor in a win over Creighton in the NCAA tournament and missed the Tar Heels‘ last two tournament games. Two months later, it was determined that he also fractured his elbow on the same play. … Marshall handed out 351 assists last season, setting the ACC single-season record.

Recent articles:

Fayetteville Observer: Kendall Marshall says he also fractured his elbow as a sophomore

Slam: A rehabbing Kendall Marshall is ready to bring his unique game to the league

NBA.com: UNC point guard Marshall out to prove he can shoot straight

Video: Here’s a highlight mix of Marshall at UNC.

Read More: 2012 NBA Draft, 2012 NBA Draft's Potential Celtics, Kendall Marshall,
NBA Draft’s Potential Celtics: Virginia PF Mike Scott at 3:01 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.

MIKE SCOTT

Position: Power forward

School: Virginia

Age: 23

Height: 6-foot-9

Weight: 242 pounds

Achievements: All-ACC first team (2012), Virginia Player of the Year (2012), Sporting News, Basketball Times All-America third team (2012), NABC All-District 2 (2012)

Key 2011-12 stats: 18.0 points, 56.3 FG%, 8.3 rebounds in 32 games

What he brings: Scott is a big forward who excels in scoring. He can drive past smaller defenders or rely on his mid-range jumper if slowed down by larger defenders. Not only did Scott lead the Cavaliers in shooting from the field with his 56.3 percent conversion rate, but Scott also went to the line 172 times in his senior season, converting 80.8 percent of his free throw chances.

Scott is regarded as a smart and capable defender and good defensive rebounder but not a shot-blocking threat.

Where the Celtics could get him: Scott is expected to be drafted late in the second round, or he might be available as an undrafted free agent.

Notes: Scott redshirted in 2010-11 after injuring his ankle in December and hurting it again a few games later, leading to surgery. Scott ranks third on the school’s career list in double-doubles (34) and rebounds (944) and 16th in points (1,538).

Recent articles:

Sports Illustrated: After years of work, Mike Scott ready to take Virginia to next level

Washington Times: Virginia’s Mike Scott rising to the cream of the crop in the ACC

Video: Scott talks about the parts of his game he needs to improve.

Read More: 2012 NBA Draft, 2012 NBA Draft's Potential Celtics, Mike Scott,
NBA Draft’s Potential Celtics: Syracuse C Fab Melo at 9:42 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.

FAB MELO

Position: Center

School: Syracuse

Age: 21

Height: 7 feet

Weight: 255 pounds

Achievements: Big East Defensive Player of the Year (2012), Preseason Big East Rookie of the Year (2010-11), McDonald’s High School All-American (2010)

Key 2011-12 stats: 7.8 points, 5.8 rebounds, 2.9 blocks

What he brings: Melo’€™s most impressive traits are his size, rebounding and shot-blocking ability. He displays decent mobility and jumping ability but lacks the elite athleticism of fellow center prospects Meyers Leonard and Andre Drummond.

Offensively, Melo is extremely raw and is still learning the game. He does not project to be a superstar at the next level, but given the dearth of big men who can run the floor, he is an intriguing option.

Where the Celtics could get him: Projections have Melo going somewhere in the 15-25 range, which is right where the Celtics reside with two picks.

Notes: Melo made enormous strides in his second season at Syracuse before being held out of three games in January due to an unspecified academic issue and then being ruled ineligible for the NCAA tournament. He also had a domestic violence issue in 2011. After breaking the turn signal on his girlfriend’s car, he was charged with criminal mischief. If he remains out of trouble through November, he’ll have a clean record. Melo, who grew up in Brazil, did not start playing competitive basketball until the ninth grade. He attended high school in Florida (near Miami) his junior and senior years.

Recent articles:

CNYcentral.com: Fab Melo done at Syracuse, what went wrong?

Fear the Sword: NBA draft player profile: Fab Melo

Video: Here’s a Melo highlight mix.

Read More: 2012 NBA Draft, 2012 NBA Draft's Potential Celtics, Celtics Picks, Fab Melo
NBA Draft’s Potential Celtics: Cincinnati F Yancy Gates at 5:21 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.

YANCY GATES

Position: Power forward/center

School: Cincinnati

Age: 22

Height: 6-foot-9

Weight: 287 pounds

Achievements: Only player in school history to lead team in rebounding for four consecutive seasons, Big East All-Tournament team (2012), Big East All-Rookie team (2009)

Key 2011-12 stats: 12.2 points, 8.9 rebounds, 32.0 minutes

What he brings: Gates is a bruiser down low, and he proved to be one of the better rebounders in the Big East and the country. He noticeably improved his offensive rebounding ability, as he grabbed 3.2 per game last season. His combination of strength, size and good hands make him a valuable asset underneath the basket.

Gates possesses a solid post presence and has good footwork and an array of moves for a big man, but he’ll need to improve his shooting percentage at the next level. Offensively, Gates is a one-dimensional player who plays mostly under the basket. He only made 31 percent of his jump shots this season, according to Synergy, and he’ll have to work on jump shooting mechanics if he wants to develop into a capable shooter in the NBA.

Defensively, Gates is mobile and is able to deny his man and force him into difficult shots. For his size, he does a good job of fronting and contesting shots, which is clear from the fact that his foul rate improved each season at Cincinnati.

Gates’ rebounding ability would be a welcome sight for a Celtics team that ranked last in the NBA in that category in 2011-12. The C’s frontcourt was thin all season long, and with Kevin Garnett approaching the end of his career, a rebounding big man of Gates’ caliber will be sorely needed in the years to come.

Where the Celtics could get him: Gates is considered a second-round possibility who might not get drafted at all.

Notes: The character of Gates will be an area that will be heavily criticized leading up to the draft. In December, he was suspended six games for throwing punches in a bench-clearing brawl against rival Xavier, and he also was suspended in 2011 for mouthing off to an assistant during practice. In both instances, Gates returned and delivered strong late-season performances for the Bearcats, but his character undoubtedly will be monitored at the next level.

Recent articles:

Rivals.com: For Cincinnati’s Yancy Gates, suspension was a turning point

CBS New York: Cincinnati’€™s Gates Comes Of Age In Victory

Rivals.com: Yancy Gates’€™ career at Cincinnati has had its ups and downs, but he’€™s finishing strong

Video: Here’s a highlight reel of Gates during his first two seasons at Cincinnati.

Read More: 2012 NBA Draft, 2012 NBA Draft's Potential Celtics, Celtics, Cincinnati
NBA Draft’s Potential Celtics: Ohio State SG William Buford 06.11.12 at 9:57 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.

WILLIAM BUFORD

Position: Shooting guard

School: Ohio State

Age: 22

Height: 6-foot-5

Weight: 215 pounds

Achievements: Wooden Award top 25 (2012), Big Ten All-Tournament team (2011), NABC second team District 7 (2011), Big Ten Freshman of the Year (2009), Big Ten All-Freshman team (2009), honorable mention All-Big Ten (2009)

Key 2011-12 stats: 14.5 points, 5.0 rebounds, 2.7 assists, 33.8 minutes

What he brings: Buford, who averaged 13.7 points per game in his four seasons as a Buckeye, can shoot from multiple places on the court and finished his career hitting 44 percent of his shots. But he’s a shooter who doesn’t shine in any other categories.

Another issue is his consistency. His 3-point shooting percentage dropped from 44.2 his junior year to a career-low 35.8 his senior year. Other aspects of Buford’s game have fluctuated. He ran into a slump during the NCAA tournament and went 1-for-8 from the field in Ohio State’s Sweet 16 victory over Cincinnati.

The Toledo native hasn’t been spectacular at getting to the line, and that aspect of his game has been inconsistent. He took 118 free throw attempts a sophomore, dipped to 70 as a junior, then got the number to 113 as a senior.

Where the Celtics could get him: Buford should still be on the board when the Celtics pick in the second round, and he might even be available as an undrafted free agent.

Notes: Buford attended the NBA draft combine, and the shooting guard recorded the second-highest body fat percentage of all players there (11.3). He told the Akron Beacon Journal the increased body fat came from recent illnesses, but even Buford said the number was shocking.

Recent articles:

Akron Beacon Journal: 2012 NBA Draft Combine Notebook: Ohio State’s William Buford disappoints on, off court

Cleveland Plain Dealer: Buckeyes need William Buford to bust out of his big-time slump

Video: Here’s Buford in action with the Buckeyes.

Read More: 2012 NBA Draft, 2012 NBA Draft's Potential Celtics, William Buford,
NBA Draft’s Potential Celtics: Kansas PF Thomas Robinson at 5:25 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.

THOMAS ROBINSON

Position: Power forward

School: Kansas

Age: 21

Height: 6-foot-9

Weight: 244 pounds

Achievements: 2012 All-America first team (AP, Sporting News, NABC, USBWA), 2012 Big 12 Player of the Year, All-Big 12 first team

Key 2011-21 stats: 17.1 points, 11.9 rebounds, 50.5 FG%

What he brings: Robinson has the combination of power and athleticism to excel at the NBA level. He is a solid post presence, helped out by his strength and quick feet. He gets to the line a lot thanks to his high motor. His go-to post move is a solid right hook from the left block, and he has shown to be a solid jump shooter. Thanks to his relentless effort, leaping ability and strength, Robinson is a tremendous rebounder.

Robinson, who enters the draft a year early, isn’t that versatile in the post and while his jump shot is solid, he needs to work on making it more consistent. On the defensive end he isn’t a great shot-blocker despite the great effort he puts forth. The biggest knock on his game is that he turns the ball over a lot due to a lack of control on offense.

Where the Celtics could get him: Robinson is projected to be a top-five pick — perhaps as high as No. 2 — so the C’s would need to make a major trade to get in position to select him.

Notes: Robinson is a native of Washington, D.C., who prepped at Brewster Academy in New Hampshire. During his sophomore season at Kansas, Robinson’s mother died of a heart attack less than a month after his maternal grandmother and grandfather died.

Robinson helped the Jayhawks reach the 2012 national championship game, a loss to Kentucky. He never averaged more than 15 minutes a game before his junior season, which he finished by averaging 17.7 points and 11.9 rebounds over 31.8 minutes per game.

Recent articles:

Slam: Thomas Robinson thinks he should be the top draft pick ‘easily’

2012 NBA draft combine: Thomas Robinson holds his head (and nose) up high

Video: Here are highlights of Robinson from last season.

Read More: 2012 NBA Draft, 2012 NBA Draft's Potential Celtics, Thomas Robinson,
NBA Draft’s Potential Celtics: Alabama F Tony Mitchell at 2:14 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.

TONY MITCHELL

Position: Small forward

School: Alabama

Age: 22

Height: 6-foot-6

Weight: 213 pounds

Achievements: MVP of Puerto Rico Tip-Off tournament (2011), second-team All-SEC (2011), SEC All-Freshman team (2010)

Key 2011-12 stats: 13.1 points, 7.0 rebounds in 22 games

What he brings: Mitchell has the physical gifts and athleticism that make him a prototypical wing player at the NBA level. His long wingspan makes him a strong asset on the defensive end of the floor. He averaged 7.2 defensive rebounds and 1.3 steals per game last season, and his defensive prowess can lead to forced turnovers that Mitchell converts into highlight dunks.

Mitchell’s offensive arsenal is very limited, and his versatility on that end of the floor will be questioned at the next level. He averaged only 50.5 percent on two-pointers in 2011-12, although he did improve his mid-range ability, but his mechanics are still in development. His 3-point and free throw shooting also need to improve for him to be a volatile long-term NBA player.

On offense, Mitchell struggles to create his own shot, and he relies on dunks and catch-and-shoot situations for his offensive production. His ball-handling is less than average and he’ll need to work on improving his left hand and creativity to create offense for himself, especially at the NBA level.

Where the Celtics could get him: If he is drafted, Mitchell is expected to go late in the second round.

Notes: In February, Mitchell was suspended for the remainder of the season by Crimson Tide coach Anthony Grant for conduct detrimental to the team. Mitchell decided to enter the NBA draft this year instead of returning to school and trying to finish his collegiate career on a positive note.

Recent articles:

New York Post: After problems at Alabama, Mitchell impresses at Nets camp

Capstone Report: Tony Mitchell’s suspension much needed

Video: Here’s a compilation of Mitchell’s five dunks against Georgetown early last season.

Read More: 2012 NBA Draft, 2012 NBA Draft's Potential Celtics, Tony Mitchell,
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