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NBA Draft’s Potential Celtics: New Mexico PF Drew Gordon 06.25.12 at 8:17 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.

Drew Gordon averaged a double-double in both of his seasons at New Mexico after transferring from UCLA. (AP)

DREW GORDON

Position: Power forward

School: New Mexico

Age: 21

Height: 6-foot-9

Weight: 240 pounds

Achievements: 2012 All-Mountain West Conference first team, 2012 MWC Tournament MVP, 2011 All-MWC second team, 2011 MWC Newcomer of the Year

Key 2011-12 stats: 13.7 points, 54.2 FG%, 11.1 rebounds

What he brings: Gordon is a large presence on the floor and plays very aggressively on defense. He led the team with 11.1 rebounds — 8.0 defensively — his senior year and added 1.1 steals and 1.0 blocked shots per game. Gordon also is quick and can traverse the floor well despite his size and is aware of where the basketball is, even when he doesn’t have it. Gordon, who can convert mid-range shots, averaged a double-double both of his seasons at New Mexico.

Gordon started his collegiate basketball career at UCLA, where he reportedly didn’t get along with coach Ben Howland. He played six games with the Bruins in 2009-10 before transferring to New Mexico. The San Jose native was included in a Sports Illustrated article this year that targeted behavioral problems within the UCLA team. The article alleged Gordon had gotten into multiple fights, smoked marijuana and drank. Gordon told the San Jose Mercury News the SI article was inaccurate, although he acknowledged that he did make some “ill-advised” choices as a freshman at UCLA.

Where the Celtics could get him: Gordon is expected to be drafted toward the middle of the second round.

Notes: Gordon needed surgery in October 2010 for a torn meniscus in his knee, suffered a concussion in 2009 that caused him to miss the first game of the NCAA tournament and missed playing time his senior year of high school due to an ankle injury.

Recent articles:

San Jose Mercury News: Drew Gordon works to repair reputation for NBA draft

San Francisco Chronicle: Prep phenom Drew Gordon aims to return to spotlight

Video: Here are some highlights of Gordon (32) shooting and defending.

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NBA Draft’s Potential Celtics: St. Bonaventure PF/C Andrew Nicholson at 3:55 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.

Andrew Nicholson is predicted in some mock drafts to be headed to the Celtics, although his stock has been rising after some impressive pre-draft workouts. (AP)

ANDREW NICHOLSON

Position: Power forward/center

School: St. Bonaventure

Age: 22

Height: 6-foot-9

Weight: 234 pounds

Achievements: 2012 All-America honorable mention, 2012 Atlantic 10 tournament MVP

Key 2011-12 stats: 18.5 points, 8.4 rebounds, 2 blocks, 57.1 FG%, 43.4 3P%, 77.6 FT%

What he brings: The 22-year-old Canadian has a very effective post game, and in his four years at St. Bonaventure he developed an ability to step out and knock down shots from the perimeter as well. While Nicholson is at his best with his back to the basket, his mid-range game projects to be a valuable asset for him against larger competition in the NBA. Though he’s slightly undersized, his 7-foot-4 wingspan and huge hands also allow him to play much larger.

He has a very high basketball IQ and moves extremely well without the ball, knowing how to space the floor and finding gaps in the defense. Not an exceptional athlete, Nicholson was a solid but unspectacular  rebounder at both ends of the floor in college, while his instincts and timing also made him a very good shot-blocker. He’ll need to get a lot stronger and improve his conditioning to be able to hold his ground in the paint at the next level.

Where the Celtics could get him: Nicholson was initially projected to go precisely where the Celtics are drafting in the first round, but his impressive showings in pre-draft workouts might lead to an earlier selection.

Notes: Nicholson graduated in May with a degree in physics. … He ranks second in St. Bonaventure history in points (2,103), field goal percentage (57.5) and blocked shots (244), while sitting fourth in total rebounds (887).

Recent articles:

The Toronto Star: Canadian prospect Andrew Nicholson impresses at NBA draft combine

New York Times: Rebirth of the Bonnies; Andrew Nicholson leads St. Bonaventure into NCAA tournament

Video: Here’s a look at Nicholson starring for the Bonnies.

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NBA Draft’s Potential Celtics: Memphis SG/SF Will Barton at 1:12 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.

Will Barton was named Conference USA Player of the Year as a sophomore and subsequently declared for the draft. (AP)

WILL BARTON

Position: Shooting guard/small forward

School: Memphis

Age: 21

Height: 6-foot-6

Weight: 175 pounds

Achievements: 2012 Conference USA Player of the Year, 2011 All-Conference USA third team, 2011 Conference USA All-Freshman team

Key 2011-12 stats: 18.0 points, 50.9 FG%, 8.0 rebounds

What he brings: Barton has long strides that allow him to traverse the court quickly, and he can power his way past defenders to get to the net. He shot 50.9 percent from the field, but his 3-point shooting can be improved. He converted 34.6 percent of his tries from the arc.

At 6-foot-6 and 175 pounds Barton isn’t small, but he’s not the strongest player on the court. He’s very skinny, which may be a concern for some teams.

Where the Celtics could get him: Barton is expected to be picked late in the first round or early in the second.

Notes: Barton, who is from Baltimore, prepped one season in New Hampshire at Brewster Academy, leading the team to a 35-4 record and the 2010 national prep title. … He is leaving Memphis after two seasons.

Related articles:

San Francisco Chronicle: Draft prospect Will Barton has chip on shoulder

HoopsWorld: Will Barton doesn’t lack confidence

Video: Here’s a lengthy package of highlights of Barton.

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NBA Draft’s Potential Celtics: Alabama PF JaMychal Green 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.

JaMychal Green boosted his stock with a strong showing at the Portsmouth Invitational Tournament in April. (AP)

JAMYCHAL GREEN

Position: Power forward

Team: Alabama

Age: 21

Height: 6-foot-9

Weight: 217 pounds

Achievements: 2012 All-SEC second team (coaches), 2011 All-SEC first team (coaches), 2009 SEC All-Freshman team

Key 2011-12 stats: 14.0 points, 7.4 rebounds, 1.5 blocks, 29.2 minutes

What he brings: Green is an effective low-post scorer, and he can get a high-release hook shot off over taller defenders. However, he is limited with other moves in the post and could become predictable at the next level. The intensity that he has in the paint should make him a very good rebounder and a serviceable scorer at the next level.

Green is inconsistent on the defensive end, though, because he does not have great lateral movement. He is a little undersized for a power forward in the NBA and is not a good enough athlete to make up for it.

He has potential due to his length but will likely be a second-round pick and serve as a bench player for an NBA team.

Where the Celtics could get him: Green is projected to be taken late in the second round, so he should be available to the Celtics at No. 51.

Notes: Green was given a four-game suspension for conduct detrimental to the team in February, which was his third suspension in his time with Alabama. This could be a red flag for an NBA team looking to draft Green. … Green performed well in April at the Portsmouth Invitational Tournament for draft prospects. In his opening game he scored 29 points on 14-for-18 shooting with 10 rebounds. He finished as the tournament’s second-leading scorer, shooting 64 percent from the field.

Recent articles:

Detroit Free Press: Alabama’s JaMychal Green — potential second-rounder — improving stock after college days

ESPN: Alabama suspends JaMychal Green

Video: Here is a short highlight clip of Green.

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NBA Draft’s Potential Celtics: Baylor SF/PF Perry Jones III at 6:05 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.

Perry Jones III has size and athleticism, but he is young and needs lots of work to reach his potential. (AP)

PERRY JONES III

Position: Small forward/power forward

School: Baylor

Age: 20

Height: 6-foot-11

Weight: 234 pounds

Achievements: 2012 All Big-12 third team, 2011 All-Big 12 second team, 2011 Big-12 All-Rookie team

Key 2011-12 stats: 14.0 points, 7.7 rebounds, 50.0 FG%, 30.7 minutes

What he brings: Jones, who leaves Baylor after his sophomore season, is one of the most athletic players in the draft, as his size and quickness give him the potential to be an impact player at the NBA level. He is a smooth ball-handler, a good shooter from mid-range, and a good rebounder thanks to his 7-foot-2 wingspan.

While he moves quickly like a big guard, he could be tougher in the paint if he wants to handle the contact at the NBA level. For a player his size, he needs to work on his post play and his aggressiveness if he wants to reach his full potential.

He was not very consistent at the college level and his effort was questioned at times. If the Celtics do draft Jones, they will draft him based upon his potential and not necessarily his production in college.

Where the Celtics could get him: Jones has been mocked all around the first round, including at pick No. 21 to the Celtics. Jones has a good chance of being in line for the Celtics to take him with either one of their first two picks.

Notes: The NCAA declared Jones ineligible toward the end of the season after an investigation about whether he received improper benefits from an AAU coach before going to college. He would have had to serve a five-game suspension and pay back $700 if he wanted to return to Baylor next year.

Recent articles:

Sports Illustrated: Baylor’s Jones finally tapping into potential

Fox Sports Ohio: Jones a gifted mystery man

Video: Here is a highlight package of Jones’ sophomore season

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NBA Draft’s Potential Celtics: Central Connecticut PF Ken Horton 06.24.12 at 4:49 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.

Ken Horton is Central Connecticut's all-time leading scorer with 1,966 points. (AP)

KEN HORTON

Position: Power forward

School: Central Connecticut

Age: 22

Height: 6-foot-7

Weight: 200 pounds

Achievements: 2012 All-NEC first team, 2011 NEC Player of the Year, 2011 All-America honorable mention, 2009 All-NEC second team, 2008 NEC All-Rookie team

Key 2011-12 stats: 19 points, 49.1 FG%, 8.9 rebounds

What he brings: Horton, who holds the Central Connecticut all-time scoring record (1,966 points), can shoot from multiple spots on the court and can rebound as well, but he can work on driving to the net. He is an underrated prospect because he’s from a small conference.

Where the Celtics could get him: Horton will be fortunate to be a late-second-round pick. He’s more likely to go undrafted. He is expected to receive offers from European teams.

Notes: Horton missed the 2009-10 season due to a hip injury that required surgery. … He was arrested last September for a breach of peace after an alleged altercation with his girlfriend.

Recent articles:

Hartford Courant: Central’s Ken Horton hopes bumpy ride ends with trip to NCAA tournament

Hartford Courant: Central Connecticut’s Ken Horton signs with agent, will attend Portsmouth Invitational

Video: Here is a video of Horton breaking the Central Connecticut scoring record.

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NBA Draft’s Potential Celtics: Iona PG Scott Machado at 1:35 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.

Scott Machado led the nation in assists last season. (AP)

SCOTT MACHADO

Position: Point guard

School: Iona

Age: 22

Height: 6-foot-2

Weight: 206 pounds

Achievements: 2012 MAAC Player of the Year, 2012 All-MAAC first team, 2012 All-MAAC Tournament team, 2011 All-MAAC first team, 2011 All-MAAC Tournament team, 2009 MAAC Rookie of the Year

Key 2011-12 stats: 13.6 points, 9.9 assists, 5.0 rebounds, 35.5 minutes, 3.3 turnovers, 49.5 FG%, 40.4 3P%

What he brings: Machado is a pure point guard with very good passing ability and court awareness. He has good decision-making ability and has improved his jump shot enough to be considered a backup point guard option at the NBA level.

Machado does not have the ideal size for an NBA point guard and is not quick enough to be a reliable perimeter defender against pro talent. He is a compact 6-foot-2 and does not have the length to make up for his lack of lateral quickness.

Machado is not likely to be a starting NBA point guard, but he could serve as a solid bench option at the pro level.

Where the Celtics could get him: Machado is projected as a late second-round pick if he is selected at all, so the Celtics have options should they be looking for a backup for Rajon Rondo.

Notes: Machado led all of Division 1 last season with 281 total assists (9.9 per game). He is the all-time leader in Iona and MAAC history with 880 career assists. … If Machado is drafted, he will be the first player from Iona selected since Sean Green went to the Pacers in the second round in 1991.

Recent articles:

Detroit Free Press: Iona point guard Scott Machado on Pistons’ radar

ESPN: Iona’s Machado inspired by Linsanity

Video: Here is a highlight package of Machado (3) in his team’s matchup with Niagara on Jan. 6.

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